Well, Old Bessie died…

I didn’t really name my old Saturn Bessie, but the name always invokes thoughts of an old, tired workhorse who has gone out to pasture. That’s my car…. (or, WAS my car).

I received a text from my husband as I was on the way home from work on the second week of March. It said, “the Saturn is stuck in 2nd. Luckily, I am almost home.” [CLARIFICATION: This is after two years of constant repairs and the last major issue being that the computer was no longer talking to the cooling system (a $1,500 repair) and the car was overheating every time it was turned on and it kept blowing holes in the radiator and cooling tank . We were filling it full of water every day just to get it to run, and there were some transmission issues cropping up at the same time, but we were trying to eke out every last mile because we knew that the repairs were hovering around $4,000 and we just didn’t have the cash.]

Yup. It was truly stuck in gear and after arduously pushing it in reverse down our driveway, we finally got it to the mechanic and awaited the call…

…time of death 12:57pm.

When the mechanic says, “We had to restart the diagnostic computer two times to get all of the error and repair codes from your car because there were so many that it overloaded the system. We’re not going to do any work on your car because there really is no point,” it is time to turn off the machine and say good-bye.

After 10 years, 11 months, 190,000+ miles, we wish you well Bessie!

And HELLO Sage!

I DID name the new (to me) car this time. My kids thought it would be cool ūüôā

We shopped and did research for 4 days and Carmax was the one who came through for us again. We got a low-mileage, older car (still under warranty, though) for under $15,000. It doesn’t have a lot of frills compared to most cars out there, but it is the nicest car I have ever had (Power windows!!!), so I am pleased. So, please welcome our new arrival, our 2009 Hyundai Sonata.

And $15,000 of new debt (pppfffffffftt)…

UPDATE: Thanks to Beth, I realized that I hadn’t given the full picture about the state of the car. It had no trade in value and it had major electrical, transmission and cooling system issues that were beyond what we could afford to repair. I’ve clarified above – thank you, Beth! ūüôā

Advertisements

Saving $$$ on Kids Clothing!

So, in the quest to find ways to both save money AND positively impact the environment, we found ThredUp! It is a great way to buy clean, used kids clothes that have gone through a good screening process. 

We’ve been really pleased with the quality. My first order was $39 for eight pieces (and that includes shipping & handling). Plus, they include a bag in each order that you can use to send back your own gently used clothing for credit or cash!

Here is a link if you want to take a look: http://www.thredup.com/r/JED7Z2 

 

Affordable Meal Planning

I’ve posted about meal planning and food costs before because it is our #1 money pit budget-wise – well, “actual-wise” really…

I added a new banner advertisement on the right of this blog because it is something that we have used for health and to keep costs down.

A few years ago, I wrote about e-meals (then it was called e-Mealz) and we were excited to try it out. It was a GREAT time saver, and we found that it did keep us more on track when we were disciplined enough to actually buy all the ingredients in one day and plan during the week. But then we got kids…

And it went on the back-burner.

Then, I started back on Weight Watchers and used the Portion Control version. But then we found out that we had to move to a non-processed diet to help our kids with their special needs.

And it went on the back-burner.

But then…they came out with their “Clean Eating” plan and we were back in business!!!

So, here I am to remind you about them, because I am so pleased that they have adapted so well to what the consumer needs, all while keeping costs down. Click on the banner below if you want more information, and if you try it out, let me know what you think!

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!

We missed the halfway point!

Yesterday, after getting caught up on my numbers, I noticed something that bears mentioning…

We are at 51% paid-off!

Wait, what?!? We rolled right past the 50% celebration! Oh, no!

Well, the great news is that we’ve reached this milestone. I’m a little “sad” that it has taken us 4 years to reach this point, but I’m still thankful. It isn’t like we haven’t had some set backs during this time and there was that whole year where we were just in survival mode as we were adjusting to our new family reality. That being said, my spreadsheet and Quicken seem to think we can knock the rest of this out in 20 months, so LET’S DO THIS THING!!!

I’m back, but without the stabby…

Hey there!

I can’t ever hear the words “I’m back” without seeing Jack Nicholson’s face at the door, so I wanted to clarify that my declaration was not of the murderous variety, but just to let you know that while I’m not going to be able to blog up to the level that I want, I can am going to try to do the monthly updates AT A MINIMUM.

Here are the updates:

  • My husband got a job at the beginning of the year after 10 months of not working! (slightly more income than unemployment, lol)
  • Our adoptions were finalized! (losing our foster care payments, but gaining two special needs kids)
  • I’m on track to graduate this year!
  • Our car is breaking down (my husband is the total champ, filling it with water everyday, instead of paying the $2,000 to get our 11-year-old, 190,000 mile Saturn repaired).
  • We’re hoping to move this summer to a place that has storage and a yard (rental – we’re in no position to buy).

There’s the brief update – thanks for hanging in there if you are still reading!

March 2013 :: Goals

Our goal for March is to pay $1,900 toward our debt. Taking into account the interest that will be charged ($323) , the net will be $1,577.

So our totals at the end of  March should be:

Credit Card Debt      ::  $ 17,930.61
Taxes Owed            ::  $        00.00
Car Loan                 ::  $  9,107.50
Tuition                   :: $    1,205.66
Personal Loans        ::  $        00.00

Total Debt*              ::  $ 28,243.77

*does not include school loans

And now for the Savings Goals Рat the end of  March, we aim to have:

Regular Savings  :: $   190
Emergency           :: $   550

Total Savings      :: $   740

According to Quicken, our debt-free date is :: November 2014.

February 2013 :: Report

Debt Reduction

Here is where we were after 2.28.2013:

Credit Card Debt               :: $    18,723.66
Taxes Owed                   :: $            00.00
Car Loan                        :: $       9,381.81
Tuition                           :: $       1,705.66
Personal Loans                 :: $           00.00

Total Debt*                        ::  $ 29,811.13

*does not include school loans

_______________________________________

Budget

I’ll have to come back to this – I wanted to get an update out there and not have anything else delay me, so this will wait ūüôā

Savings

Where we landed at the end of February:

Regular Savings  :: $     140
Emergency        :: $      00

Total Savings      :: $   140