Feeling overwhelmed and down tonight :(
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  1. #1
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    Default Feeling overwhelmed and down tonight :(

    A lot of it stems from the economy, but even that aside, it's frustrating that every time we start to save even a little money, our van breaks down. It's only 3 years old (but we bought it used with low mileage), and it seems every 2-3 months it's in the repair shop with something quite expensive, not to mention the regular maintenance and oil changes, etc. So I'm faced with the reality that as long as we own this car, we will never be able to go beyond our BEF. On top of that, with the economy the way it is heading, I NEED to save money in every way and in every area possible. But that's going nowhere on account of activities for my daughter, car breaking down (as I've mentioned :-/ , and food and gas prices so high. And, breaking news here, now I'm pregnant with #4 (planned, but still a little scary considering all of the above).

    This month got so messed up with the latest car repairs (can you believe it was almost $500 for spark plugs and wires in that thing???? 'Cause they were "platinum." We HAD to get the souped up version (actually, side note, we really did have to get this van, because we were in a car accident and needed a new van like yesterday, and this was literally the only one at around 10 or so dealerships that didn't have over 100,000 miles on it and didn't cost over $13,000)), so we've basically given up for this month. On the plus side, my husband has a side business with money in that checking acct that he can give us for moments like this, but we are trying to use that as a savings buffer for earnest money on a new house once this house sells (if it ever does). At least we won't have to use the credit card this month. But our van's engine light is on AGAIN, and who knows what's wrong with it this time, or how much it will cost. And this time we have no money in the savings acct (on acct of it all going to the van repairs the LAST time at the beginning of this month) and we really hate to use that money in his business acct.

    So anyway, I know this is long, boring, and really mostly just a vent, but I just had to get it off my chest. My family will just tell me, "See, I told you getting out of debt was a silly idea" or some other silly lame thing like that, so I can't really vent to anyone but you guys and my husband. So sorry! (Oh, and those pg hormones aren't helping anything )

    Thanks for listening. At least I know someone out there understands. :-/

  2. #2
    Registered User Jeanna's Avatar
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    Sorry it sounds like you got stuck with a lemon. Hope things look up for you soon.

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    Registered User 3tomboys's Avatar
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    First, Congratulations on #4, a baby is such a blessing!

    It is always hard when you get setbacks, but don't give up. It will get better and don't let your family tell you that it can't be done because it can. You just have to hang in there even when it doesn't seem to be working. Even if you can't seem to get past the BEF you have been able to see that it can help when you need it.

    When it comes to repairs on the van is your husband able to do any of these or maybe another family member? My husband has been able to do several repairs on are vehicles over the last 21+ years of marriage and it has saved us so much money. He has even gone so far as to teach are dd's to change the oil in the car so that if they choose to in the future they can do it on their vehicles.

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  5. #4
    Registered User itsahumanzoo's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the baby!

    I know how you are feeling. It seems like any time I try to put money in the EF it finds a way out. We even had to borrow from DS's savings account, which made me feel bad. As soon as I pay him back I think I may put all his money into a CD so we can't even touch it.

    Just keep your head up and don't listen to anyone who tells you that getting out of debt is silly!!!

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    Ugh with the van. We had that issue with a used car we bought every time we turned around it was getting repaired when finally there was major engine issues. After dealing with the dealership/finance people( found out no warentyand did not qualify for lemon law) we just gave it back. So it now shows on our credit as a voluntary repossesion zero owed. Ugh I refuse to ever get anything financed again. Luckly we have 1 paid off car that is not to bad once we got it fixed this summer. Knock on Wood.

    Congrats on baby number 4. Something will come together to make it all fit

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    Master Dollar Stretcher madhen's Avatar
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    Well, there is only so much that can go wrong with a car, so maybe you've fixed all the major issues! At least it sounds like you are keeping your head above water. Sometimes, although you want to move forward, just managing not to slip back has to be considered a success.

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    Registered User Lindsey's Avatar
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    As for the light Auto Zone will hook it up to their machine for free and tell you what's wrong with it. That way you know if you can still drive on it. You can buy a Hanes manual (a picture book for how to work on cars) for $14.-$25 and do stuff yourself or with help from hubby. I can't depend on my hubby for things like this because the Army always has him somewhere else(deployments, training, field) and I refuse to pay for something I could have done myself. And having kids... when I would do something simple like change spark plugs I would just stick them in their carseats and roll down the windows and talked to them while I worked. It's messy, but spark plugs for all of them only cost a couple of dollars.

    Congrats on the new baby!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsey View Post
    As for the light Auto Zone will hook it up to their machine for free and tell you what's wrong with it. That way you know if you can still drive on it. You can buy a Hanes manual (a picture book for how to work on cars) for $14.-$25 and do stuff yourself or with help from hubby. I can't depend on my hubby for things like this because the Army always has him somewhere else(deployments, training, field) and I refuse to pay for something I could have done myself. And having kids... when I would do something simple like change spark plugs I would just stick them in their carseats and roll down the windows and talked to them while I worked. It's messy, but spark plugs for all of them only cost a couple of dollars.

    Congrats on the new baby!!!


    You are an auto goddess!

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    Registered User HappyMama's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsey View Post
    As for the light Auto Zone will hook it up to their machine for free and tell you what's wrong with it. That way you know if you can still drive on it. You can buy a Hanes manual (a picture book for how to work on cars) for $14.-$25 and do stuff yourself or with help from hubby. I can't depend on my hubby for things like this because the Army always has him somewhere else(deployments, training, field) and I refuse to pay for something I could have done myself. And having kids... when I would do something simple like change spark plugs I would just stick them in their carseats and roll down the windows and talked to them while I worked. It's messy, but spark plugs for all of them only cost a couple of dollars.

    Congrats on the new baby!!!

    Great Advice . My husband and I do the same.

    Congratulations on the new baby. Keep your chin up things will be better soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mateosbaby View Post
    This month got so messed up with the latest car repairs (can you believe it was almost $500 for spark plugs and wires in that thing???? 'Cause they were "platinum."
    I think it's time to find a new mechanic and to start questioning what you are told. I'm no expert but this seems really really ridiculous. And if something is going wrong every few months I would really be looking for a mechanic I trust to give me the lowdown on what has to be taken care of now and what can wait. Just because a mechanic finds something that could be fixed doesn't always mean it has to be dealt with immediately. Also, at only 3 years old it should be under warranty from the original purchase. Have you looked into that? Spark plugs might not fit the bill, but whatever else keeps going wrong with it might be covered.

    Good luck! And congratulations on the baby! No matter what is going on economically, a baby is a blessing and a reason to celebrate!

    I also agree with the above poster who said that sometimes simply not falling behind is a victory, even if you haven't moved forward as much as you'd planned. Chin up!

  12. #11
    Registered User BlessedMomof2's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the baby, and I hope that things start to get better for your family soon!

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    Thanks for the well wishes from everyone. I knew you guys would understand.

    As to doing things ourselves on the car, we would, except that neither of us has the time to do it, our family who know how to do it are a state away, and we don't have the money for either of us to take a class on it. So, we are stuck bringing it in. The only time we bring it in is when there is something wrong with it or it needs an oil change, and they don't perform any checks while they're doing anything unless you specifically pay the $30+ to have them check it over for any potential problems. So it's not that they are a bad place at all. We did check into the warranty on it, but spark plugs aren't covered, even though those platinum ones are supposed to last 100,000 miles (we were only at about 76,000) I'll have to check into an Auto Zone around here or someplace similar to get it tested for free. At least we won't have to pay the service center to figure out what's wrong! Thanks for that suggestion, Lindsey.

    I never thought of it being successful when at least we have the money in the emergency fund and don't have to use the credit card. Well, I guess I thought of it the first time it happened, but not since then. :-/ But that's true. At least I haven't touched the credit card since... Hm, not even sure when. April, maybe? We started Dave Ramsey in May.

    Well, I'm feeling better today after reading all your posts. Thanks again!

  14. #13
    Registered User Jskell911's Avatar
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    Aw, I have no advice, just sending some sympathy your way! Hope it gets a bit better for you soon.

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    Congrats on #4.

    Just curious why do you need to take a class to work on your auto? I learned to check and change my oil from the owner’s manual (should come with the auto and found in glove box) and I learned to change a tire by watching someone else (I also taught a co-worker to change her tire). I do have problems breaking the lug nuts loose. Look at your owner’s manual and see what you can learn to do from it. Between marriages I had to do a lot on my own or it didn't get done. I didn't have the money to hire it out. My 2nd DH is a mechanic and I often tell him that is why I married him (not true, but it is a bonus). Just for curiosity’s sake, call an auto supply place and ask how much the spark plugs and wires are.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ansley View Post
    Congrats on #4.

    Just curious why do you need to take a class to work on your auto? I learned to check and change my oil from the owner’s manual (should come with the auto and found in glove box) and I learned to change a tire by watching someone else (I also taught a co-worker to change her tire). I do have problems breaking the lug nuts loose. Look at your owner’s manual and see what you can learn to do from it. Between marriages I had to do a lot on my own or it didn't get done. I didn't have the money to hire it out. My 2nd DH is a mechanic and I often tell him that is why I married him (not true, but it is a bonus). Just for curiosity’s sake, call an auto supply place and ask how much the spark plugs and wires are.
    Many reasons. For instance, I don't have anyone around here to learn from. Most of our friends and family live in different states, and the ones who are nearby don't know how to do it themselves. Also, the owner's manual only really tells somewhat where things are located (such as the oil and windshield washer fluid places) and what kind of oil, etc you should use. It doesn't say exactly how to do it (where do you take the cap off the bottom to drain the oil, what do you put it in, where do you take it since it's illegal to take care of it yourself). I do know how to check the oil level, but since we always take it in at the right time between 3-4,000 miles, I never really need to check it. We change our own wiper blades, add our own windshield wiper fluid, and change lightbulbs ourselves, but the rest of the mechanics of the car are a complete mystery to us. I'm not mechanically inclined at all, and my dh, while good at taking things apart and putting them back together again, just plain doesn't have the time with his regular job and his side business and spending time with his family. He wouldn't be opposed to learning if he didn't have a side business, but that eats into his time every single day. On the plus side, we have that extra money to fall back on if he didn't have it.

    As for the prices of the parts and labor, they seem OK. I checked online for prices, and they seemed fair for what I paid. They spent 2 1/2 hours replacing the spark plugs and wires, and my dh and I certainly don't have that kind of time to put into it, even if we did know what we were doing. If we don't, it would take at least double that time, if it even works the first time.

    Anyway, basically, no one can do everything. There are going to be things that you just can't do yourself and will cost you money. If neither of us had jobs or kids or homeschooling to do, then yeah, we could learn everything and do absolutely everything ourselves. We also wouldn't have money for food... It's basically a matter of weighing time it would cost us vs. the money it would cost us. We set priorities. If it would eat into too much time as a family, then it isn't as high on our list. Family time is extremely important to us, especially since the kids are so small yet and he's constantly busy with his side business. As it is, he barely has time to practice soccer with our 5yo, who just isn't getting the game (she's in our city's Park & Rec League, and she's been doing this for a month and still doesn't get it). I personally think this kind of stuff is way more important than saving a few hundred dollars here and there on car issues or whatever else. Yes, we want to get out of debt, but not at the expense of losing a few years of our kids. They already grow up way too fast. Why lose those precious years of spending time with them when that is what they will remember most?

    OK, didn't mean for this to get so long, just wanted to explain myself and clarify a few things.

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