Monday, October 25, 2010

What a difference....

a week makes.  Sorry to drop off the face of the planet, but we had a bit of a hiccup.  Derrick's truck basically needed $3K+ worth of repairs (and it's estimated value via Kelly Blue Book is around $700).  So, we spent over a week researching and shopping for and test driving cars.  With two small kids.  Not recommened. 

Actually, the kids did great and we ended up with a great deal on a new car.  Something we never thought we'd do (buy new again), but a few decisions we made over the past few months left us feeling like it was the best option at this point in time.  You see, back in August we had some money in the bank.  We took said money, and put it ALL toward's Derrick student loan.  It's gone. YAY for us!  But boo for our savings!  (For what it's worth, we were beginning to follow the Dave Ramsey "baby steps".)    Then, very unexpectedly, my mother passed away in September.  She had not been feeling well for some time, but was way too young to pass.  She lived a very simple life, and did not have much.  So, as you might imagine, there was an unexpected funeral cost and being the oldest and really the one with the most means, we took that on as well.  With the "baby step" recommended $1000 in the bank, and even the cheapest of funeral expenses costing far more than that nowadays, we had to put it on our credit card. 

credit card image taken from here

Cut back to the car.....our plan once we went on the "baby steps" was to pay cash for a used car and get whatever we could afford.  Well, given the current situation that means we don't get one.  And that just doesn't work for us right now (I Soooo would be a one-car household if we could swing it).  But with a roundtrip 60 mile drive to school and back right now, not possible.  So then we considered getting something older (and therefore, cheaper).  But then the dilemma we ran into was if we bought a used car and it ended up only lasting a short while and then the Accord (our other car of seven years) went around the same time.  Then we need to buy two cars.  Granted, our financial situation will hopefully be different then, but we ultimately decided to purchase new, and drive it into the ground like we have done with both of these cars (and the Accord is still running great and we haven't had a single problem with it so far). 

But it did make us take a step back and think about the bigger picture.  And once again, we came back to the same conclusion as before.  We need to sell this house.  Not only to get closer to our kids' school, but also to get into a smaller, cheaper home.  We don't need a house like this one.  We're lucky to have it, but right now, for the lifestyle we've chosen, a smaller, cheaper home will suit us far better.  Wow - we have a lot of work to do!  Derrick started a list last night....(and I know this list is just a start....)

Now that I've caught you all up, I should mention one thing that bugs me about Dave Ramsey.  I think his message is brilliant.....I mean, in not so many only what you can afford, stay out of debt, etc.  But the fact that he makes his money off of the very people he's trying to "help" is not lost on me.  I mean, he charges around $100 per person on courses that basically rehash everything in his books (which you could borrow from the library for free, which I did).  And when he talks about his envelope system, of course he offers one in his shop and turns around and charges $20 for it.  Seriously?  $20 for something that could cost me around $1, and for people who are trying to get out of debt?  I don't really get that, but to each his own.  As with anything, we take the idea and fit it to our life as best we can. 


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