Posts Tagged ‘Car Repairs’

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
Hulu.com  $        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!!!!  

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Ugh…Ugh…Ugh…

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.

full-1999-Oldsmobile-Alero_17205_1

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

used-2005-pontiac-vibe-basetrim-7729-3112052-2-400

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.

1996-dodge-caravan-267-p2

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.

2000-2004_Ford_Focus_SE_sedan

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!

I am not going into too much detail, but I am going to share a series of Facebook posts – our Van our Wonderful Bessie had a hiccup about two weeks ago – she overheated severely and I had this brown disgusting sludge coming out of the coolant area and the transmission fluid was low – call the mechanic, estimated costs of repairs, $380.00, YIKES! Wait until Friday when we get paid, ok the repairs – he replaces the radiator and water pump – low and behold he also tells me that he did something to the transmission “so I wouldn’t have problems going forward” I’m thinking ok cool, another $30.00 he needs to for what he did (without permission mind you).

See the Original Post About the Van

What is it with Cars/Vans and Hemorrhaging Money? As if Stressing Over a Mod Isn’t Enough…Let’s Add this to It!

So here’s what I posted on Facebook:

From 09/12/14

“Well she’s all fixed, but the mechanic flushed the transmission fluid and that added another $30.00 to the bottom line, $410.00 – he wants to check her again on Sunday to ensure that the transmission is holding onto the fluid – there’s no leak, but he wants to make sure it’s holding on…while I am happy it’s fixed, wish he’d have checked with me first.”

“Might have spoke too soon…the transmission fluid is causing her to do some shaking when shifting to 1st gear…ugh he’s coming back tonight to get his $30, and to look at this issue”

From 09/13/14

“Well where are we? Ok well the mechanic picked her up again this morning, he’s going to re-flush the tranny fluid and add some stop-gap measure to get me through the week while trying to clean out the filter. He said the filter most likely needs replacing, but this thing he’s going to do should get me through the week – if she starts shaking again he said to take it slow and get home, call him and he’d look at it…ugh…if the tranny goes on Bessie I am royally F&CKED!”

“the whole Bessie is running fine, no problems, turn back into the neighborhood and wouldn’t you know it, the Shaking begins AGAIN…she’s just hemorrhaging money right now…”

From 09/14/14

“Ok back from our outing…Bessie did good en route to Wal-Mart, a 10-min ride to the Junction, we did our shopping, got 2/3 of the way home before she starting “jumping” when shifting gears…made it home, but my stomach drops every single time it “jumps”…ugh not sure what to think, the mechanic told me that it’d be ok for my trek back and forth to work this week…I don’t know how much I trust that…we’ll see.”

From 09/16/14

“Ok just braved the roads w/Bessie for a quick Target/PetsMart run (prescription and crickets for Smaug) and she did good, no overheating (which shouldn’t happen anyways) and no “lurching” when shifting…WTF?!?! Bryan’s coming over tomorrow to check it out anyways and show me a few things about basic car care”

From 09/17/14

“Friend came over showed me some of the ins and outs of Bessie’s engine and fluid compartments – took me to Auto Zone and we purchased some Transmission Fluid (she was really low) and some Anti-Freeze (she was nearly empty) came home put it all in and ran the engine for a bit and she held the tranny fluid well, he had me shift the gears to help get any “air pockets” out and then he added some power steering fluid and that should do it he said. Crossing my fingers it worked, we’ll see!”

Today, 09/29/14, Two Weeks+ Post Repairs

“Ugh Monday morning…traffic at Myrtle Grove this morning caused Bessie to get HOT again…she cooled down during the ride to work, but all that stop-go-wait trying to get out of the parking lot was heinous on her! I don’t get it! New Radiator, New Water Pump, the Right Coolant and yet STILL gets hot quicker than she should?!?!? I am out of Money and Out of Ideas! Soo not how I wanted to start my Monday…here’s hoping the rest of the day runs smoother!”

“Seriously did the Finance company for my Van just call my WORK#?!?!?! I was in with my boss and they left a message, yeah I called them back and told them to remove that # IMMEDIATELY from their Database, they are NOT Ever to call me @ work! GRRR!!!”

Further Post about the above:

“Alright so those ARSEHOLES just called me back on my cell as I indicated, they THINK I am past due 24-Days = $225.00 and are threatening to repo the van if I don’t pay that soon…WTF?!?! Money don’t grow on trees guys, I explained that to him, but as per usual they are trained to not listen and only respond to what they want to hear…yes sir I’ll sell my oldest to pay you! Nevermind it’s illegal, nevermind that I’ll go to jail…yeah not to politely told him to f*ck off and hung up on him…where in the world am I going to dig that money up from? Shit Bessie needs more repairs and I’m past due…F*CK F*CK F*CK!! He’s like “If you can’t afford the vehicle we can take if off your hands and it won’t be an issue” TO which I was like “um yeah you’ll just sell it @ auction for less than I owe and stick me with the balance due” and he had the BALLS to say to me “well then maybe you can afford it then.” Ugh why are car finance people like flies in your ears, buzzing every chance they get?!?! Lovitt’s would never have harrassed me as much as these jack-offs! But no they sold the loan and now I have these assholes in my ears!”

So here I thought for sure that with the Mortgage Modification underway I’d only have that to worry about…see these two posts:

Well Here We Go Again…Into the Grinder of a Modification

and

Thoughts on the Modification…

I thought for sure that the Gods and Goddesses wouldn’t dump any more on my platter…but oh no, No No Nope No No Nope…we now have this to add to it, so here’s what happened on Tuesday morning on my way to work after I dropped my daughter off of work I got this bright red light on my dashboard telling me “Engine Coolant HOT” um Oh My Friggin GOD are you kidding me?!?!?! So I proceed onto work as per usual, however the road I am on is full of traffic, so I turn off to take an alternate route only to have the van decide not to run correctly, like I couldn’t accelerate properly.  So I turn off, make a U-Turn and head back to my house.  I open my engine hood and pull open the coolant area and BAM a chocolate colored goo spouts out and gets everywhere…ugh…ugh…ugh…it’s in my coolant area, in the transmission area, and just all over.  So I clean it up as much as I can, and call my mechanic.  He comes over and it’s the Radiator/Water Pump = $380.00 with labor…ugh…so I have to put it on the back burner until Friday when we get paid…send text to my boss telling her I am having car problems and I wouldn’t be in for the rest of the week.

The bright side here is two sided:

1. One of my amazing co-workers was willing to bring me my computer while she was out on a company-related errand!

2.  My hubby was home from Grooming school for two of the three days I was working at home, so I was able to spend the time with him.

I’ve lost more hours of pay, but tried to make them up as the week went, though I was only able to make-up some 3.0 hrs. of the 7.0 hrs. I missed on Tuesday…ugh…

So now the mechanic took the van on Friday morning, got the parts necessary, flushed the tranny fluid and replaced the parts needing replacing and brought it back to me.  So I took it and did our normal Friday evening stuff, the engine temp. stayed normal, then as we were heading back home from our Pizza place she started this shake-shake-shake thing shifting to 1st gear…ugh…ugh…ugh.  So he called me to check on the additional money he needed for the transmission fluid, $30.00, and asked how she did,  told him what happened and he said he’d get with me this morning, Saturday, and we’d figure it out.  Had to drain my Merrill Savings account to pay this to him…and keep funds in the account for my Hubby to use for groceries for the week.  I only budgeted the $380.00 he initially quoted me.  So then this morning, it was another $22.00 gone he used it to put this transmission stop-leak thing in the fluid and it should work.  Well it did for the errands I had to run:

1.  Pick-up a Trumpet Rental for my Son, $74.00 ($14.00 more than budgeted)

2.  Costco for some groceries, $25.00

3.  Wal-Mart for Groceries, $101.00

When we got back our neighborhood BAM she started the shake-shake-shake thing coming off the many stop-signs I have to go through…ugh…ugh…ugh…

I seriously wish I knew what the heck was going on and why now that my hubby is out of town this is suddenly happening…ugh!

I am out of money

I am out of time

I am out of energy to handle this right now

I am DONE!

Seems dealing with the struggles of my financial life are a constant with us – once we’re settled into a routine, and going about life in our day-to-day manner we are thrown for a literal loop and end up having to deal with something MAJOR – and it seems to happen on the even years, 2011 saw a wreck with this same car at the parking lot of the dealership (minor), 2012 our car was STOLEN, 2013 all was quiet with the exception of some repairs to the car (again minor), and now 2014 this – so not happy here…

Posted this last night to Facebook:

“No gym tonight, got in a pretty bad wreck on my way to pick up my hubby from work – some college kid decided not to give me right of way in an intersection and hit me driver’s side – car is NOT drivable at all, probably will be totaled because its 14yrs old w/149K miles on it…almost paid off, will be in July…”

And then this morning:

“Woke up this morning with some neck & head pain, took two Tylenol, drinking some coffee and hoping it’s just something small associated w/the accident; filed my claim w/State Farm last night, hoping to round-up a rental car tomorrow – in the mean time I need to do some grocery shopping – who wants to take us laters??? Seriously though, Thank-You everyone for your warm words of concern and “are you ok?” in the big scheme of things we’re all ok, no permanent/hospital worthy damage was done; the car is probably a total loss, we’ll find out more once State Farm moves it and inspects it…not how I had planned on spending my refund money, but alas what must be done will be done…”

I will take some pictures of the damage once we go to retrieve our personal items from the car later today – thankfully for me the police determined it was her fault, so her insurance is going to be liable for the wreck and should cover the total loss cost of the car (i.e. paying off the loan, which will be paid in full in July anyways), and everything else entailed with the wreck – but MAN alive it’s going to be a very long process…wish us the best of luck here…

Editing to Add Pictures of the Wreckage:

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I love Fall, I absolutely love this time of year, the crispness in the air, the beginnings of wearing sweaters, longer sleeves, jeans, boots, and the changing feel of the air.  Of course right along with that comes the busiest time of year for our finances, meaning we will be spending a little more than usual between now and New Year’s Eve, what with

– Halloween (Costumes x 2, Pumpkins x 2, and a Carving Kit x 1) – thankfully I have enough in my savings jar to cover the cost of these! So yeah!!

– Thanksgiving Dinner – we are playing host this year to two (2) Marines from one of the surrounding bases, so my cost for dinner will escalate slightly from previous years, though the last two years my company has provided us with a $25 Wal-Mart Gift Card to help Offset the cost of Thanksgiving Dinner – crossing my fingers they do this again!  We’ll need it!

– My Daughter’s B-Day – the poor child’s birthday is Christmas Eve – I am making her an afghan for her bed and I already have the pattern in my head for this one!

– Christmas (Stockings filled x 4, Presents for the kiddos, usually 1-2 gifts each, a gift for each parent x 4, GC’s or small gifts for my siblings x 2 +1 my brother in law, and one small something for my Uncle);  I am already more than 1/2 way completed in making my mother’s Christmas present, and will probably do something crocheted for someone else in the fam.

– And then Portrait prints of my kids for everyone – not to toot my own horn here, but I have some talent as a photographer and I am able to save $$ on the actual taking the pictures process by doing it myself, see:

Ashley 2013 Portrait Austin 2013 Portrait

 

So it’s just the prints and postage I have to pay for!

Alright with that said, our budget this week is pretty straight forward, our misc. spending was minimal at best and I have been consistently picking up some small amounts of overtime due to our Fall Outage Season, so yeah there! It’s not much, but hey it’s something!

So here we go:

 $24.71 Remaining from W/E 09/08/13  $514.09 Lara W/E 09/29/13 Salary, Pay Date 10/04
 $21.93 Amt. Spent  $251.99 Jimmy W/E 09/29/13 Salary
 $2.78 Avail. Starting  $766.08
 $7.27 PetsMart  $2.78 Avail. Starting
 $1.00 PetsMart  $766.08 Total Pay
 $6.80 PetsMart  $768.86 Avail. For Bills
 $2.21 KTC  $125.00 In From Savings for Mortgage
 $4.65 Amazon.com  $893.86
 $21.93

 

Yes $21.93 is a bit more than minimal as compared to previous weeks, but honestly not that terrible, we managed to stay right within our budget, while it would have been helpful to have that money roll into this week, we needed to feed Smaug, our Bearded Dragon, unfortunately buying Crickets in bulk just doesn’t work, they tend to die before one can feed them to him….he’s still a baby after all and doesn’t each much 😉  So that left very little in the account to start the week, but we were ok – I pulled the $125.00 back into checking from our savings account to pay the mortgage, and the below $400.00 I sent to them finished off our Sept. payment and paid part of October, so we’re right online with that….just still stressing about the car payment…UGH!

 $893.86
 $400.00 CitiMortgage
 $493.86
 $70.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $423.86
 $200.00 Groceries
 $223.86
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $198.86
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $173.86
 $25.00 Dinner, 10/4
 $148.86
 $40.00 Gas
 $108.86
 $60.00 Car Repairs
 $48.86  $48.86
7%  $3.42
 $3.42  $45.44

 

So see we’re still ok – I paid Scott via a check the other day for our car repairs and that brings us even with him, and now I need to budget the cost of the inspection, $32.00 and registration, $28.00 ($60.00) total so that my car will be legal for another year at least…still hoping I can replace it with something reliable and for less per month – this means allocating a larger portion of our tax return to a down payment…oh well, it’ll be worth it if I can bring my monthly car payment down some!

 $893.86
 $400.00 Citi
 $493.86
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $488.86
 $320.00 Cash for Week
 $168.86
 $60.00 Car Repairs
 $108.86
 $70.00  Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $38.86
 $3.42  Merrill Transfer
 $35.44

 

I am not 110% comfortable quite yet with the budget, but I can breathe a sigh of relief that the mortgage is somewhat current!

Alrighty ya’ll, that is all for this week! Enjoy your Week – and until Next Time!

Ok I am just going to say it – I am sick and F*ng tired of not being paid for days off…it’s getting to the point that I can’t even pay my bills because I want a couple of days off of work – my boss once again wants to have a “General Discussion” regarding this email I sent her the night we returned the car to the dealership:

“Good Afternoon Kim,

 Just wanted to sent a note to speak with you about a possible salary increase/raise.  After three years of dutiful employment, completing any and all tasks requested in addition to my regular duties I feel it is time to discuss the possibility of a pay increase.
 
Please let me know if this is something we can discuss further.
 
Thanks!”
This I am certain will be just another one of her atypical “We haven’t decided what we’re doing with your position” or “The current situation of XXXX is not compatible with pay raises for temps” blah blah blah…frankly it’s getting to sound more and more like she’s a politician and not a manager…sickening honestly! I have zero respect for this woman and if the job market wasn’t so bleak in Wilmington I might be inclined to look for work elsewhere…as it is I am thinking of trying to find other avenues for making some extra cash – possibly jumping into the world of Freelance writing…my publishing career is once again stalled as I’ve been so wrapped up with our financial problems I haven’t had time to do anything with it…that post will be on my other blag shortly…
As it is this week’s budget is very brief, as with the shortage of our pay due to me being off two days last week (I only keyed/worked 26.5 hrs. last week) and there not being enough work to fill the balance 14.0 hrs. I would have worked I couldn’t justify logging in and just getting hours for doing nothing…so here we are, another short-pay week, it hurts like an SOB and I am so very tired of it all!
With that being said – here’s the budget this week:
 $110.31 Remaining from W/E 08/04/13  $304.07 Lara W/E 08/04/13 Salary
 $76.90 Amt. Spent  $259.13 Jimmy W/E 08/04/13 Salary
 $33.41 Avail. Starting  $563.20
 $7.49 PetsMart  $33.41 Avail. Starting
 $4.99 Office Max  $563.20 Total Pay
 $1.02 Target  $596.61 Avail. For Bills
 $18.44 Hobby Lobby  $250.00 Unpaid Car Repairs
 $8.85 Target  $846.61
 $6.39 Wal-Mart  $88.00 Unexplained Discrepancy
 $5.23 Harris Teeter  $934.61
 $3.18 PetsMart
 $1.00 Wal-Mart
 $4.96 KTC
 $4.12 Harris Teeter
 $5.95 Target
 $5.28 Everybody’s IGA
 $76.90

 

Ok two things here:

1.  We haven’t paid Scott yet for the repairs to the car, we’re waiting on him to find a seal for our intake system and then install it before we pay  him, so that $250.00 (down from the initial $275.00 from last week, as that’s what he and Jimmy agreed to) was put back into the budget

2.  The $88.00 discrepancy was the difference between what my spreadsheet said was available and what my checkbook said was available – not sure where it came from but it worked in my favor so it got plugged back into the budget.

Like I said it’s a  brief week – with just one item coming out directly from the account this week – Austin’s TKD payment and then payment on the utility and DB Plumbing (which BTW has just one more payment!!! WOOHOO!! and then that money will go back into the budget!)

 $934.61
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $909.61
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $829.61
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin
 $824.61
 $5.00 OT Solution
 $819.61
 $89.00 APM
 $730.61
 $170.00 Groceries
 $560.61
 $25.00 Jimmy’s Money
 $535.61
 $25.00 Dinner, 8/9
 $510.61
 $25.00 Cat & Dog Food
 $485.61
 $35.00 Gas
 $450.61
 $100.00 CFPUA
 $350.61
 $250.00 Car Repairs
 $100.61

Now I did re-budget for the car repairs this week as I fully expect to be paying Scott before the week is out, he rightfully deserves it! He’s saved me a TON of cash!

 $934.61
 $25.00 DB Plumbing
 $909.61
 $80.00 Brigades Boys & Girls Club
 $829.61
 $5.00 Tate & Kirlin
 $824.61
 $5.00 OT Solutions
 $819.61
 $89.00 APM
 $730.61
 $260.00 Cash for Week
 $470.61
 $100.00 CFPUA
 $370.61
 $35.00 Gas
 $335.61
 $250.00 Car Repairs
 $ 85.61

Now I’ve had to keep Gas as a separate budget item from the Cash for the week as I have to stop and get gas on my way to get the kiddos tonight – running the AC (per Scott – to keep the car from stalling at a red light/when idle – it’s something to do with the missing seal and the intake system) all the time has eaten my gas and I am down to almost empty as of this morning’s drive into work – not enough to get me to Brigades, Bank and then a Gas station (they are too spread out in town), otherwise everything remains the same!

Well that’s enough from me, Jimmy’s off tomorrow so I am hoping we can hit the beach!

Have an Awesome Weekend Everyone! Until Next Week!