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Another Car – Need?

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We’ve been a one car family for several months now. It’s really not been too bad.

You  can read about when Sea Cadet totaled his car the day I picked up our new to us car. We were a two car family again for about 1 hour.

Sea Cadet in his fanny pack t-shirt my sister sent him for Christmas.

Since then, I’ve had to drive him everywhere and lost my help/backup for getting the younger kids to their sports.  But I’ve saved a lot on no extra gas for him.  After the wreck, he got a part time job within walking distance and as December he is paying $25 per week towards our car insurance. (I tried to cancel his insurance, but as long as he has a license he must remain on the policy.)

He’s had a GREAT attitude about all he’s had to give up as a result of the car loss. Really great! And I would really like him to have a car again. Not just to take some of the pressure off me, but to give him some freedom again.

Cadet’s Responsibility

This is my thoughts, I am really interested in your feedback on this.

  1. Cadet get a job he can walk to and work steady hours – check!
  2. He must pay $25 per week towards car insurance (his went up after the wreck and he’s being insured against a much newer car which also affects the rate) – check!
  3. Sea Cadet saves $2,500 towards a new car.

When he has the $2,500 saved. All but $500 will come to me to put towards the purchase of another car. The $500 will remain untouchable to cover car expenses/maintenance starting out.

Purchasing Another Car

At that point, I would do one of two things:

  1. Pay the $2,000 towards our current car, which would leave us with less than 1/2 the original balance. I would then “give” him our current car (2012 Chevy Impala) to drive. And I would purchase another car for me.  The reason this is my first choice is that our current car does not get the greatest gas mileage and I drive A LOT. I would have to either dip into my savings a bit or finance about the same as this car cost me, but I think my interest rate would be lower now (or rather by then.)
  2. Take the $2,000 and find another used car for him, older, cheaper insurance. I bought his 1996 Honda Accord for $1,900 so I assume I could get a slightly newer one for $2,000.  We’ve put $1-2,000 in it over the last several years. (I bought it when the twins were 15.)  Thinking of the cost of the car, probably maintenance over the next couple of years, this car would cost just about 1/2 of option #1 in my mind. But would be cheaper insurance wise.

There are lots of other considerations, cost of insurance, etc. but these are the basics.

But then I go back to, is this a need or a want? Right now, it’s probably a want. We can make it work with one car. It’s not always comfortable for either of us…

  • He must stay at school all day 7am-9pm instead of getting to go home after classes;
  • Just call me chauffeur, I drive to all his activities and the kids activities rather than him taking on some of that;
  • I pick him up from work when he works late because it’s very cold and for safety and so on.

I must caveat this with, I anticipate saving $2,500 will take a minimum of 3-4 months if he is super diligent. This is not something I am taking on now. Just thinking down the road.

Tell me your thoughts?

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57 Comments

  • Reply Laura |

    Do you have another job lined up when this one ends? If not I would not be buying another car, or any other major purchase. If he can save for enough for a used car on his own then great, but you aren’t really in a position to buy another one right now.

  • Reply Angie |

    Call me old school but now that he’s in college I’d say advice is all you can give. It’s time for sea cadet to make his own decision. If he wants a car he can make it work to buy one at it’s real value. Unfortunately you aren’t in the position to be gifting your grown children cars. Giving him a discount on your car so you can finance a different one is not an option. No issue with that. I bought my own car when I was a freshman in college. One of my proudest memories!

  • Reply Scooze |

    You can get a beater for under $1000. Have him save up for it himself. And can’t he beg rides from friends in the meantime? You literally cannot afford to buy a car – and pay the upkeep – right now.

  • Reply jp |

    I agree with the others. He’s in college; he’s already totaled one that was gifted to him. And you cannot afford it.

  • Reply margann34 |

    This is a WANT!  Do not finance another car!  With your job uncertainty, you need to be reducing financial commitments, not taking on additional ones. You should keep driving your car and paying it down.  You should both save up some cash till you can by a cheap car.  How does him "needing" a car justify financing a newer car for you.  It doesn't!  That is broke people thinking which will keep you broke.  All he needs is a car that runs well enough to get him to work and school. You can probably get that for $1000-$2000.

  • Reply Walnut |

    Maybe because I grew up in a rural community, cars are generally needs in my mind, not wants. That said, I think it would be awesome if Sea Cadet handled this purchase on his own and you provided guidance.

    I think he should save up money until he can purchase his own car (as well as tax/title/license). He should do research on where to get cheap used cars (Craigslist?) and on auto shops that will do a mechanical check and any repairs needed on the car he eventually purchases.

    If you want to read up a little more on beater cars, Six Figures Under has a long history of buying beaters.

  • Reply Jennifer |

    Getting out of debt is uncomfortable. Your history of loosing housing and the huge shedding of possessions is enough to scare ME straight why is it not enough to scare you straight? There is no way you should be involved in a car purchase.

    • Reply Lynly |

      Exactly! I check in with your journey from time to time and am always dumbfounded by what you haven’t learned from your past bad choices/set of circumstances. Wow.

    • Reply Hope |

      To be honest, the shedding of possessions is one of the best things that has ever happened. That in and of itself has changed my/our lives for the better tenfold.

      As for the car purchase, it’s a decision for down the road, not something I am really worried about at this time.

      • Reply Anon |

        Hope, comments like this make you look delusional. You did not purge your items purposefully. You were forced out of your home. You were forced to abandon your family pets. Let’s not pretend you made this choice

      • Reply Jen |

        Maybe it’s rude, but if she keeps making bad decisions like this, that’s where she’ll end up again.

          • Jen |

            Maybe people are tired of seeing Hope write, and tired of people coddling her in her continued refusal to actually be constructive about her situation. She takes one step forward and 3 steps back constantly. She is always on the brink of disaster, but instead of doing anything smart–we’ve got to send the kids to summer camp. We’ve got to put them in expensive competitive sports. We’ve got to buy the kid a car.

            I understand wanting to give her kids the moon, but it’s financial idiocy in her situation. And yet she keeps.doing.it. Her insistence on doing things her way has ended up with her homeless before—what’s going to change this time?

            Maybe people are rude because they’re tired of this bullcrap. They’re tired of seeing someone make excuses and ignore sound advice, when there could be another writer out there who’s actually serious about reducing their debt. Hope isn’t. Hope does want hope wants to do. So instead of seeing someone actually make progress and learn something, we get to watch a trainwreck on a constant merry-go-round.

          • Laura |

            It may be rude and sound harsh but what is going to happen if Hope doesn’t start making better decisions? She is losing her job in a couple weeks. Now is it that time to take on another payment.

          • cwaltz |

            Jen
            I haven’t been on this site long but in the time I have I think you are overstating when you say things like “hope does what hope wants to do.” She didn’t want to put her kids in public schools- She did though.

            I also think you are over stating when you say she takes one step forward and three steps back. As far as I can see she says she paid off her computer, her amazon and has savings. That sounds like forward to me- not backward. Has she made decisions I wouldn’t? Sure. Does that mean she is an idiot “ignoring sound financial advice?” No. It means she is a human being who may have different priorities than me and that she is doing her best to balance those priorities while trying to fulfill her commitment to paying down debt.

            As far as making stupid choices- welcome to what it means to be human. We all make mistakes. We all hope when we make them that people will BE KIND. We hope they remember that they aren’t perfect either. And we hope that when we make mistakes we can learn from them.

            If you are really tired of reading her and her struggles- here’s a bit of sound advice for those of you “tired of this bullcrap.”(since there are some of you apparently into always following sound advice) IGNORE HER POSTS. No one requires you come here and read her. Or reach out to the owner of the website and offer them an alternative writer. As it stands right now it appears the owner of this website is not in agreement with you and has given her a forum to post her financial journey. For the record, most journeys are not straight lines. They are not necessarily without bumps or pit stops. They sometimes have non picture worthy moments. They don’t all look the same. It’s ridiculous to disparage someone because you think THEIR journey doesn’t look the way YOU want it to and she isn’t moving fast enough to suit you.

      • Reply Nena A |

        It is the truth, this is what will happen if Hope does not get it together. She continues the same behavior and expects different results and no one here is willing to tell her the harsh truth. I’ve been following for years and there has been very little progression, all due to her bad decisions.

  • Reply Reece |

    The replacement car is definitely a want. I understand why you “need” a 2nd car because of convenience but you can’t outlay the funds for this right now because of your debt and the job situation. Sea Cadet will be able to save the money and buy what he can afford within just a few months. I know you want to give your kids the world, but you have to be realistic about this issue and make stability your priority. That means stockpiling cash in your emergency fund right now so you don’t find yourself in a precarious housing situation again.

  • Reply zyggypyggy |

    It seems to me that you are looking for a way to justify purchasing a newer car for yourself. With the uncertainty that you have in your current job situation I would not be financing another vehicle.

  • Reply SMS |

    I agree with the above commenters that this is not the time to get involved in another car purchase. With your guidance, he should purchase the car himself.
    And Nena A – your nastiness is unwarranted.

    • Reply Nena A |

      What do you mean unwarranted. She was just there due to bad decisions. Now she is making more bad decisions, so that is where I see her going. She needs to grow up and face reality and I am not okay with everyone coddling her.

      • Reply cwaltz |

        She hasn’t made a decision. Which part of “thoughts?” at the end of her post did you have problems understanding?

        At least wait to berate her until after she has made a bad decision instead of just assuming she automatically will. Sheesh.

        • Reply Anony |

          I agree with Nena. What part of putting your kids within a month of being homeless doesn’t sink in for Hope? I honestly am beginning to think she is a little off. A year ago she was homeless and she now spends 6 grand a month while spending on extravagant things like volleyball for a couple thousand that her kid doesn’t like. I don’t get it. Its like she has a weird entitlement for her kids while spending herself into the poorhouse.

          • Sarah |

            I think you are all being nasty. She asked for advice. I don’t think you can say anything bad until she makes a decision you don’t agree with. She hasn’t made a decision…she is pondering and thinking out loud. Give me a break.

  • Reply cwaltz |

    PS I’m going to gently remind you that you are doing well. You paid off the computers. You paid off the Amazon. You have a healthy reserve for EMERGENCIES. Your kids are enjoying their new school. You are looking to reduce expenses until your income stream is stable, not increase them.

    Tell Sea Cadet it’s time to start planning and saving for HIS car purchase. He should start by looking at the prices of cars and when he starts finding inexpensive ones calling the insurance companies to find approximate costs for insurance on said car.

  • Reply debtor |

    Well!
    One can never say that the comments section of your posts are dull Hope.

    I think you know the answer to this question. The fact that you say you prefer the first option means you really just want a new car and are looking for a way to justify it.

    I think I have said this before, you should try and work on these words “i can’t afford it”. Just because something is good or something is better doesn’t mean you are able to have it in your life. It sucks. But that’s life.

    From what I see here, it seems like you sacrifice for a stretch of time and then think, okay i’ve been “good” for this while so i “deserve” something good. I think this is a very common American thing and something that keeps people poor for a while (because it’s a cycle). The fact that credit exists helps to fuel this. I was raised in a country that doesn’t have credit and I see the difference. Whether people want to or not, they literally can not buy something until they have the cash. Pretend that is your life and I think that would help change your situation faster instead of this treading water you have been doing for the last 5-6 years.

    A loan, credit cards, mortgage all that is spending money you don’t have. You also don’t have guaranteed income so where is the money to pay this going to come from. You can’t buy a new car Hope because you can’t afford it. The long days your son has to endure, the loss of free time, the stress of being a chauffeur and not being able to use the time for something more productive is your reality. That’s just your life for now and I think you should stop trying to find ways to pretend it isn’t so.

    Your son can save until he is able to buy a cheap car that will get him from A to B. Yes, a newer car might last longer than a beater car but you can’t use that to justify why therefore it makes sense to buy a new car because you can’t afford it.

    One last thing to illustrate my point. Per unit, it is probably cheaper for me to buy certain things from Costco or sams club (toilet paper being a great example) however, you have to buy more units to get that discount and the cash amount is higher. So I could pay say $40 for 40 rolls at sams club or $10 for 5 at target. My hhold budget for the entire month is $50 so I can’t take advantage of the discount sams club is offering. It wouldn’t make sense for me to go about borrowing money from people to buy the sams club TP even though it is “better”

  • Reply drmaddog2020 |

    Oh don’t do this. You are losing your job next month. You should be intensively looking at ways to decrease expenses, not increasing. I too bought my first car as a freshman in college, and took better care of it than friends who had much nicer cars bought by their parents.

    Other options could include a motorcycle? A scooter to get around town? An electric bike even? He could look into any and all of those.

  • Reply Angie |

    I understand the issue of transporting kids and it makes life easier to have 2 cars. But with your job situation, this is not a reality. Save your money and Sea C needs to save his. How about going to goodwill and buy a bicycle for him? Exercise and saves $$$$

    • Reply Hope |

      He does have a bike; which he rides to work reguarly. Unfortunately, everything else in our lives in 30-45 minutes away so biking is not feasible.

  • Reply Malady |

    Hope I agree with cwaltz. You are doing well – and you can keep doing well. I have faith in you.

    Sea Cadet is in college. He needs to make his own car purchase. My mum and dad were in a far stronger financial situation than you are and made me buy my own car and pay all associated expenses at that age and it was excellent. He’s a young adult. You give him guidance but let him make his own decisions and pay his own way. The whole point of good parenting is raising kids who can launch. Let him launch!

    IF, once he gets his own car, he’s helping you by running the kids around, then by all means throw him some petrol money. Nothing excessive. But help him cover costs incurred IF he’s saving you time and money doing the running around yourself.

    You really should be keeping that laser focus on getting your debt down, getting a new job, getting yourself to financial security. Keep on.

  • Reply Mary |

    I totally understand why you want to make your kids your top priority. You want to provide for your family as best as you can, and it’s natural to have such a desire to do so. Your kids are so lucky to have a mother like you, someone who is kind, caring, and with such a generous heart. But as others have said, with a looming job loss, it’s probably not the best time to take on more debt. It sucks that your son has to stay in school until 9pm, and I get why you want to buy him a car because you feel bad of his struggles. But these struggles will definitely help him grow into adulthood. We can’t be sheltered forever.

  • Reply JayP |

    I would say to think this through before making any deal with him. If you agree to do this, and he saves the money, you will be obligated to follow through with it – and you might not be in a position to do that then. I would agree with the other posters that both you are doing a great job with your family AND that you are probably in more of a “hair on fire” financial situation, much more than you think. You make good money, and I bet you would be surprised how much things change once you turn that corner. I’m proof – once you do the hard part and get these debts cleared your net worth and financial situation will improve exponentially. But the trick is that you have to do the hard part NOW, and then the benefits will come later. Unfortunately there’s no way to rush it. Getting anything today and paying for it tomorrow is the recipe for being broke forever.

    • Reply Hope |

      Very good point about the obligation. I appreciate your sentiments and appreciate the way you presented him.

      I lean more toward a car for Sea Cadet being a need, especially over the next couple of years, but as for how to go about it…I think him taking the bulk of the responsibility would be the best financial decision.

      This is a decision we will have to review a number of times before it is finalized. I appreciate everyone’s guidance.

  • Reply Sarah |

    Hope, do not buy a new car unless it is a beater that Sea Cadet can afford. Do not give him your car to use and you get a better car. That is a terrible decision. It will cost you far more than the cost of gas.

    If he can save the money, he can get a car to get around. He can buy a cheap car where insurance will be cheap.

  • Reply Carina |

    I wouldn’t get another car at all right now but definitely don’t do option 1. Driving a lot, etc doesn’t justify you needing a new car. If you want to advise him to save $2500 then let him do just that and then he can buy a car for 2500 or less. It will teach him an important value of saving and paying cash for items instead of taking on monthly debt payments while in college.

    My mom cosigned for me on a brand new car at age 18… I made enough money for the payment and gas. While we ate off the value menu everyday so she could drive her nice car and I could drive mine. She taught me nothing but bad financial habits by doing that. Luckily, I wised up real quick to how stupid it was to have debt like that and didn’t continue to follow in her bad financial footsteps. If I hadn’t -wanted- that new car so bad and gotten it, then I could have funded my college instead of a depreciating vehicle. Vehicles are financial traps and money pits.

  • Reply angie |

    If you are thinking gymnast might switch to a school sport soon in leiu of gymnastics would you consider renegotiating your work committment? As I recall him schooling and sports were the reason you could not meet office hours. I know it’s not a great place to work but swallowing your pride to collect a paycheck a little longer may be in your beat interest.

  • Reply Ruby |

    If someone has a lot of money, they might spend to save time and for convenience. Ie pay for house cleaning services rather than take the time to do it themselves. If you don’t have money, then you need to sacrifice time and convenience.

    Awhile ago, we totaled our car, our only car, shared between 2 people. We went without any car for 1 year, because we did not want to take on additional financial burdens. Even though we are debt free with only a mortgage and could easily afford it. Because of upcoming possibly quite expensive medical treatment, we chose to play it safe. Our city does have public transportation, but the hours and schedule are not great. Grocery shopping becomes a 3 hour ordeal. It is definitely inconvenient, but it was still the right choice.

    You really need to shed more of our debts before this becomes even a dream on the horizon. This is going to be a long slog. I feel like you are constantly looking ahead at the next thing, and constantly changing your plans, when you really need to buckle in for the long haul.

    • Reply debtor |

      i posted a really long comment that somehow got deleted that basically said this. i’ll try and summarize

      Hope I think you haven’t grasped “i can’t afford this”. I have noticed that you sacrifice for a little while and then seem to think that you have been “good” so now you can treat yourself. But it doesn’t work like that because you are poor and that’s life.
      How can I be poor? I make $xxxx a month. Yes, but look at what is outstanding. Now that I’m writing, I would recommend reading rich dad poor dad. It’s an old book (And i think there was some scandal about the author) but it does a good job about explaining being high income low asset earners. Right now, you are too dependent on your salary and if something happens to cut that off, you are screwed – which means you are not financially stable. Which means you shouldn’t be paying for conveniences and your son might have to be “unlucky” and spend longer days in school than necessary.

      Just because something is better doesn’t mean you can have it or you should. I grew up in a different country where credit is not a thing and so people literally have to have the cash to do something before they do. Credit cards, loans, mortgages etc blur the lines here and I think it makes it really hard for folks to move forward. Because you can always stay afloat. If things get really rough, open another credit card before your credit score is hit and keep on charging and paying minimums without a clue as to how all that money will be paid back (i know you pay off your cards right now, just illustrating).

      Anyway, I’m glad you posted here first. That’s a change from the past where I think you would just have announced. Deep in your heart, I think you know the answer to your question. The fact that you are leaning towards option 1 seems to suggest you are looking for a reason to justify a new car.

      Believe me, all of us on this blog have to fight the same battle – everything can be justified. When I travel, I think about how much more productive I would be when I am going somewhere i have to work if I traveled business class (especially internationally). If I had more money, I would definitely buy business because I see the value in that product. But I don’t make enough to justify the expense and so I have to just suck it up.

      I assume you want to get out of debt. You have to focus on the long run and stop getting distracted by the short term things. Your son is old enough, let him save and buy a beater car. He’ll be fine and learn the value in saving from the process (and i bet he will treat that car like a baby to make sure it stays working).

    • Reply Hope |

      We too have used bikes; unfortunately, with everything so far away in this small town it’s not something we can do for most things. Sea Cadet does walk/ride or bike to his job.

      And I agree, taking on a car payment is not the best financial decision at this point. This post was written to share my thoughts and with the caveat that we were months from any real consideration. Thank you for your feedback.

  • Reply revdrmd |

    Hope, you asked if this second car is a need or a want. I think this is a want. When you obtain another job, it may become a need. I am praying for you as you look for a new job. I think you made a brave and hard decision to send your children to public school instead of continuing to home school them. Thanks for asking for the advice of this forum. While some comments were probably hard to hear, it shows that you are willing to listen and ask for input so you do not make the same mistakes you might have made in the past. Courageous action on your part.

  • Reply Mindy |

    If you have to ask a group of strangers on the internet whether or not something is necessary, chances are it isn’t. With the looming loss of your full-time income, this seems a really lousy time to take on additional debt, especially when he can purchase a car on his own if he can save the money. My question for you is – are you able to make a plan and stick to it? The answer would seem to be no. Whenever you make some progress towards your financial goals, you sabotage yourself with some expensive “necessity” that is anything but – new computers, camps, and now potentially a second car? I get that life throws curve balls, but there really does seem to be a pattern to your decisions that doesn’t serve you or your family well in the long run.

    • Reply Hope |

      Hi Mindy,
      I’ve actually been making baby Plans since last fall and have hit every single one of them. This method seems to work for me. I need the short term sprints rather than the long distance goal.

      And you are right, more debt is probably not a good idea. This was just putting my thoughts out there, something I’ve been encouraged to do since starting here.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    I definitely see how having a second car in the family would help out a lot with logistics. Whether this is need or a want is a bit in a gray area, but since you’re able to manage as is, I think the scales tip a bit towards the want side. Given this, I think it makes sense to wait on a decision until after you’ve gotten your employment situation figured out. If you decide to help Sea Cadet out on this purchase, it might be a good idea to also make him cover the additional cost of collision insurance to protect your investment against another potential loss.

  • Reply Marzy-d |

    Hope, I think we can see how all the decisions you make are for your childrens benefit. When there is something that would benefit your children, you move heaven and earth to get it for them – like computers, camps, cars. But what I think people are saying is that by focusing on getting them everything that makes their lives better now you are putting yourself in a position to not be able to give them what they need later. Think about what the priorities should be for your children. First a stable look ving family above all. You got that! Your children are well loved, and you guys are a beautiful family. Next, a stable home that they feel is always there for them. A place of safety to return to. Do they have that? You need to be in a financial position to maintain their home. Do you have that? When you are stably employed, with a six month emergency fund, thats when you will have that. They will not need to fear another sudden move in which they have to give up beloved pets to keep their family together. I hope that doesn’t sound harsh – I am just trying to frame it so you think about what is truly in the children’s best interests. Once you have the home base stable, then is soon enough to start thinkng about education. Then clothing and transportation. When you have clothing and transportation, then you start Thinkin about extracurriculars. Again, not to be critical, but have you thought about the fact that if you hadn’t bought all new computers, that money could have bought a car? Or camp? That would have been a nice car. Of course you didn’t need a car then, so you went ahead and spent the money, without considering you didn’t have the reserves to keep the children’s core needs met if something were to happen, as it did. No one is here to tell you not to spend money on the kds. You clearly should since that is personally your highest priority. But think about what the children really need in the long term, not just what makes their lives nicer now.

    Wishing you all the best Hope. You are a great mother. Don’t let the negativity of certain posters knock you down, we are all rooting for you. Even the harsh people are rooting for you. They see a cliff ahead, and don’t want you to fall off, and their warnings are not always nicely phrased. But we all want you to suceed, and I know you will do it.

  • Reply Katie |

    I’ve read this blog since it’s inception. Please go back and read some of Tricia’s posts. She did everything she could to get out of debt. There are some pretty extreme examples of things she delayed and denied herself to make that happen. They lived with just enough to meet their needs. Basic, human needs – food, shelter and some clothing. Don’t sabotage your journey by piling on another debt.

    I’ve observed that you seem to thrive on chaos, and sometimes create it. You pay off a debt, then take on another. You cobble together multiple jobs and insisted on homeschooling, rather than accept a full-time job and a public school schedule. You have your kids in sports that involve a huge commitment of time and money. I’m a minimalist, and your journey stresses me out.

    • Reply Hope |

      Wouldn’t life be boring if we were all the same.

      This post was just a view into my head, not a decision to take on more debt. And I think if you saw us in real life, you would realize just how minimal we are. And how organized. I have to be to make everything happen on a single income, with a single driver and everyone doing different things.

      I enjoyed Tricia’s journey too.

  • Reply Hope |

    I will be honest, I haven’t read all of your comments on this post.

    I wrote this post because many encouraged me last fall to put things out there BEFORE making decisions. This is on my mind.

    We are months away from any real consideration of another car. But it is on my mind so thought getting readers feedback on the situation would be helpful. Bashing, belittling and degrading…not helpful. Just saying.

    Tomorrow I will spend a total of 5 hours in the car getting 3 kids to and from school, 1 kid to and from a dentist appoint, 1 kid to and front gymnastics, 1 kid to and from volleyball and 1 kid to and from police explorers. IF we had a second car, this time would be cut down to 2 hours as Sea Cadet could handle the bulk of the driving. That is what I think about…3 hours of work time for me vs 3 hours of drive time. THAT is why I wrote this post.

    • Reply Nena |

      You could totally cut down on driving if you didnt think volleyball, gymnastics and police explorers was more important than having an indoor bathroom. Never in my life have I heard of someone spending thousands of dollars in extracurricular activities but not having an indoor restroom. Your priorities are ridiculous

      • Reply Hope |

        This comment makes no sense. We’ve always had indoor plumbing. And if you are referring to the 9 months we lived in the camper, which also had indoor plumbing, I wasn’t paying a dime for kids activities at that time, they were all bartered for.

    • Reply Jessica |

      I wont even get into the fact that it already seems like you’ve made your mind up about the car. I just want to reply and say yes, that’s a lot of time in the car – it’s called being the single mom of busy teenagers. Buying a car for your college age son isn’t the solution – don’t put the burden of driving the others around on him. Should he be a helpful member of the family? Absolutely! But he’s in college now and that’s his main priority, not taking some of the daily work away from you.

      • Reply Hope |

        I haven’t made up my mind…I have months to think about it. No more rush decisions here.

        As for putting the burden on my son…it’s all about logistics, if all their activities are 45 minutes away, there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to take them. I don’t ask him to go out of his way. I’m taking him to school, him to police explorers, believe me, he’s not taking on any daily work, just taking kids that would be going the same way.

    • Reply Katie |

      In your situation, I see the solution as cutting back on the activities that require that time in the car, not adding a debt that you can’t afford. Your financial situation is far from secure, please don’t make it worse. We’ve heard why you can’t carpool to gymnastics, but what about volleyball or police explorers? I grew up in the country on a farm, and my parents could not take me or my siblings to every practice or game. We had to find another way to make it work. And, it was up to the kids to try and figure out the solution, and present it to our parents. That gave us more buy in and taught us to be resourceful.

      • Reply Hope |

        Unfortunately ALL of their activities are in the same city – 45 minutes and another state away so carpooling has not been an option.

        • Reply angie |

          Then isn’t the obvious answer to relocate to that city? I’d imagine the extra rent cost would be more than made up for with gas, maintentance, and extra time to work! Oh and most important YOUR HEALTH. I think there should be more discussion on this blog about how your decisions and stress loads are being paid with your health. And not just the financial cost of care. Stress is the number one contributor to a lot of health problems. By stretching yourself so thin to give your kids everything you are effectively robbing them of time with future you. Please keep that in perspective.

So, what do you think ?