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Where To Begin?

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I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed with where to begin now that the divorce is final.  I feel like I’ve been a racehorse in the starting gate just dying for the shot to fire and the gate to open so that I can return to my open, candid self.  I have so much I want to share and I need to be patient with myself and ask that you continue your patient reading as well.

The first thing I want to share is information about my vehicle.  Through a series of events I am currently driving a 2008 Toyota RAV with just 25,000 miles on it.  It is a long, drawn out story but the most important thing to share is that I am currently not paying a car payment.  This may be temporary until my higher interest debt is paid off, but for now I am trying to gracefully receive the help.  Right after the separation as I was about to take a hit on the minivan and get into something smaller with a smaller loan and smaller payment, my parents were kind enough to bridge a gap for me with a car they were not using.  I was successful in getting out from under the van relatively unscathed considering that we had just purchased it in November 2010.  I intially began the process to trade in my van but thanks to a series of events, I ended up selling it directly for what I owed before signing on the dotted line for the trade in.  It was a stroke of being at the right place at the right time (and it helped that it was a very nice, low mileage Honda Odyssey) and a number of individuals simply looking out for me and getting me the best deal possible.  In that sense, Steve’s poor handling of his departure paid off.  I did not ask for people to help in this way, but I do believe strongly in doing good deeds and that when you do, the blessings come back tenfold.  They came back in the form of my ending up without a car loan payment.  I could not have done this without my parents and it has been a humbling experience.  They did not want to take any money from me and I thought about insisting they take something.  After putting some thought into things and looking at my debt–I humbly accepted their generosity and vowed to tackle the debt even more aggressively.

It is humbling to share this with you and part of me just wants to continue hiding in the shadows on the car info but as someone wise told me, the readers will be persistent.  You do deserve to know if I am keeping this real.  I’m sure many of you will scoff at the fact that I am receiving this kind of help from my parents and I’ll just have to take the lumps.  It does REALLY suck but I am relieved to know that I have the help available and I will do everything in my power to both pay my parents back and pay it forward.

More to come this week but I am tired!  I had a very busy weekend with the kids!  One last thought to share:  My divorce was final on Friday but in light of the events in Connecticut, I couldn’t bring myself to “celebrate” via any social media.  I was reminded by that tragic event that  no matter what we are each going through in life, we don’t have to look far to see others facing much bigger challenges. Perspective. So I got duped by a man. I and my children are stronger for the experience and most importantly, I forgive myself.  Failure would have been to stay in an abusive relationship. There are far worse things than divorce. Remember there is always someone out there facing a much steeper climb than you.   Here’s to a great week!


19 Comments

  • Reply scarr |

    What a wonderful gift! Thanks for sharing your story, and it is quite evident that you are aware of the blessings in your life and are also thankful for them. I am sure there are other ways you can show your family how much you appreciate their help, like you mentioned by knocking out your debt.

    When I was up to my ears in debt and without a job or a place to live (lease was up, roommate moved into a house, and I had no money) my aunt and uncle asked me to live with them. At 26 years old, it was one of the more humbling experiences. Since I didn’t have anywhere else to go, I accepted and spent the next year putting everything I had into paying off my debt (after I found a new job of course). I worked my bum off and tried my best to help my aunt and uncle out as much as possible (cooking, cleaning, ironing, helping with farm chores). And within 16 months my credit card debt was all gone.

    I remind myself everyday that I am lucky to have a great family who could help me out. I also think about my family to inspire myself to remain debt free, and it has been very motivational for me.

  • Reply Marie |

    Congrats on getting out from the car payment, that was a very wise decision.

    God doesn’t always answer our prayers in the way that we wish and he does help us through other people. I am happy that your parents could help. I fully believe car loans are the biggest obstacle for anyone trying to get ahead.

  • Reply Meghan |

    I think that’s great!
    Maybe I’ve missed this in earlier posts but of the two credit cards and one loan you have left, what are the interest rates? Are you trying to snowball or pay the one with highest interest?

    I have a car loan and am working to get out from under it. I will then keep the car. 🙂

  • Reply margot |

    It’s great that you have a little help at a hard time and that your family is in a position to do this.

    If I were in your shoes and if I had the permission of my parents, here’s what I’d do: sell your current, relatively luxurious car, use the proceeds to pay off a really big chunk of your debt, buy a perfectly good used car (like a Civic or Accord or something else reliable but affordable) for $3000-5000. You can get more than enough car for that much money. And I’d value being out of debt more than I’d value driving a luxury vehicle that uses a lot of gas. Of course, your parents might not like that plan which is obviously a deal breaker.

    • Reply Jen from Boston |

      Her parents -loaned- her the car, they didn’t give it to her, so I don’t think selling it is an option. Otherwise, if she owned the Toyota it’d be a worthwhile plan to consider. Unless she needs a larger car for the kids – not just them, but maybe all their stuff. I don’t remember what sort of activities her children are involved in, but I know sports can entail hauling equipment in addition to the children 🙂

  • Reply Shannon |

    I don’t see anything wrong with accepting help. Usually when I offer someone help, I mean it, I WANT to help them. So many people let pride get in the way of accepting help, and really is ridiculous. I know that you will work hard on paying off your debt and getting thru this time the best that you can. Best of luck to you!

  • Reply Denise @ The Single Saver |

    If anyone judges you negatively for accepting help from your parents, shame on them. We all have times in our life when we need help from someone else. Part of being a success as a human is both knowing when to help others and knowing when to accept help. Kudos to you for building relationships in your life that help support you and your kids when support is needed. And congrats on your freedom!

  • Reply Pam |

    Let your parents help. They hurt for you (no matter your age) and want to help. My parents bought all children’s clothes for about 2 years after my divorce, until I got back on my feet (I had been a stay-at-home Mom for 8 years). It made them feel better, and was an enormous help to me. You would do the same for your children and think nothing of it. They feel the same way about you!

  • Reply Den |

    Congrats on the divorce! And I agree that you should let your parents help. As a parent, I would be happy to help my kids in moments of trouble (not to enable them, but to give them a hand up!).

    Would it be helpful for you to set a deadline with them? Such as “Thank you Mom and Dad for this car loan – I plan to only need it for 6 months (or whatever time frame) before I get back on my feet”. Might make everyone feel good about a plan moving forward? Just my thought….

    Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Reply OC Budget Living |

    I don’t think that you should feel bad for having help with the car payments at all.

    I am in a similar situation also in that I am using someone else’s old car for transportation needs ever since my car got totaled. I maintain it but still, I feel bad but sometimes, you have to remind yourself that it’s ok to have people who care about you.

  • Reply Sarah |

    Nothing wrong with your parents helping you out. It sounds like they had a car sitting idle. If they had gone out and bought you a new car and were paying the payments, then that would be different.

    As for Connecticut, our son was rejected from Stanford on Friday. I thought I was going to be devastated but no. It is no big deal. He has a 4.4 GPA. He can go to the local community college for two years. I’m sure he won’t as he has applied to other schools but after what happened on Friday, the events in CT sure put life in perspective.

  • Reply debthaven |

    Congratulations on the divorce Claire! Now you can continue to move forwards.

    I think you have NOTHING to be ashamed of regarding the car. That’s what families are for. I’m sure you have already and will continue to pay it both “back” and “forward” (if that makes any sense lol).

  • Reply Phaedra |

    Woo hoo! That is great news! Now you can start 2013 without the dead weight!

    Don’t feel bad about the car. It was available and I am sure your parents were glad to do it. It sounds like you have done a lot for them and your aunt before she passed away. I am sure they appreciate you!

  • Reply Claire in CA, USA |

    Well, it looks like everyone is supportive of you regarding the car issue, myself included.

    My folks have been so supportive of us over the years. We could be free of all debt if we moved to another state, but I can’t leave my very elderly parents now, especially after all they’ve done for me. My mother-in-law is also supportive, loaning us $3,000 this week to fix my husband’s work truck. Can’t beat an interest-free loan.

    Dave Ramsey talks about getting out of debt so that we can use our resources to help OTHERS. I think that’s, frankly, one of the best reasons. Once you are free of the burden of debt, I know you will be helping those in need, Claire, because that’s the kind of person you seem to be.

  • Reply Janelle B |

    Congrats on getting the divorce proceedings and the car payment behind you. I’m glad you’re accepting help from your parents. They love you, love their grandchildren, and want to ensure you are safe in your travels up and down the highways. They have the ability to provide this assistance right now, and thankfully they raised a daughter who knows when to graciously and gracefully accept a helping hand.

  • Reply Alexandria |

    I think it’s awesome that you were able to let go of the vehicle and the car payment. A definite step in the right direction. & exercises in putting aside pride, and practicing humbleness, are never a bad thing.

  • Reply emmi |

    Don’t ever feel embarrassed or less of a person for letting parents help out, even if you are certain you shouldn’t need it. They will need you. Later. More than they are ever going to want to. It all evens out in the end.

So, what do you think ?