Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Remember When Wednesday: The Debt Story Pt 8

To catch up on our Debt Story go HERE

The house was in chaos as I worked on making dinner. Mike was making an attempt at conversation despite the children wreaking havoc around us.
"I think we should sell the car."
"What?" I questioned.
"I said, I think we should sell the car. Or cars."
"Ahaha....haha!" I laughed out loud at the suggestion. "Right."
Mike stared at me, unflinching. "No, I'm serious. Why not?"
I stared back at him, silent now, hoping that my swelling abdomen and the three children screaming while they ran in circles around us would clue him in to the 'why not's'.
"I mean, I was thinking, we could sell the Saturn, use some of the money to buy me another car, then maybe we could sell the Freestyle and get something less expensive."
I continued to stare.
"It's just, we own the Saturn outright, so if we sold it for ... I don't know, $3000, we could put $2500 towards our credit card. Then I could get a cheap old pick-up for getting to and from work and for doing stuff around the house. And if we sold the Freestyle private party we could pay off our loan and probably get something with the money leftover. Even if we couldn't sell it and make money, we could at least get into a car that has a smaller loan. It makes good sense."
"It makes no sense." I picked up our daughter who had just been run over by her older brothers. "Your Saturn gets perfectly amazing gas mileage. I don't want an old truck - we are not in a position to be putting money into a piece of crap car. And the Freestyle is amazing. I'm not giving it up. Did you has a DVD player. I'm not giving that up."
"Honey, think ab-"
"Also, there's a six disc cd-changer and a freaking DVD player."
He sighed loudly and pulled the boys off of each other.
"CD players are old school. They'll be obsolete in a few years."
"Don't lecture me on technology."
"Honey, just think about it. Or, at least, send Dave an email. See what he thinks."
I raised my eyebrows. "Oh, I'm pretty sure I know what Dave will say. 'You want your wife, who stays at home with three children and is pregnant with the fourth, to give up her car so you can fulfill your lifelong dream of having a beater pick-up truck? And you want her to drive a what? A mini-van from the '80's? Ah...' I'm pretty sure Dave will tell you to suck it."
"I'm pretty sure Dave Ramsey has never said suck it in his life."
"I'm pretty sure he'd say it to you."
We stared at each other, each of us holding a screaming child - while the other jumped up and down begging for someone to pick him up too.
Mike bent down and picked up the other boy, one in each arm now.
"Perhaps we should talk later. You know...when we're less crazy," he suggested calmly.
I gestured violently toward my stomach. "In case you haven't noticed," my voice was escalating, "we have a lot more crazy left!"
"Isn't pregnancy fun?!" his voice escalated back.
As maturely as I could muster I yelled out, "YOU CAN FINISH MAKING DINNER!"
I spun around, marched into our bedroom, screaming daughter on my hip, and slammed the door behind me.


I felt bad about the exchange the night before. I knew Mike was trying to think of ways to get us out of debt sooner so we could get back to living a normal life. I knew I couldn't give up the car and I knew getting a beater was out of the question. I knew Mike was being stupid. So I sat down and typed out an email to Dave.

Hi Dave,

We are on Baby Step #2 and have a question about our car. We have one car paid off that my husband uses to commute. It gets great gas mileage, but we can sell it and use a good chunk of the profits towards our debt and have enough left over to get him something else to commute in. He would like to buy an old beater truck and I'd like him to buy another commuter type car that gets decent gas mileage so we don't have to worry about rearranging the gasoline portion of our budget. Should we sell the car to obtain our goals more quickly, and if so, what should we replace it with?
Thank you for your time,

I knew how this was going to go. It was going to go my way. Because I was pregnant and I was right. I was sure of it.


I sat down with the Total Money Makeover and began reading where I had left off. Dave was talking about being so intense in getting out of debt that everything else (almost) takes a back seat. He said to start selling things, sell so much that the kids think they are next. Heh heh. I liked that idea. And then he said ...

"I do recommend that most people sell the car with the most debt on it...If you have a car or a boat that you can't pay off in eighteen to twenty months, sell it. It is just a car. I used to love my car, too, but I found keeping that huge debt while trying to get out of debt was like running a race wearing ankle weights. Get a Total Money makeover, so later you can drive anything you want and pay cash for it. ... 'I love my stupid car more than the idea of becoming wealthy...' Don't make that mistake."

I let out a low groan. I hate it, loathe it, when I am wrong.
I sheepishly approached Mike.
"So, um...Dave says that um...well, I guess maybe we could think about possibly selling the car. Or cars."
"Oh, Are you sure he didn't say to suck it?" He smiled at me sideways.
"I'm sorry."
"I know."
"So, what do we do now. Do we sell both cars? Or just one?"
Mike smiled at me full on now, happy that I was on his side.
"I was thinking we could sell the Saturn. I've been looking at cars that will be big enough for our family and it seems that if we sell the Freestyle we'll still have to get a loan for another car - about $10-12,000. It doesn't really make a huge difference since we only owe just over $14,000 on the Freestyle. So, I think we should sell the Saturn and keep the Freestyle."
I was so relieved. So very relieved.
"What," I asked, "do you think we should buy to replace the Saturn?"
"Well...I've been wanting to start getting in shape. What if we bought a bicycle for me to ride to work?"
I tried not to laugh. "Honey, you work almost 20 miles away. Also, what happens in the fall or winter when you can't ride the bike?"
"Well ... you just ... stay at home." He tensed up as he said this. I knew he was nervous about my reaction.
I exhaled slowly while I thought about what he was suggesting.
"This is a good year for it, " I said. "With Lincoln starting school and the baby coming I won't really be going anywhere anyhow."
Mike stared at me, pensive.
"I mean it, " I assured him. "I think me staying at home could work. I don't know about the bike thing ... but I think I could stay home for a bit. It'll be an adventure."

So we listed the Saturn on Craigslist for $3700 and waited to see if someone would bite.

I took a little creative license with this post. Although the events are totally true, I may have exaggerated the drama a teeny bit. It just makes things more interesting, you know? Mike says I should have made him look like the jerk...of course, him saying that is the exact reason I couldn't. That man is too nice to me.

To be continued...


Deputy's Wife said...

We're thinking of selling our new truck for something less expensive. How hard was it to sell your car? I'm pretty nervous about it, because I'm not sure how it works, but the Lord will guide us, I know.

Yellow said...

UGH, There is no way I could stay home! You are brave. Both of our cars are old paid off things and it is so nice to never worry about a car payment!

Momma Hen said...

Deputy's wife: It was pretty easy to sell. It really was a good car that got great mileage so it went fast.
Yellow: Car payments SUCK! Staying home is tough, but it was worth it!