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Buying a Car during a Pandemic

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Ok, I am not buying a car. But I have been keeping my eyes on the prices and check the classifieds weekly. I plan on sticking to the one car plan for Princess, Beauty and I for the fall. However, if Gymnast moves back, that plan may have to change…maybe. As a result, I’m keeping my eyes open and ears to the ground.

I’ve now got $5,000 saved, tentatively ear marked car, just in case. But I truly do not want to buy another car. Not only because my insurance will go up. But more because the logistics of parking at our house with anything more than 2 cars is a PITA especially with 5 people with varying schedules. And when Sea Cadet gets back, we will have 3 cars until he moves out. So adding another car would…oh, I just don’t want to think about it.

Cars and the Pandemic

But I did hear something today that I had not considered…

While a client was here this weekend as I fixed his computer, we got to talking about kids and driving and so on. It has dawned on me recently that we will double drivers in the next 12 months. Princess just got her license. Gymnast just got his permit. Beauty can get her license in December. So all 6 of us will be driving. That was quick!

Anyways, I was telling him my thoughts on adding another car. And Gymnast was chiming in because he is frustrated that I let Princess take the car when she works and to volleyball, etc. so he doesn’t get to drive as often as he wants. And this client called up a local used dealer he knows just to test the waters.

Limited Cars, Higher Cost

He got the owner on the phone with over 20 years experience in the used car business and what he had to say surprised me. It makes sense but I hadn’t thought of it…the pandemic has caused two types of crisis in the auto industry (I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones he brought up.)

  1. Auto manufacturers have pretty much shut down. Between the quarantines and the loss of income to American workers, there’s just not the demand for car.
  2. Banks suspended repossessions, at least until June or July 1st here in Georgia, which I suppose the used car business relies on.

Between those two factors, the cost of a used car is now that of retail car. Not sure those are the right words…the example he gave is what used to be a $2,000 used car would now sell for $4,900. And for a decent used car, the dealer would now have to pay $10,000 but the bank would come back with a too high if they sold it for $11,500, so no financing available.

I’m not sure I explained that right, but the point of the matter is there is 1) a scarcity of cars to be had (not like the toilet paper issue) and 2) the price of those cars is higher than it should be.

Not a Need

I am so grateful that another car is a want and not a need for us. And I’m doubly grateful that for the first time EVER in my life, I have the money to pay cash for a decent used car. Well, it would have been a decent budget until the virus showed up.

For those that have followed me for a while, yes, the little’s dad has consistent said he was going to provide a car for Princess. And I have called him twice over the summer just seeing if he was still doing that or if he had made any headway. Needless to say, nothing there. This is why I have prepared…just in case.

 


73 Comments

  • Reply jj |

    Girl, you’re going to get roasted for this. I can see why you will need another car, but damn. You’d have to end up paying for 2 cars! I hope you can buy the second one in full, and not do another lease/finance situation.

    • Reply Hope |

      I know.
      I will definitely only buy a cash car and I have the cash saved. And thankfully, not a need yet so I have time to be cautious and take my time. And frankly, I do not want to buy another car. So I’m content to drag my feet to wait to see what schools do. If they end up keeping the kids home…problem solved and no additional car needed.

      • Reply jj |

        definitely keep saving, this money can be used elsewhere too! but i understand why you are looking at another car as a theory!

  • Reply Angie |

    So you don’t need a car. Don’t want a car. But you already have 5k earmarked for a car and look for one weekly? Why would you have saved 5k for a car you don’t need? Or do you mean you’d consider using 5k from your emergency fund for a car. All of this sounds suspiciously similar to last time. Please don’t use this post as “evidence” that you needed to finance a newer car because used cars weren’t available.

    You seem to be swimming in cash the last few months and I’m kind of baffled. Extra loan payments. Prepaid tuition. Stacked emergency fund. An extra 5k for a car you didn’t think you needed. I guess business must be going very, very well. Remember to plan and save for the slow times during this hot streak.

    • Reply Hope |

      I don’t currently need a car and I definitely don’t want a car. But IF Gymnast stays AND the schools go back to in person, I will NEED a car. Does that make sense? Definitely not financing anything, will be a cash only car. I’ve always saved for car maintenance, in fact, some time ago, the BAD community got onto me about that. So between that and another large project I completed this month, I have the money ear marked for a car. Definitely not touching my EF.

      And yes, I believe I’ve stated several times how well business is going. April fell off completely, but since then has been steadily growing.

        • Reply Hope |

          You are right…but he would have no way home from school after tutoring or sports as there are no activity buses at the local school.
          Which is why it’s a logistics issue based on him staying here for the school year and school going back in session.

          • Angie |

            Why not choose the activities based on feasibility of getting there? You could also set up a carpool with other families. Or offer payment for rides. Bikes for some rides. Princess can also be choosy about her work shifts to fit into a family schedule. Lots of other families with teenagers make it work. Single parents with two kids (of any age!) make it work. It’s very short-sighted to buy a car just to get back and forth to school and/or activities for less than one year.

            If the younger kids were 10 and 12 (instead of driving age) you would have had to find a way to make it work. So why is that off the table now? I see this as another temporary problem that you are framing as a need.

          • csdx |

            Could it be possible for either you or another to pick them up after activities are done? As a teenager, once I got my license I got pressed into helping with the pickup and drop-off of my siblings and cousins for all their various activities.

          • Hope |

            I only have one driver aside from me and one car. And there are 4 of us.
            The twins will help when they can, but they both work full time and typically work all day until 9pm so they are not typically available to help. Not to mention Sea Cadet is currently in VA (not that we need help right now.)
            But if Princess has the car at school…that leaves Beauty and Gymnast with no ride and me with no car to get them.
            Again, only an issue if school goes back in session and Gymnast stays as he will have to stay for tutoring/sports and not have a bus to ride.
            Believe, I have looked at this every which way. And at this point am not moving on a car…just preparing if the need arises.

  • Reply Jennifer |

    If you know you don’t want or need a car then stop it. Don’t let your kids’ rants bully you into to making a stupid decision. Trust me there are kids Your son’s age who do not have a car
    Your children need to make the one car work
    It takes sacrifice but that’s how you are going to get out of your student loan debt. That 5,000 needs to go directly to your uncle and your kids and you need to stop whining over your wants

    • Reply Hope |

      Whoa! My kids rants? We don’t have any of that here, at least in regards to a car.
      And it’s not about the children making one car work. I only have one child (that doesn’t have their own car) who drives – Princess.
      The issue is a logistics one. And again, it only becomes an issue if Gymnast stays AND school goes back in session.
      There is no bullying or whining going on in regards to the car.
      I’m sorry if you have experienced that in your life.

      • Reply Jennifer |

        I equate ranting to complaining. Let me use the same word you did….do not let your child’s complaining bully you into this decision. Would you rather me say do not let you child’s complaining make you think you need to buy another car.
        When he is driving age/ when this becomes an issue / you only have one driver….this is ridiculous…you have children make them make this work. You try very hard to justify and fulfill wants/needs with a solution that with some thought could be better solved. Your son could strap on his running shoes and run the mile home from school and again the 5,000 and additional insurance costs could go to your uncle.
        I have not experienced any of that from my children, thank you very much. My children walked every day to school…sun, rain, snow.
        We had one car and I have raised six children. Never was it even considered to buy a child a car. If I needed the car I was up early to drive my husband to work, if an older child needed it then maybe my husband took the bus to work and then one of us would get him at night, or if a kid had an activity late maybe a friend drove them home or the walked home. We made it work. Guess what ….six children who have graduated college, we just about own our home, we have no debt, my children have no student loans and way back when my husband was earning $15 an hour and I was doing daycare we had one car and as a team we worked together.

  • Reply Ellen |

    What would you have done if Princess didn’t have her license and Gymnast had come back to live with you, or hadn’t left at all? You would’ve found a way to make it work, so find a way to make it work. You always have a bunch of excuses. I think that’s what gets the BAD community all on your case. You become defensive and try to justify mistakes.
    You had said in a past post that the car you have financed now was supposed to be Princess’ no? How you had gone months without a car and didn’t really need one, but you knew she would be driving soon and it was something that your uncle wanted to help with? Then it all of a sudden its no longer for her, it’s yours and you’re looking to spend more money another one for her.

    I think what Jennifer said above was not meant to stir the pot in the way you took it; again you become defensive. You said that Gymnast was complaining about not being able to drive as much as he would like because Princess has the car when she goes to work. I took it as she was saying don’t let his rants force you into making another financial blunder. Think logically. Buying a used car, you don’t know what you are getting and warranties are gone. A car for $5k will more than likely cause you to have to spend more money in the long run. but it’s your money, do with it what you will.

    • Reply Hope |

      True. But Princess does have her license which is going to free up 2 hours a day of work time that I did not have last year. And I have sold those hours. If I end up having to drive Princess to and from school so that I can pick up Gymnast after school (his school is literally a mile away so does not have that impact,) it will greatly affect my income. This is not an excuse, this is just a fact.

      Again, everything is up in the air. So I am doing my best to be prepared for the “if” situation. And you are right about the used car situation…but I’m certainly not buying another expensive car. I just need one that will get back and forth a couple of miles 1-2 times a day.

      • Reply Laura |

        If the school is only a mile away he can walk home if there is no activity bus. Would he be staying after school every day anyway? You are just looking for reasons to justify a bad decision.

      • Reply Ellen |

        A mile is nothing. He can walk home. I’m sure there’s a lot of us on here that walked home from school everyday. I walked 2 miles home everyday from sports’ practices and clubs in the middle of winter in Chicago. I sound like an old person, next I’ll tell you how it was uphill in 3ft of snow. 🙂 but no seriously, I walked 2 miles everyday, my sons used to ride their bikes to/from summer practices because there was no bus service. The school was 3 miles away. So excuse me if I don’t blink an eye to Gymnast having to walk a mile home.

        Another question. Where is Beauty in all this? Would she be going to the same school as gymnast? What are her needs as far as transportation? I know you said she was saving up for a car and that she can get her license in December. I’m guessing that means she’s working. How is she getting to work now? How will she get to work once school starts? You need to take the fact that she’s getting a car into account here too. She can help, the twins can help. As I said before, you make it work. You find a way. I have said this before, but I don’t agree with buying children cars. Getting a license does not equate to deserving thousands of dollars spent on you. My kids had to save for their new cars. They got full time summer jobs. They would take $100 every paycheck to mess around with and would save the rest. They either bought their first car themselves, (my child that just couldn’t wait to get his first car, starting working at 15 to save up, and bought the car without telling me or his dad what he was doing) or their dad and I matched what they had saved and they got something better. It helps to teach them adult responsibilities. You want something, save for it. Don’t expect other people to buy things for you (cuz it doesn’t work that way in the real world) and learn to not get yourself into unneeded debt.

        • Reply Hope |

          I appreciate everyone saying “make them walk” for Beauty and Gymnast…but NO! We live in a tiny, back woods town where racism is real. (Not that it’s not real every where, but here it is accepted behavior.) I will not have my at least partial African American kids walking down one lane back woods roads to save a few dollars.

          When we lived in Virginia, I would have had no problem telling them to hike it…but not here and not in this racial divisive climate. If you can’t understand that, I’m actually glad, that means you don’t have to worry about it. But we, my kids do, and I refuse to chance it!

          Beauty and Gymnast would attend the same school, and they will be ride the bus to and from school. The issue is there is no activity bus and Gymnast especially NEEDS to be in activities with his energy level.

          Beauty is working. Between Princess and I, we get her to and from work. The good news is that she just got a new job, at the same coffee shop Sea Cadet used to work at. And it’s really close to home (maybe two blocks on main roads with lots of traffic) so push comes to shove, she will be able to walk, during the day at least.

          • Laura |

            If the racism is that bad why are you sending them to this school and living in this town? It’s safe enough to live, work, and school here but a mile walk is unsafe? You are self employed, if it is that bad mov. That doesn’t add up.

          • Hope |

            Right move the kids yet again. Uproot Princess during her senior year.
            When we got here, Princess asked me to promise we wouldn’t move again until she graduated. I am honoring that promise. The kids have moved enough, had enough hardship.
            So yes, they know the boundaries, in the house or a house by dark, no exceptions. They call me if they need to move around after that. Very limited “walk freely” boundaries around our neighborhood. And even that it’s only while it’s light out. Even the girls with their freedom now with Princess driving have a strict, always together policy, I track their phones and so on.
            I’m sorry if this doesn’t make sense to you but I am making the best of a rough but affordable situation…

  • Reply Anon Lawyer |

    Umm, Hope, Gymnast can’t take the bus to school and walk a mile home if he misses the return bus? Really? Or Princess could swing by and pick him up on her way home if the schedule works. Come on.

    • Reply Hope |

      That’s just it the schedule doesn’t work…
      As for walking to or from the school…no. My younger three children are all at least partially African American and we list in a tiny town where racism is alive and well. (Not saying it’s not other places, but it is accepted behavior here.) I will not take any risks with the kids walking back roads in this racial divisive climate.

  • Reply Ash |

    If gymnasts school is only a mile away then perhaps a bike would be a better purchase? You’ve often spoken about how much energy he has so a 2 mile a day cycle should be well within his capacity. You currently don’t know what his or princess’s schedules will be so it’s possible they will dovetail quiet well and there will be no need for a new car.

  • Reply Caroline |

    I’m curious if the three kids are carpooling. I thought most states had restrictions over how many teenagers could be in a car at one time, with one of them doing the driving. Doesn’t seem like that will work in this situation, or is even legal.

    Since you live in a small town, why not have gymnast ride his bike, (with a helmet, of course)? He can get home on his own, since there’s no afternoon bus.

    • Reply Hope |

      They will go to 2 different schools. Princess may take Beauty and Gymnast, but they will typically ride the bus to and from unless they are in activities.

      I’ve written a previous comment on why walking from the school is not an option.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    will gymnast be going to a different school if he stays in Georgia? I thought he left because he was experiencing bullying? I dont think he needs a car at this time. He can take a bus to school in the morning and walk the mile home after school if he has an activity or get a ride from Princess or a friend. You need to learn to say no.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, he will be going to the high school which we have had much more positive experiences with.
      He can’t drive until next summer…I’m not getting him a car. I only have 1 teen driver – Princess. She and I are sharing a car.
      Princess goes to another school up in the mountains, so if she takes the car which has been the plan, I will have no way to get Gymnast from school.

  • Reply Annie |

    Why don’t you have Princess take the bus to school? You said it was $750. That’s is considerably less than the cost of a car. Princess and Gymnast could share the car for a year. Many families have teens share cars. It would also solve the parking issue.

    • Reply Hope |

      Gymnast can’t drive on his own so sharing isn’t necessary. Princess will be off to college a month after Gymnast can get his license.
      If she wasn’t graduating early, they would have shared a car her last year of high school. (She graduating a week after her 17th birthday.)
      I would love to have had them share…the twins did and it taught them many lessons especially about planning and priorities.

    • Reply Hope |

      Two reasons…
      1) I would still need a car to take and pick her up as the bus doesn’t take her to and from our home, it would just get her to town.
      2) She is a three season athlete which means she stays at school until 6pm or later most days. And now we will add her part time job to that, she needs to be able to get herself around.

      I only have one teen driver – Princess. When Beauty is able to get her license in December, she plans to purchase her own cash car. It’s Gymnast staying that will cause the logistics problem…but only if he stays and school goes back in session.

  • Reply Anne |

    I still think there are other options for you to explore besides getting another car. Gymnast could take the bus, and if he has practice after school, he could get a ride home from a teammate (you could even offer to pay the boy or his parents–far cheaper than a car). If you live only a mile from school it wouldn’t be too far out of the way for anyone. You could also meet him at school and walk home with him. Another car would be convenient, but you simply cannot afford another car and the increase in insurance given your current amount of debt.

  • Reply Sue |

    All I see is a bunch of excuses and justifications. I expect you to post in a few weeks about buying a car you can’t afford. Keep putting wants over needs, you will never get out of debt.

  • Reply Jennifer |

    If princess wasn’t driving a $20,000 car all four of you could have had a $5,000 car
    Problem solved get rid of that car!
    A $5,000 car will work for gymnast but not princess. I understand

    • Reply Hope |

      I don’t know how much clearer I can be…Gymnast CANNOT drive. He only has a permit. I am not buying him a car.

      • Reply Jennifer |

        I understand clearly that he does not have a license and will not drive for a year. Totally understand that. What I don’t understand is why you wrote this post? For the year he does not have his license and if he lives with you..,.you need a car to get him from school because the one car that is to be shared by you and princess is unavailable to you because princess must drive to school because the bus option still needs a ride from the bus stop. Gymnast can’t walk the mile because it is unsafe and you promised princess you wouldn’t move. So if gymnast lives with you you will be buying a car …call it your car call it his car call it whatever you want. You will be spending 5,000 to buy a car mark my words
        How about this princess takes the bus. You drive her to and from the stop and you drive gymnast and beauty the mile just home since they can ride to school on the bus.
        I’m sure there is some way this isn’t going to work for you. Your posts intention was to let us know you are buying a car there is no way around it unless gymnast goes back to his father’s house

  • Reply Deb |

    Hope,

    You are justifying buying a car for 5,000 but did not make it a priority to get your children to the dentist for the past year and a half. I just don’t understand it.

    • Reply Hope |

      My one child who has lived with me, Princess, you mean. And you are right, I did not take her to the dentist for a year or so. There have definitely been higher priorities.

  • Reply Angie |

    I can understand your concerns especially in today’s high conflict world. All I can say is that your life certainly always gets more interesting! Does this mean you will continue taking over the HRV car payments indefinitely? Lightening the load for Princess? Also, be prepared for some even crazier insurance rates when your teen is listed as primary driver on a car.

    I looked at craigslist and there are plenty of old Civics and Prius’ available. And they don’t seem that much higher priced than what I would expect. So I’m calling bogus on the car salesman’s claim. KBB sets the prices for used cars. Maybe inventory is lower overall, but his comment is more than likely just a function of the economics of a used car lot. The good news is you could avoid it by buying on craigslist directly. Get the buyer to agree to a prepurchase inspection and you’ll be good to go. Skip the used car dealer completely.

    • Reply Hope |

      I am continuing to pay the car payments. She is continuing to save for college.
      I am also going to continue paying her car insurance while she continues with school sports.
      (I paid her car insurance this summer in exchange for her attending 3 dual enrolled college classes. It’s been a tough summer for her – school, work and the freedom of driving schedule wise, but she’s done it. And I’m very happy with the deal we struck.)

    • Reply Drmaddog |

      A used care salesman seeing an opening and convincing a customer to spend more than they should?? Can’t be, never happens. *sarcasm*

  • Reply jj |

    LMAOOO, y’all are telling her to let her black son run/walk/bike home?! Some of you folks are clueless just the same way you call her clueless.

    • Reply Jennifer |

      We are not clueless Hope never paints the whole picture. For a good portion of this post she says he can’t take the bus because of after school activities. Not one person suggested he walk after she explained why it was unsafe! Don’t call us clueless!

      • Reply jj |

        Three different commenters suggested that he walk home, because it is only a mile away, lol. so if it doesn’t apply to you, don’t be worried.

        • Reply Jennifer |

          Those three people commented before Hope stated her fears. Just because they fall after her explanation does not mean they were posted after

          • jj |

            The suggestions for a Black young man to walk home or bike home alone, are CLUELESS – Hope should not need to explain that to anyone in this day and age. The fact that she has to, says something about the folks who needed to hear her reasoning.

    • Reply Jennifer |

      Not one person told her to have ne’er son walk after she fully explained herself
      Her initial reasoning for needing a car was that he had activities after school that prevented him from using the bus. We are not clueless! We are brain storming ideas to get around her problem that will keep her moving forward to her goals. Our words may seem harsh but we are not clueless or mean spirited

      • Reply jj |

        I already told her she would get flack for even posting this, but people suggesting a black kid walk or bike home alone, makes no sense to me, hence my comment. the fact that people would even suggest in, knowing where she lives and the state of the country, is to me, clueless.

  • Reply Walnut |

    If I were you, I would take that $5,000 slush fund you’re thinking about using for a car and pay it to your student loan right now. You’ll be sooo close to paying it off then and will ensure you knock it out by the end of the year.

    • Reply Hope |

      I have thought about that. But I also don’t want to get into a bind come August should the schools go back to “regular” and I need a car.
      Biding my time to see 1) what my ex and I decide on Gymnast. This will have to be finalized in the next week or so. And then 2) see what schools do. Right now school is slated to start here for Beauty on 8/5 and Princess on 8/10…but with the rise of COVID cases, I have no idea what they will do.
      If we end up “schooling from home”…at least 1/2 of the car money will go towards the student loans maybe more. And believe me, I’m definitely eyeing an end of the year payoff for the smaller of the two student loans. Maybe earlier!

      • Reply Laura |

        You do not need a car! Plenty of people here have offered suggestions that did not include him walking home alone and you dismiss every one. I am sure you will buy one anyone but don’t act like it’s something you NEEDED to do, it’s something you want to do.

      • Reply Walnut |

        If Gymnast and Princess are both living with you, your ex needs to cough up the car to ensure they both can safely transport to and from school. Full stop. Stand up for yourself and be pragmatic about this.

        • Reply Hope |

          Ha, I love how people just say “make him do it.” Your suggestion that I “force” a man who physically, mentally or emotionally abused me for years…and that I have to fight the clench in my stomach every time I have to communicate with him to do something is well, not going to happen. And don’t throw the “you let Gymnast live with him” thing in my face, there is ALOT more to that story, a private story, and if there were any other viable options at the time, it wouldn’t have happened.

          So please consider the history of abuse in my marriage before suggesting I “make” my abuser do something.

          • Walnut |

            I really apologize, Hope. It seemed (through your narrative) that perhaps your ex has been stepping up more now and perhaps is a better resource for providing for the children’s needs than he used to be. If that was the case, I was simply encouraging you to strengthen your language when speaking with him. If that’s not the case, then I understand.

  • Reply Ellen |

    Another thing to take into consideration would be that even if school’s do open back up for in person learning, does not necessarily mean that sports and clubs will be on.

    • Reply Hope |

      True, true. Although Princess’ volleyball training has already started up. She is training 4 hrs a day 3 days a week with her team at the school.

  • Reply Mrs. H. |

    If at some point you find yourself in a situation where you truly NEED a second car (meaning you have exhausted all other possible transportation options for necessary activities) then your only financially responsible choice would be to sell the $20,000 car (probably for a loss, but lesson learned on buying more car than you can actually afford) and replace it with two cheaper, but still reliable cars…which you will then drive into the ground and not even consider taking out a loan to buy another car until your student loans are completely paid off. $5,000 is a lot of money to sink into a depreciating asset when you have huge debt and a lot of money already going toward another depreciating asset. It would be much better used for paying down those loans!

    • Reply Hope |

      I actually mentioned selling the newer car months ago IF the littles’ dad came through with a car and buying a cash car. This is why I haven’t focused on paying down the car. As I am not upside down, it is still worth more than I owe. And I didn’t want to focus on the car only to sell it.

      And believe me, I am exploring all options. But one more “thing” I am considering as I think about cars is…COVID-19. If it gets worse, which most say it will, I must have a car that I can trust to get me to Texas if needed. If something were to happen to my sister who is my parents primary caregiver or my parents, I need to be able to get there quickly and with COVID-19 air travel will cease to be an option, so driving will be necessary. My newer car is super reliable. I am not sure a cash car would be.

      I’m sure the BAD community will say that is an excuse to keep the newer car. But it is something else I think about as I figure out what to do if/when the need arises for another car.

        • Reply Hope |

          You are right. I actually had not thought of that. Just know that I would need to move quickly.

      • Reply Mrs. H |

        IF you needed to get to Texas at a moment’s notice and your owned cars were not reliable enough to get you there (although a 10,000 used car should be plenty reliable if well maintained) it would be cheaper to rent a car for those trips than to continue to pay to own and maintain a car you really can’t afford.

        A suggestion for you is to stop making your everyday financial decisions based on an ongoing list of hypothetical needs. Yes, it is possible you will need to go to Texas…but owning a 20,000 car in preparation for that possibility doesn’t make financial sense. And while it is important to consider potential future needs when making big decisions, it is easy to fall into the trap of “overbuying” in an effort to accommodate any or all possible needs…many of which can be accommodated in other ways for less money.

        I have been guilty of this line of thinking myself…buying rather than renting the wet saw from Home Depot “in case we do another tile project” (we never did), considering a bigger SUV “for when we bring the kids’ friends to the cabin” (cheaper to rent one or drive two cars on those two weekends a year than it is to own and maintain a more expensive vehicle all year), considering adding another bedroom and bathroom in our build to “have a dedicated guest suite” (we have overnight guests maybe four nights a year, it’s more efficient to install a murphy bed in the bonus room).

    • Reply Drmaddog |

      Great idea to sell it, Mrs. H, and one many of us have suggested since last year. And as luck has it, it sounds like Hope now knows a used car salesman who says that used cars sell for twice what they used to. So this one year old Honda that would normally sell for, what, $17-18k would go for $34-36k! Right? Right?? Who wouldn’t sell that car in that setting?? She could buy a $5k car and pay off a couple of her student loans!

      All sarcasm aside, Hope could get up an hour early,work, drive all the kids to the bus stops, work, and play chauffeur again in the evening. If someone else needs the car, no reason for it to sit all day outside a school, and then outside a fast food joint in the evening. Get the other drivers in the house to help out as a requirement for using the car themselves. Walk them to and from school/bus stops. Engage other parents to help with rides for gas money. A LOT of people in this country make do and figure it out when there literally is zero way to pay for another car.

      But within six months, Hope is going to buy another car, would be my bet. And that’s fine. She can buy all the cars she wants. But she can’t do both and have getting-out-of-debt credibility, in my opinion. I think this is another feast/famine cycle of ‘pay down some debt’ then ‘spend money she can’t afford/go back into debt’

      • Reply Hope |

        Funny, am I not clear…there aren’t a BUNCH of other drivers. There are two drivers…Princess and I. (The twins both work full time and have odd hours and shifts so are not available to help.)

        And I actually don’t know any car salesmen…

        • Reply Drmaddog |

          I didn’t say BUNCH. I said other drivers in your house. Including the twins. You live here, you help out. Hey maybe even give them a break on rent for each drive, like you paid for princesses car payments for taking classes

          To quote you:
          “And this client called up a local used dealer he knows just to test the waters. He got the owner on the phone with over 20 years experience in the used car business and what he had to say surprised me“

          And now say you don’t know one? That isn’t clear. It’s contradictory.

          • Hope |

            Not at all…my client knows a car dealer. I don’t. Not contradictory at all.

            As for the twins…one is in VA for the summer. And one works until 9pm every night. They are not around to help with the driving.

  • Reply Mrs. H |

    I can hear Hope’s arguments against this already…”I don’t have enough equity in the car to get anything out of it, so I would still be making payments on older, potentially less reliable cars.” Probably true…but you would be getting the TWO cars you claim to NEED for the same price as the ONE you currently have. If you truly need a second car, you need to figure out a way to get it without putting more money toward your transportation budget…and without blowing the $5,000 cash that is desperately needed to pay down those student loans.

      • Reply Mrs. H. |

        That’s great! Then you should absolutely sell it if a true need for two vehicles becomes a reality. And hopefully never make the mistake of overbuying on a car again. 😉

        I’m glad things are going well for you financially, Hope. You are making good progress. Keep your eye on the prize of being free from those student loans. The benefits of being debt-free (not just financially, but mentally and emotionally) cannot be overstated.

        • Reply Hope |

          Amen! My dad and I talked last week about how my “fear of breaking down and being stuck” has driven many of my bad financial decisions in the past decade since becoming a single mom and feeling like I could only rely on myself. That one incident of my car breaking down and having the two littles in car seats really did a number on me and that was on a busy road. I definitely wasn’t isolated. But that fear is VERY, VERY real in my head. Thankfully a little less now that the kids are mostly grown and responsible.

  • Reply Rosemary |

    Boy this gang just loves a chance to jump all over you and half of them don’t read your posts correctly. You were surmising here but no one gets it. I give you credit for your patience with a particular few who tend to be very nasty and/or bossy (L). You have come a long way over the years. Glad to hear your business is going well.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Rosemary, I have to admit sometimes I am mystified by the reactions…especially since I am just considering the possibilities and plan for a “could be” situation rather than having to be reactive. But after many years here, I have definitely grown tougher skin and more confident that there is certainly a “personal” side to personal finance that many do not consider. You can’t always just look at the numbers…sometimes you have to look at the mental health, the physical well-being and what the person’s end goals are, especially when there are kids involved.

      Thank you for seeing me, hearing me – that really feels good.

So, what do you think ?