March 2007


So we have two cars that are currently “under the weather.” One has numerous transmission issues, and still resides in a Lee Miles Transmission in a big city far far away, while the other lies sleeping in our driveway, unable to start. It’s either the battery or the alternator, so we chose to buy a new battery hoping that will fix the problem.

Now we compacted not to spend money on new items, with the exception of food, medicine and sanitary items, a promise we’ve kept so far. The transmission has been rebuilt (which sadly only had a 1 year warranty on it!) and we could have gone to a junkyard to get a used battery, but we made the exception to get it new. We cannot afford for our cars to have more problems. It’s penny-smart and pound-foolish to buy a used battery when we are having serious car problems, and serious money problems.

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Disclaimer: Solid financial advice is not found in this post. This is a what not to do.

But this is what we have to do. Our credit rating is down in the 500s, and we were not approved for a loan for another vehicle last night. We are stuck with the car we have. We therefore have to put the $2000 to fix the transmission on our credit cards, (which we amazingly actually have still $2000 available!—though not for long).

We are at the bottom. We cannot go any lower. Banks will not lend us anymore money, and our loans are maxed out (except Sleepy’s, which we finished paying off just this past month). We hope there are no other issues that will rise up to bite us because right now, we will not have the money to fix them. We are going to have to deal with what we have.

So that’s our plan. Spread out the $2000 among all our cards and start paying it all down, card by card. We are not going to purchase anything new (with the few practical exceptions), and we will live a frugal life.

Transmission is kaput. $2K to fix it. Car is still in the city, but totally not worth the $2500 I still owe, let alone an additional $2000.

So do we sink ourselves with some more debt just to have a reliable car? Or do we get a “2 year fix” as my brother in law calls it? The irony is that this car was supposed to be a 2 year fix, but sadly it only lasted 9 months. . .

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As if I didn’t think things could get worse, they just did. We took a trip into the city yesterday and our car broke down. It looks like it will be $2000 to fix it, and I’m still not sure where that $$ will come from. Our debt is sky high, and the job situation here is bleak, at best. Yet, we know we need to stick it out here in rural America and deal with the situation.

So here are our new resolutions:

1) To not buy anything new until at least 2008, except food, medicine, health items and underwear/socks.

2) To borrow, barter or buy used for items that we *need.*

3) To use what we already have sitting around gathering dust in our home. Or even better, sell what’s already gathering dust in our home.

Basically, in econonic-speak, we are trying to cross the line from being consumers into being producers. No longer will we buy into this crap that corporate America dictates that we need the biggest, best, or most expensive item. No longer do we need to keep up with the Joneses or the Robinsons. We’ll just be us, and hopefully this will lead us out of debt and into solid financial footing.

This blog will chronicle our journey. . .

It’s seriously reaching crisis over here, yet I continue to spend more money needlessly. Yesterday I bought $28 worth of junk from WalMart, after I kept putting things back because I knew I didn’t *need* them. Today I returned all $28 worth of stuff, and bought $70 worth of stuff. I didn’t *need* a new purse, as I’m sure I have one here, but I bought one anyways. I did need a watch since I never have any idea what time it is. I did need/want fabric for a dress for me and for baby blankets for the 4 babies that are about to be born.

What’s it gonna take for me to really change my habits? I gotta figure it out, soon.

So I was planning that this would be a daily blog, and well, life happens. A friend died so I had to help plan the funeral, in addition to working, and applying for every full time education job within a 3 hour radius that I can possibly do. And my Praxis test is this weekend. Stress.

Financially, we’re doing ok. I had to put some of the food for the funeral on a credit card, but I’ll be reimbursed for it on Sunday. I’m figuring that once I get a full-time job then the debt will really start to be swept away. Until then we’re treading water, trying to stay afloat.