Repair Options

We’ve had a few days to mull it all over, and we’ve come up with three options regarding the needed truck repairs.  I’d love honest input here.  DH will do whatever, and I tend to overanalyze and stress out making all the decisions.

I know several people mentioned that we need to get multiple quotes.  We did.  $4500 was the average for three places.  The dealership and 2 local shops.  I know most people avoid dealerships, but I worked directly with them for a decade, and know everyone there, so I trusted their input on what really needed to be done.  Parts alone – for all three quotes – were exactly $3850.  It’s the labor that varied.

Option 1

Purchase newer truck, trade in current truck.  Trade in value will not cover remaining loan balance ($8600), so we’d have to roll the remainder into the new loan.  The loan details would be around $28k at 3% for 72 months, with a $457/mo car payment – that’s best case scenario.  😦  A huge jump from our current $257 payment.

Option 2

Borrow money from our mothers (they’ve both offered, repeatedly), and have the truck repaired for the $4500.  We’d pay them back either in installments, or in full once the rental house is sold (spring 2018 goal.)

Option 3

Take out a loan with our bank.  I’m not sure if we’d take out a personal loan or equity loan, it would depend on the interest rates available.  This option has a part A and B…

  • A.  Minimal loan to repair truck, pay off credit cards, and repair the rental house to get it market ready.
  • B. Larger loan to replace truck, pay off credit cards, and repair the rental house to get it market ready.  This would be a lower monthly payment than option 1.

We already know we’ll have to take our a loan to repair the rental house, but we were waiting until closer to renters move-out date.  Estimated repairs are about $15k at this point.  Hopefully I can trim this with some sweat equity.  Paying off credit cards would eliminate $450 a month in just minimum payments.

And that’s what we’ve come up with.  If there’s another option, throw it at me.  We need to get something done asap, this is our primary vehicle, and the one I have to drive hours away for specialists appts with my youngest.

Posted in Auto, Debt, Expenses | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

What Do We Do?

I had a post scheduled for 8am, entitled “No Spend November!”, but I accidentally selected pm.  It seems whenever I post about a “no spend” – something happens that requires a lot of spending.  Last time is was a week long hospital stay for the youngest child.

This time is car woes.  To the tune of $4500 in repairs.  Not including the $400 I spent for the brakes, rotors, and alignment.  Unfortunately these are must-have repairs – the power steering is failing and locking up.

Needs timing belt.  Needs power steering column and pump.  Various leaks throughout.


I don’t know where this money is going to come from!  And before you bring up our once bloated liquid savings, that is nearly gone.  Property taxes, new insurances, and medical bills slowly ate away at it over the last two months.

The credit cards are maxed out.


I don’t know what to do.  😦  The vehicle is worth $10k.  Our loan balance is now $8600.  I’m not sure I can justify $4500 to repair a truck that has been nothing but a problem.  We bought the damn thing in April!!  Not even a year of use and we’ve had to spend thousands on repairs.  I get that a used vehicle needs maintenance.  We keep up with that, and we did our due diligence with an inspection prior to purchase.  But come on, this is getting out of control expensive.

I just don’t know what to do.  Trade it in and roll over what they won’t cover into a new loan?  Borrow money?  Wait?  I’m at a loss.  The stress is just too much lately.  I can’t even enjoy the holiday season, because money – or lack thereof – makes life miserable.

$4500……….. ugh.

Posted in Auto, Debt, Expenses | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Open Enrollment

The time has come: select your 2018 healthcare plan. I was hoping to post pictures from the brochure, but DH’s company decided to make the entire background of the chart a watermark with their name and logo.

Here’s what we currently have for coverage:

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 11.40.39 PM

Ouch. I’ve mentioned before that taxes and insurance take 40%+ of DH’s paychecks and I wasn’t exaggerating. Here’s this weeks paycheck…

Gross: $1,862.69
Net Pay: $985.07

It’s depressing to see his decent salary be eaten up by scamsurance. I was hoping 2018 would be more affordable. Ha!

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 11.40.59 PM

OUCH!!! Now right off the bat, the deductibles are much better next year. The premiums are higher. With every thing going on with my youngest, option 1 was a better fit. I know we’d hit the deductible quickly with his specialist appointments, and 80% coverage would be amazing.

However, it’s going to take a bigger bite out of DH’s take home pay. Sigh. When DH got to work, he logged in to select the Option 1 plan. Guess what? It’s unavailable for his location. Yup! Option 1 has been replaced by Kaiser!!! We refuse to use Kaiser after getting screwed by them years ago when I had my first child. Not to mention, we’d have to switch all of my youngest’s doctors, and there’s no way I’m doing that. Option 1 was not an option. I raged quite a bit after finding out this information.

We’re stuck with the 60/40 plan, again, and it sucks. I’m not sure how the hell I’m going to budget in the new year. I’m struggling right now as it is. The marketplace was no better, premiums were $1900 and higher with NO subsidies.

I’m not happy at all, but what can you do? I was tempted to fire off a nasty email to the CEO about these outrageous plans. I’m sure he wouldn’t care, what with his $18mil bonus, why would he?  None of our friends or family have 60/40 plans, everyone is 80/20 or 90/10.   At least the deductibles are better…

I had a meeting with a social worker at the children’s hospital today regarding insurance and finances.  It was eye opening and depressing.  She even commented on our awful insurance plan.  If I could self-pay, I’d have more money in the bank, and the same care.  Since we have private insurance, we don’t qualify for self-pay, since we’re “in the system”.  PT for example.  Starting January 1st, with a reset deductible, every visit will be $696.  However, if we were self-pay, the visits are $65.  You read that right!  All thanks to insurance.  What a scam.

On top of this stress, I’m battling a nasty head cold.  The kids passed it around and I’m the last one.  A hot bowl of soup would be great right about now!


Posted in Budgeting, Expenses, Medical, Work | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Net Worth Surprise

I was filling out an application recently, and it required me to list our assets and liabilities.  By constantly focusing on the day-to-day expenses and income, I’ve overlooked the “bigger picture” of our finances. That’s not to justify debt, or poor financial choices, but it’s nice to know there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

Our total assets: $574,840.85 (!!!)
Liabilities: $74,983.12

Which brings us to a net worth of $499,857.73.

Our net worth is quite healthy!  Of course those assets are primarily in real estate, which as we know all too well, is a bubble that could burst at any moment. If I had the option to relocate to a cheaper home and pocket a good chunk of money, I certainly would. In the future (3 years?) it’s doable, but not quite yet.

I used Zillow for the real estate estimates, which I’d say is on the lower end for our areas. My real estate agent told us around $140k for the rental property would be ideal, but Zillow shows $125k. Zillow also doesn’t account for our full basement renovation for our primary residence, which will add a good bit of value, but we’ve not had it appraised, and used the lower value for now.

I also included vehicles, 401k, stocks, and liquid savings as assets. The application I was completing told us to include the “contents of our home”, per the value on our homeowners insurance policy. That would have added $271,000.00 to our net worth, but I feel like that’s a bit inflated to apply to net worth.

For liabilities I included credit card debt ($8,283.65), rental property mortgage ($57,733.05), and vehicle loan ($8,966.42). When you break it down like that, it doesn’t seem that overwhelming.

(Side note: Medical debt would be a liability, but I do not have a full balance, or breakdown, of bills yet.)

Big picture? Looks great! Here and now? Struggle. It’s interesting to see.

Immediate goal: Pay off credit cards.

Posted in Debt, Goals, Real Estate | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments


I haven’t even been blogging for an entire year, and I’ve somehow managed to find myself a “hater”.  Nasty comments were being left for the last several days.  I had to block the IP address, but I’m sure they can get around that.  I’ve since made 99% of my posts private to protect any potential identifiable information.

Thanks to the nature of the comments – criticizing my children, and parenting, and scrutinizing the health of my children – none of which anyone who reads here knows a damn thing about – I will forego posting personal information from this point forward.  Don’t worry, I’m not concerned about “J. in St. Louis” ip – just in case any of my fellow bloggers care to check their comment ips.  😉

It’s one thing to criticize the debt, the spending, my choices (which I love the feedback on!)  It’s another to attack ones parenting, children, etc. when you’re making assumptions from a single sentence in a post.  Shame on you J.  ASS.U.ME, did you never learn that?  lol  Crossed a line.

From here on it’s all about numbers and matter of factness.  I want to get out of debt!  I have so many goals, and guess what?  I have more motivation than ever to get out of debt and grow our savings.  2018 will be a great year. Best wishes to “J.”, a seemingly miserable person. 😉

Posted in Debt, Family, Goals, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Thank You! And A Few Updates.

I just wanted to stop by real quick and thank every one for their wonderful comments on my last post!  (Expenses vs. Income)  I appreciate it!!  I think the consensus is that the rental property is, by far, the main issue.  I always thought this, but needed the reassurance.

Health insurance was brought up several times in the comments.  I have an update in the works regarding this topic.  Last week was open enrollment, and it wasn’t good news.

I went through the annoying process of applying for financial assistance with my son’s medical bills through the children’s hospital.  Per their email from their F.A. department head, I gathered all the paperwork (W2’s, SS#, Tax Returns, Asset/Liabilities List/etc!) and mailed it to their address.  It was delivered and signed for.  They lost it.  Then berated me for mailing instead of faxing, even though the email clearly tells me to mail it.  Yet again, an example of people who can’t do their jobs.  Not pleased that a lot of personal information is just randomly “lost” somewhere.  Now I get to do it all over again.

I haven’t grocery shopped in two weeks!  I’ve been shopping our pantry.  Not too shabby.  We did eat out twice, but it was minimal.

We reached out to the water mitigation company regarding a settlement offer, since insurance still has not paid us for the flood.  We offered $1700.  The billing department said they would speak with a supervisor and get back to us.  It’s been 48 hours.  I hope we hear back soon, even a counter offer would be great.  Something to get the ball rolling and get rid of them.

I hope you all had a fun Halloween (if you participate.)  We took the kids out, in their cheap, homemade costumes – that were a HIT!  $4!!  That’s all I spent.  🙂  Then today they both woke up sick with fevers and coughs.  It always hits them this time of year, especially my oldest who has asthma.  Pardon me if I’m not back until next week.  Sick kids leave me drained by nighttime, and that’s the only time I have to write.

I’m enjoying the weather change.  Cooler temps, and the fireplace going.  Cozy!  Am I the only one looking forward to the time change this weekend?  I love when it gets dark early in the evening.  Happy November everyone, let’s hope it’s a good month for all!

Posted in Debt, Expenses, Family, Home, Medical | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments