I am sure you have heard of Dave Ramsey. If you haven't, it is time to look him up. Being a homeschool mom is hard. Living off of one income is hard. Working from home part time to make sure that I can help supplement my husband's income is hard. Not being able to make any headway on our debt and living paycheck to paycheck is hard. So we decided to make a change.
A couple of years ago we started reading Dave Ramsey's books. We did our budget and stuck to it pretty well. Seems like every time we would get ahead, something would come up and we would get behind again. It has been like playing catch up for the past 2 years. I finally decided that I was just sick of it. I get that stressed out feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I sit down to do the bills. We cut out our cable a few years ago, and really the only thing left to cut is our car payments. We had 2 payments totaling almost $650 a month. That is a lot of money to pay for two cars! Something had to change.
I thought long and hard about what to do. I decided the best bet was to sell my mini van. My husband was up for selling his car, but we bought his more recently than mine and were upside down in it, so mine had to go. We finally had gotten to the point where we could sell the car outright, but if we went to a dealer they would give us $2000 less than payoff. So the decision was made and we listed it for sale. Luckily it sold within a week! Bad news was that DMV is ridiculous here. I called to ask how to do it with registration and such because I need to get the title from the lien holder. The first person I spoke with told me "you cannot sell your car to a private party because it has a lien." I told her that is ridiculous and I wanted to speak to somebody else. So I did and they told me that I have to get the title before I can sell it. Well I can't get the title until I pay it off and I can't pay it off until I get the money from the buyer! Talk about a Catch 22!
We found a way around it. I am still not sure if it is how we are supposed to do it, but we met at his bank, he transferred the money to my account, I paid the total over the phone and got an email confirmation that I sent to the buyer, then we did a bill of sale at the bank and got it notarized. The buyer still has my license plates until I get the title which can be up to 3 weeks! Ridiculous! And the car is insured on both of our insurances.
So then came the hunt for a car. With my husband's long hours and later nights, it is really tough considering going with one car for long. So we spent all day Monday selling the car, all day Tuesday finding a new car and co-op, and PE, and Wednesday we had a field trip and then had to go buy a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee that we found.
Here is where more adventures started! I paid the guy for the Jeep, went straight to DMV to get plates because my buyer still has mine, then I drove it home. I got home, pulled in the driveway and saw smoke. I thought it was my exhaust....nope....my rear brake was ON FIRE! I freaked out, ran to the house to find the door locked. I was banging on the door because my mother in law and the kids were there, but they were out back. I ran back to the car to get my keys, got inside, got water, went back outside and the fire was out. I threw water on it anyway because it was still smoking. My bright 7 year old asked me why I didn't just use the hose that is out front....good question!
So I took it to Firestone because they are the closest to me. They called me Thursday morning to give me a quote. I had them check the entire Jeep out and the only thing wrong was the back brakes. The entire rear brake system needed replaced. Firestone also said my front rotors and brakes should be done and quoted me almost $1300! We bought the Jeep for $2350 so I was a little uncomfortable paying that much for brakes. So we called my husbands friend from a long time ago who owns a shop and took it there instead. We got the rear brakes done and it didn't need the front done at all for $450. I think that is a lot more reasonable! Grammie has been a great sport driving us around all week, and then her drivers side window broke and won't roll up! So we drove around with plastic on the window for 2 days. She is getting it fixed tomorrow and I finally got the Jeep back today! I love it and am so glad we made the decision to get rid of the mini van and get an older vehicle. And the relief that comes with not having a $353 payment a month is enough to make me never want to buy a car with a payment again!
Are you trying to get debt free?