Archive for the ‘Car Shopping’ Category

Today it finally happened – Silver was repo’d – we’re back to square one – no vehicle – no transportation, no nothing.

We’ve been down this road before – once many years ago our Pontiac Vibe was Repo’d and we went five months without a vehicle – it was difficult and we had a very hard time finding work due to the lack of reliable transportation.  So now we’re trying to figure things out, slowly.  We’ve outlined a plan using my last two checks as a basis for the budget so we can ensure we have funds every month with some leftover for saving for a new vehicle.  We’re looking for something decent – and something we can pay cash for – last time we had a group helping us – this time we’re on our own.

I have also dictated to my husband that now we’re out of a vehicle we need to talk about replacing our washer/dryer so we can run laundry.  Ugh.

It’s become so overwhelming in the last couple of weeks – and its finally come to a head….

Wish us luck!


Good Morning All –

I’ve posted the ups and downs of our financial life and yet I’ve never asked for help – a few days ago our much needed van was repossessed – it’s my fault – we fell behind on the payments and didn’t communicate with the finance company – so yes I take full responsibility for it.

HOWEVER we need our van so I can get back and forth to work – I can now afford the payments with my new salary – albeit its temporary – I am certain I’ll get moved into a new position quickly with the contract company I am working for.

I posted this from GoFundMe to my Facebook Page this morning

“Good Morning Friends & Family –

Still need help with this! We can’t get Silver back without your help!

We are desperate – we’re at $360.00, would LOVE to have at LEAST $750 before we try and go get her. I lost hours this week with Austin being sick and dealing with this mess on Wednesday morning so I lost pay – PLEASE!

If you haven’t donated yet, Please Do! Believe me your help will make a WORLD of difference to us.

If you have donated THANK-YOU from the bottom of our hearts! There aren’t enough words to describe how thankful we are for the outpouring of your support!


Here’s the link again

Thanks So Much Everyone!

Just when I thought we were going to be somewhat ok – I spent time planning out things financially – and BAM lack of communicating with the lender has lead to Silver being Repo’d…went to leave for work this morning and discovered she was gone…they’d come and taken her overnight…those louses…

So we’re not 100% sure how much is needed to get her back, but it’s going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1200 – $1300 – I’ve decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to beg for help

Please click here to donate

We really need our van so we can get around.  So I can get to and from work everyday.  I need my job.  This cannot be happening right now!

Ugh Ugh Ugh…

We do this time and time and time again – we overextend ourselves and we get ourselves into situations financially that we just can’t overcome…

I’ve done the math with the payments and financials for the new van and I must say I am less than pleased with where we’re at and where we’re going to be.

Here’s the breakdown using our last four (4) paychecks are the basis of our overall budget

W/E Date  Lara  Jimmy
12/21/2014  $    512.23  $    290.12
12/28/2014  $    550.68  $    307.58
1/4/2015  $    471.34  $    286.22
1/11/2015  $    490.92  $    263.42
 $ 2,025.17  $ 1,147.34
Average Weekly Pay  $    506.29  $    286.84
Combined Weekly Pay  $    793.13
Combined Monthly Pay  $ 3,172.51
Expenses: Monthly Weekly
Mortgage  $    860.14  $    215.04
Car Payment  $    538.30  $    134.58
AT&T  $      85.00  $      21.25
Progress Energy  $    125.00  $      31.25
CFPUA  $    180.00  $      45.00
Groceries  $    640.00  $    160.00
Brigades  $    240.00  $      60.00
Dinner  $    100.00  $      25.00
Jimmy’s Money  $    100.00  $      25.00
Cat & Dog Food  $    120.00  $      30.00
Gas  $    140.00  $      35.00
Planet Fitness  $      19.99  $        5.00  $        7.99  $        2.00
Oster  $      57.97  $      14.49 One more Draft for Feb 2014 – Then Done
Music & Arts  $      33.80  $        8.45
State Farm  $    148.68  $      37.17
Banfield  $      24.95  $        6.24
Tate & Kirlin  $        5.00  $        1.25
 $ 3,357.51  $    856.71
Difference:  $  (185.00)  $    (63.58)
OT Hrs Needed to Break Even          (7.83)          (2.69)

In order for us to break even every month one or both of us is going to have to bust out some major overtime…I know that once the final Oster (hubby’s grooming tools paid on a 6-Month payment plan) payment is made then we’ll be better off.  What’s worrying me more than anything right now is that with everything surrounding the wreck & buying our new car has hindered our ability to make the final payment on our trial plan – here’s how it all breaks down:

Rental Car #1 = $98.83

Rental Car #2 = $675.52

Deductible/Repairs = $390.00

Down Payment on New Van = $500.00

Sum total paid out in the last month for vehicle stuff: $1,661.35 – OUCH

I have right now $860.14 due to CitiMortgage on Tuesday 01/27 and IF we want to, oh I don’t know, EAT this week and feed our furbabies + put gas in the van I can set aside all of $250.00 on this week’s paychecks…ugh…

I went to balance the checkbook this morning and discovered we were hit with overdraft fees because of piss poor financial planning on our part and hoping the rental #2 wouldn’t draft until today (it drafted on Wed) therefore causing my payment to Brigades ($40.00), the DMV ($10.00) for Jimmy’s new ID + the down payment on the van ($500.00) to cash out and overdraft our account to the tune of $105.00 (3 Fees @ $35.00/ea).  I’m not sure how I am going to pay this payment to Citi + everything else I have to pay out on next week’s paycheck – BUT OH wait Citi wants their payment on Tuesday the 27th and I am coming up $610.14 SHORT.

I can’t even schedule the payment to be delayed until the 30th (Friday) because Citi wants to ensure their funds are drafted & applied before the end of the month…so I can’t even put it on next week’s pay (Pay Date: 01.30.15) – so we’re basically SCREWED! Anyone want to generate a miracle here????

I QUIT!!!!  


Our history with vehicles is a rough one, a road that was dredged over time with more downs than ups…started in 2000 when I bought my first vehicle, two months out of college I purchased my first vehicle a 2000 Chevy S-10, it was a two seater pick-up truck that worked well for me and my hubs during the time we had it, then just under a year and a half later I got preggers with my son and we had to look into trading in my truck – with negative equity on that it was more than difficult to do.

2000 Chevy S10

But we managed and a dealership was able to get us into a 1999 Oldsmobile Alero – we drove that thing for several years until about 2007 when it died.


And we traded it in for a 2005 Pontiac Vibe – that worked well for us too until my husband lost his job in 2008 and it was repossessed in Spring 2009


For five months we were without a vehicle until my husband’s church came together and bought us trust rusty aka a 1999 Dodge Caravan that had 100,000+ miles on it and a very rusty bottom.  We ended up replacing the brake lines + exhaust system – we drove trusty rusty for 2.5 years before the transmission went on that one.


We traded that in for a 2000 Ford Focus with 100,000+ miles on it too – as you all know that ran for us up and down until a wreck last year, 2014 in February; our insurance totaled it and we used the funds the insurance gave us enough money to pay off the loan and put a down payment on a new vehicle.


It was then we bought Bessie – she had 108,000 miles on her and ran very well for us – sure we replaced the radiator in Sept. 2014 and since then have been up and down with her since – then I got into another wreck in December 2014, something happened and I crashed into a Yield Sign post in a parking lot causing damage to the steering column, the tire, the entire driving system basically, $1,600 worth of damage.  We had to pay a $250 deductible on the repairs – but before she was turned back over to us we sent her over to the Service Department on site with the dealership we sent her to and it turns out the Radiator, the Transmission and possibly the engine needed work – they were saying that it was possible the head gaskets needed replacing/fixing, there was so much pressure built up inside the transmission/coolant system that they couldn’t even get the cap off…quoted me somewhere around $8K for repairs.

2005 Chevy Venture

So today we made the difficult decision to trade her in and purchase a new vehicle – now being upside down on the loan it was not easy, we got lucky that a dealership here in town was willing to work with us – a different one from the one we took her to for the repairs – and they’ve put us into a 2014 Dodge Caravan, our down payment was $500 and our monthly payment will be $538.30 *OUCH* I am not even going to think about right now the insurance payment – ugh we’re gonna be bankrupt in the near future…I just pray Citi is able to get us into a more affordable payment arrangement once our trial plan is done.

New Van 2014 Dodge Caravan

So that’ the latest on us – we’re off-loaded the rental car, took care of Bessie (I actually teared up turning over the keys and Bessie…I’m gonna miss her) and are hopefully on our way to smoother roads – the plan is to keep this thing until it dies! I am done with car payments, once these are done I am done for quite sometime!

Over the last almost four years I’ve held the same job…day in and day out the same thing…my daily breakdown looks a bit like this:

  • Come into work
  • Boot up Computer
  • While computer ‘wakes up’ – make breakfast
  • Return to desk with breakfast, log into work systems, peruse through emails that arrived over night, flag items requiring my attention for follow-up
  • Eat Breakfast – while eating check personal email, check in with MyFitnessPal and Facebook
  • Open up report I manage – filter for Submitted Items
  • Open up System email box, using emails check against report for anything that’s been approved – marking the Submitted to Approved when checked
  • Remaining Submitted Items are then checked against client system for PM Approval
  • Go through daily tasks completing steps for unfinished items from previous day
  • Go through daily calendar reminders for unfinished items for previous day
  • Noon = Lunch
  • Mon-Tues I key in items from Report to Client system
  • Wed I check for Approved Items off of Another Report, I then check for status in our system, and then I compare this report against our system for items not completed the previous week that would now be completed; if items have not been completed yet I send emails to the field team requesting completion, if one has been done for a personal item I ask the employee for payment status; if it’s on an expense report and not completed I flag it for follow-up the following week.
  • Thurs I run a submitted-unpaid report – what this is is a report that shows all timecards/expenses added to our system but not completed by the field team; if items from the previous week still are not completed I’ll send an email to the employee requesting status of completion.
  • Friday is completion of anything not done Mon – Thurs

Every day – Every week is the same.

Throw in there sometimes I answer the same friggin 10 questions over and over again

  • I send email requesting status of an expense report/timecard that is showing in our system as pending – employee comes back with “I sent it in, I don’t understand why it hasn’t been approved” or “I sent it in and it was approved by my Service Manager” – when I tell them I was looking at the item at the SAME time I was composing the message they have no response
  • Or the employee’s expense report is missing something and our payroll team short pays the expense report creating an addendum; I’ll send the employee an email requesting they follow the steps (CLEARLY OUTLINED IN AN INSTRUCTION KIT ALSO SENT OVER AT THE SAME TIME) to reopen the expense report and send it back in – the employee will come back to me with “I resent the missing receipts in, I don’t understand why this addendum was generated” I’ll ask them if they FIRST followed my instructions and I’ll get one of two answers “No” meaning he’s admitting he failed to read my email; or “What instructions?” meaning he’s admitting he perused my email but failed to open the attachment
  • Or they won’t allow the CC Transactions to filter to our system and expense them preemptively – thus creating MORE work because they were impatient…when asked about this they act like confused monkey’s – it’s frustrating…

I could go on, but I won’t…in the meantime of dealing with all of the above stupidity I STILL do not receive paid time off and benefits – and over the last almost four years that has equated to 289.25 hours or $4,338.75 of loss pay! (pre-tax pay)…I swear to GAWD this money could have meant so much to us and kept us in line financially…

All of the above + a total lack of respect by my manager I have loss all desire to be here…

So where does that leave me?

Time to find a new job…

Which in my market is damn near impossible for someone of my experience level – God forbid I demand to make more than minimum wage for work that some employer’s see as necessary but don’t see fit to pay well…I don’t know how companies get by without their administrative staff, I really don’t.  But I digress.  So therefore, trying to find a job right now is proving difficult, but I am looking and there’s several criteria that needs to be met:

  • Minimum $16 – $20.00/hr pay
  • Next level management/supervisory level job
  • Benefits/Paid Time Off

Something I would like is Flexibility – having two children with ADHD and one with Oppositional Defiance means my need to be out of the office for Dr’s and therapy appointment’s is higher than normal…and I need to be able to go without justifying them.  So I’m not applying for every job I remotely qualify for…it’s only been a handful thus far, but it’s time for more income.

Ok rant over!  Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Nope yeah not so much.  Last week I received an email from Hertz with a bill for our rental car to the tune of $1,347.18.  I uploaded it to State Farm’s claims website and waited.  Nothing.  Until I woke up Saturday morning and saw a HUGE negative balance on my account – thank Goddess for my daily balance email notifications – so I bounced over to the bank’s website and low and behold I see that Hertz had not only drafted that $1,347.18 but the transaction had caused (2) Overdraft fees in its wake.

Ugh so BEFORE I’ve even had my morning coffee I call the bank immediately and file a dispute.  They immediately post a teller credit for the $1,347.18 and open a dispute for a credit from the overdraft fees.  So now we’re back at our positive balance we had when I went to bed Friday night.

And then as soon as my agents office opens on Monday I am on the phone with them trying to figure out what happened…they transfer me to the claims people who are handling the rental and I get transferred again to the total loss team who connect with me to Hertz.  Turns out the contract I initiated at the Airport the day after my wreck, that was supposed to be CANCELLED and VOIDED, never was and during an audit they found it and billed my account.  Hertz took responsibility for it and credited the funds back to us.   I just had to send them a copy of my statement showing the overdraft fees, which I did.

Came into work this morning and I see that BOTH credits are still on my account…so now what? Call the bank back and tell them what happened?  Or do I hold onto both credit + the credit of the overdraft fees and call it a day.  Keeping the 2nd credit for all the headache’s I’ve gotten trying to deal with the wreck itself, the insurance, and buying a new car.  Sort of reimbursement for having to replace a vehicle I had NO INTENTION of replacing this year…




What would you all do?

UPDATE: Called the bank & Cancelled the Dispute, They are Going to Debit the Credit they Gave me showing just the one Debit/Credit from Hertz.

February Calendar

Well February wrapped up to be a chaotic month, what with the accident and all the subsequent headaches and stress that goes along with accidents! Oy they are but a pain the arse for sure.  I sincerely felt like the whole time it was either fate and destiny pushing us towards our new van all along, or it was just purely something to push us to our outer most limits…but I honestly feel like everything worked out the way it was supposed to…I summarized our shopping trip in another post here you can read about our adventures on Friday…I sincerely hate Car shopping (as I am sure a lot of people do…though there are some crazy’s out there who actually enjoy the process…um WHAT?!?!?)

High Interest Rate As you all probably know with any new car purchase comes the headache of a car payment  and while we were nearly done with our payments on the Focus, we’re now back-ended into  almost two more years of payments on the van…honestly we’re going to try and pay  it off  sooner rather than later, as the interest rate at the Buy-Here, Pay-Here lot was something like  29% and that just HURTS!  Seriously we’re paying $150.00/bi-weekly which works out to something like 20 months worth of payments on the van…and…the best part is that if we miss just one payment they are going to come SNATCH the van…seriously there’s a GPS Device in it that’ll disable it on the lot until the back-due payments are made…WOW! Talk about OUCH! So now we really have to stay on top of these payments….

Chapter 13

Our mortgage however, yeah, not sure what to do about that…we’re seriously struggling to figure that out  – I’ve worked it so that something is going to Citi each week so that they are getting a portion of a monthly payment – doesn’t change the fact that  out –we’re back due until the beginning of December.  I’ve re-applied for the 3rd time for a modification, highly doubt they’ll do anything about it as our interest rate is already under market value, so who knows…if this doesn’t work sadly we’re looking at Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, it’s really the only option we have at this point – we’re in way over our heads and I feel like we’re drowning…we’re totally house-poor at this point and finding a rental isn’t really an option because of our six animals (and giving up ANY of them is SERIOUSLY NOT an Option! We don’t roll like that!)

Ok so now onto why we’re here, the budget – I’ve just lumped the remainder of our tax return into the overall numbers because we had to use it to pay the down payment on the van, so please to enjoy:

 $1,142.49 Remaining from W/E 02/23/14  $436.52 Lara W/E 03/02/14 Salary, Pay Date 03/07
 $261.82 Amt. Spent  $287.53 Jimmy W/E 03/02/14 Salary
 $880.67 Avail. Starting  $724.05
 $15.00 Savings for X-Mas ’14  $880.67 Avail. Starting
 $31.00 TGIFriday’s  $724.05 Total Pay
 $6.16 Citgo  $1,604.72 Avail. For Bills
 $4.17 Starbucks  $1,279.63 Settlement for Car
 $27.41 Gas Center  $2,884.35
 $34.50 GS Troop #1327
 $4.76 KTC
 $8.75 Checkers
 $3.85 Red-Box
 $30.00 Kwik Kuts
 $7.47 Dollar Tree
 $7.33 GameStop
 $77.79 Wal-Mart
 $3.63 PetsMart


Um yeah we TOTALLY overdid it with our spending this past week…I am well aware of that fact – I did have to put Gas into the rental on Friday as you have to turn them in with a full tank or they charge you an exorbitant amount of money per gallon of gas to refill it, and then we decided to get some movies, a steering wheel cover, air fresheners for the car and some socks for  my hubby at Wal-Mart on Sunday and that turned into the $77.79 you see above…Ooops!

 $1,750.00 Down Payment on Car
 $225.00 Citi
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $200.00 Groceries
 $25.00 Dinner, 03/07
 $40.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $62.68 Gas
 $5.00  Tate & Kirlin, 03/10 Auto-Draft
 $85.00  LAS Financial
 $396.67  $396.67
8%  $31.73
 $31.73  $364.94


Ok I will note three things here:

1. LAS Financial, Inc. is the Buy-Here, Pay-Here on lot Finance Company – our bi-weekly payment works out to $150.00 or rather $75.00/week – I figure paying them just a little more each week puts more on the principle, thus lowering what we’re paying in interest and overall.

2.  The van has a 25-Gallon tank and is costing me more to fill-up, though it’s almost double the tank size of the Focus, so I am hoping that a fill-up will last me two weeks, we shall see.

3.  The insurance premium on the van is going up to $80.00/mos vs. the $64.44 we were paying on the Focus and this is because it’s a newer vehicle.

So there we are! Hope you have enjoyed!

Images borrowed from:

Here we are, 14-Days Post Wreck and Everything is moving along at a good pace – albeit there has been a lot of ups and downs we did manage to get most everything resolved; the medical side of it is still pending, but well the collision portion is done, we received our settlement check and off we went to get ourselves a new vehicle.  Sadly, we had to go through one of those Buy-Here, Pay-Here Lots where they self-finance (which’ll mean HUGE trouble if we miss a payment, they put a GPS Device on the van to know where it’s at so they can snatch it as needed…WONFERFRIGGINFUL)…so here’s the deal, we took the $1,279.63 the insurance gave us and added some of our own funding for a down payment of $1,750.00 on a 2005 Chevrolet Venture with 108,000 miles on it.

New Ride 1 New Ride 2 New Ride 3


It’s very roomy on the inside and I am still getting used to having something so big – there’s three rows of seats, both of the back two sets can split into two separate chairs which’ll come in handy when we travel to Maryland in April and then to Camporee!  There’s TONS of Room for our luggage, our dogs, us and a bunch of our stuff!

Initially we went to the Kia Dealership and while we were approved for a loan through Capital One, they wanted verification we were in the process of doing a modification on our loan (which we aren’t) so we had to walk away – probably a good thing – and off to Lovitt’s Auto where we initially looked at a 2002 Dodge Caravan similar to Trusty Rusty, but I noticed a grinding noise in the steering column and the brakes so then we noticed the above vehicle sitting next to it and they agreed to a lower down payment so we could get into the above! I am happy – albeit worried about making sure we can make the monthly payment, $150.00/bi-weekly or $300.00/month….as we’ve had snags before where we couldn’t and thankfully our loan company let us make up the payments later…this place not so much…

So the next step is to find out where we’re at with the Medical Stuff and a possible settlement with that!

Well as suspected the car was deemed a Total Loss – not worthwhile and cost effective to repair it, I figured as much, as did my husband, my parents, and just about everyone else out there…

What gets me most though is the why of it all – why now? why was it our time to lose out on the car? why couldn’t this sort of thing happened next year after the car was paid off and our credit was cleaner? WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!? I just don’t get it – we really had it outlined to pay off the car, get our mortgage situated and caught up and THEN and only THEN look into getting a new car – we’d given ourselves a year to clean up our act financially and BAM fate throws us this curve ball – I am mad, mad as a hatter about this, and stark raving…but I am keeping it all on the inside – boiling over would do me absolutely no good, so here we are…

I spoke with the Total Loss team this morning and here’s what they told me:

Using the National Automobile Dealers Association ratings based on Month of the Accident (February) Year of the Car (2000) number of Miles on the Car (150 – 160K), Make (Ford) and Model (Focus SE) the total value is $3,475.00 added to our reimbursement amount is NC Sales Tax of $104.25 and NC License & Registration Fees of $55.00 – Total Reimbursement = $3,634.25.

So breaking it down:

$3,475.00 – NADA Estimated Value

$104.25 – NC Sales Tax

$55.00 – NC License & Registration

$3,634.25 total

10-Day Payoff on the Loan = $2,254.62

$1,389.63 – Remaining Balance

Less our $100.00 Deductible: $1,279.63 due to us

Not terrible; not wonderful either…not sure what we’re going to do, but they’ll stop paying on the rental on Tuesday 3/11 – which gives us a week to find a replacement – Good Luck to us right?!?!?