On being real, car wreck edition

I am going to try to go an entire post without resorting to pictures of my dogs.

I know, I’m shocked too.

Anyways, Friday was WAY too eventful.  Husband found out his best friend got that job they both interviewed for last week and then, well,

That is the Honda logo that goes on the front bumper of my car. Notice that it is instead in my hand. And yes, I am laying down. Once I calmed down, I felt like I had totally had the wind knocked out of me and couldn't quite stay upright. And please ignore my terrible skin. Hormones are lovely.

Yes, he wrecked my car.  In to a flat bed truck.  That wasn’t moving.

I am so proud.

I was such a hysterical sobbing mess that I haven’t actually seen the car.  I don’t want to see it.  He says the hood will never close again if we open it and antifreeze appears to be leaking.  I’ve had this car just over four years and paid it off about 6 months ago.  It was my first car that I bought new when I graduated college.  I banged it up but good, but now I’m worried it will be “totaled.”  Which would be fine except we need to replace his car sooner than later and I don’t know how we can afford a car payment right now, much less two.

And this is why I don’t feel like updating anymore.  Life is bleak.  We’ve run out of money and things just keep going wrong.  This accident is on top of the $700 repairs we just put in to the car and he also got a ticket because the guy he hit called the police.  All that together costs more than I make in a month.  And he doesn’t make anything right now.

It’s probably gauche to talk about my financial problems, but honestly, I’m sick of reading all these shiny, happy blogs where no one ever mentions that things cost money or that life isn’t always perfect.  Sometimes things really, really suck.  And sometimes it’d be nice to feel like I’m not the only one feeling that way.

Everyone keeps telling us life won’t give us more than we can handle, but none of those people have ever been homeless or gone hungry, so I’m starting to think middle class people don’t know what they are talking about.  Which isn’t to say we are going to end up on the street (our rent is paid for us until he finds a job) and we probably aren’t going to starve to death (especially since I can get student loans in a few more weeks), but we are scared.  And I wonder how many homeless people thought they’d be fine too.

I’ll be the first one to say it, we’ve made poor choices with money.  We should have saved better and assumed things could get this bad, but we didn’t and it is too late now.  Luckily, I get paid this week and this month we can make smarter decisions.  No more new running stuff, no new gadgets, no new clothes for him (my jeans are starting to tear and I only own one pair, so I think I have to buy new ones this month.  And fat kids can’t buy jeans at consignment shops very easily), no more dinners out, etc.

Hey, I set a weight loss goal and look how well I did with that!  My two big addictions are food and shopping, so if I can get the food under control so well, then I bet the shopping can be tamed too.

Meanwhile, does anyone want to hire an almost lawyer?  I’ll give you a cookie.

On a less serious note, this spam comment made me laugh hysterically:

Has anyone else ever gotten hilariously dirty spam?

What’s your best money saving/living on a budget tip?

Am I being too honest?  I feel like I’m asking to get blasted on here.

How was your weekend?  It was sunny and gorgeous here (hard to believe others are living through a hurricane right now!).  Everyone in Irene’s wake ok?

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About Sarah S @RunningOnWords

Married 20-something in flux and trying to cope by running and occasionally crafting.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Marriage. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to On being real, car wreck edition

  1. Oh Sarah, I’m sorry life is throwing a bunch of crap on you right now. 😦

    I don’t think you’re going to get blasted on for talking about your financial problems. I don’t think anyone should ever be slammed for being honest about money.

    As for tips, do you keep a expense/income tracking spreadsheet at all? That was the first thing I did after I graduated college. I’ve found it to be helpful. Mine is a very meticulous one; I know where all my money goes every month (to the cent). I also read a lot of personal finance blogs to pick up little tips/tricks along the way. I wish I had more tips or tricks for you. 😦

  2. Army Amy says:

    I’m sorry to hear that times are hard right now. When it rains, it pours! Have you ever watched the show Till Debt Do Us Part? It has lots of good budgeting tips! I don’t think you are being too honest. It’s your blog, so it should be a real reflection if what’s going on in your life.*

  3. Pahla says:

    Many years ago, when the kids were super little, we were so broke that I made up a budget and posted it on the refrigerator. Every time we spent a dime, we had to account for it on the budget. There was just enough money for bag-it-yourself groceries, diapers, rent and utilities. Nothing else. Nothing. No restaurants, no clothes, no toys, no cell phones, no cable TV. But I still paid for the internet, because I had priorities, even then. 🙂
    So, yes, I know a little about life in the bleak zone. It got better, thank goodness. Things do. In the meantime, though, I have sympathy for you. I know you will pull through this because you are a smart, determined girl!

    • JenWa098 says:

      I completely know where you are right now! We had planned on building our home (Mike and I acutally building it…he is handy that way) a couple of years ago, but when the economy tanked we decided to stay put. We live in a dumpy, very very hot trailer. We are still paying for last winter’s propane and even though we were making payments on it and weren’t over “the limit” they told us we were paying “too slow” and so if we want propane we have to pay in advance. As a teacher, my last check was June and I don’t get paid until the end of September.

      Your husband will find work. Job hunting is one of the hardest jobs there is!

      Blogging and running and spending time with my honey and pets are all ways to stay positive for me so I don’t blog about the really grim stuff. Maybe I should. We went on a “date” last week because we hadn’t been on one all summer! Then I felt bad we spent the money even though it was a YEAR ago since we saw a movie out!

      I always joke with my friends by saying: There’s a 100% chance it will get better or worse”. I know times are tight and things always seem worse before the get better. I know this probably won’t make you feel better, but you aren’t alone and I am sending good vibes your way!

  4. aprilvak says:

    My former employer started offering Dave Ramsey’s Financial Freedom class not long before I left. Tldr, we went to half, but got all the materials. What we found most useful was making an honest budget of where our money went and then tracking our spending to make sure it was accurate. And like you mentioned, one of our biggest problems was eating out. It took some effort and getting used to, but with clipping coupons and tracking sales and planning our meals every week, we now spend less than a quarter of what we spent a year ago on food. It may be a little easier for us since I only work four hours a week now, but it’s really worth it.

    I also subscribe to Living On A Dime’s newsletters. They sell a lot of ebooks, but there is plenty of useful info on the website and in the newsletters for free.

    Our income was cut almost in half in January, and then took another hit in February when the other woman took DH to court for child support (I plan on blogging about that soon), but we made it through, and you’ll be okay too. I have every confidence in you!

  5. Kim says:

    HUGS, Sarah! I am sorry about your car! If I didn’t have DH, my finances would be a mess. He is the one who set up the budget and spreadsheets. We get Money magazine and I know he gets a lot of tips there.

  6. Mandy says:

    Hugs! I know how that feels. We had it pretty rough when Mark was finishing his MBA program. Lots of Ramen noodles and creditor phone calls. Obviously, we’re better now, but it was pretty tough while it lasted. I don’t know that I have good advice, we relied on making it until he got a job. Blogging about it and forcing accountability for extras is probably a good start though.

  7. Natalie says:

    Oh hon! I am so sorry. That absolutely stinks. I want to hug you through the computer. We’ve had times financially where I am all “we are going to live in a shoebox and die” and it is completely stressful. We eventually took out a little extra in student loans that we will pay back when they come due, just for peace of mind during these trying times. But it really scares me for the day that we aren’t both in school and can’t reach to that when an emergency happens.

  8. Shirley says:

    Sometimes you just got to vent! And where better than to your blog friends. All I can say is been there done that! I can relate with the bad spending and bad planning and everything hitting you at once and feeling like you would like to crawl in bed, pull the covers over your head and stay there till things get better. Somehow you find a way to deal with it…you will I have faith in you. Stick in there girl and know that we are hear to listen!

  9. Abby says:

    Ugh, I’m really sorry about the car. If it makes you feel any better, I definitely know how you feel. My car (the one that was crushed by the tree) was officially deemed totaled the other day. When I bought it I paid 500 extra dollars for an insurance policy that I thought meant that if the car is totaled before it’s paid off, any outstanding payments are negated, so I thought that meant that we’d get a check for the value of the car and wouldn’t have to pay the remaining year of payments on it. Turns out that they explained the insurance policy poorly when I bought it and that insurance only covers if there’s a gap between the amount the car is worth and the amount still owed – which effectively led to a $10,000 swing in what we thought we had for a new car, and not in our favor. Fun week…

  10. Kara says:

    That sucks about your car! We recently paid off my car and I’d be so upset if that happened! Money issues hardly ever come up on blogs, but honestly most people don’t discuss it in real life either.

    I think you should get some pants to review for the “blog” if you get my hint. 🙂

  11. TriGirl says:

    Ouchie, ouchie, ouch. I don’t want to say a generic ‘things will get better’ but I do agree that sitting down together to make a budget that you can stick to sounds like angood plan. I hope things get easier soon.

  12. Grace says:

    I really identify with this situation! A few years ago, I was unemployed, my husband was a full-time student, and we lived in an expensive city, where a car was a necessity. Money was really tight (as in, we spent 2/3 of our income on rent and qualified for food stamps, though we didn’t apply for them). Having very little money is just not any fun (especially because you can’t afford to do anything or go anywhere, since that costs money!). The good news is, being poor when you’re a student is only a temporary state. Once you both finish school, you will get jobs and start making a much better salary (true for us).

    My only budgeting tip is to have/make one (otherwise I personally always overspend), and then stick to it, even if that means eating ramen and peanut butter for 3 meals in a row. It really helps to know exactly how much you can spend on groceries in a week, and as you get used to a budget, you get better at finding ways to make your money go farther.

  13. emily says:

    So sorry about your car! Holy jeebus. I hit a deer a year before I paid my Jeep off and if they had considered it “totaled”, I would have been so upset.

    Have you considered Mint.com to work on a budget? I signed up and did ok for a month or so, but then fell off track around the time of the unexpected MRI bills. I found it to be pretty helpful (as long as you budget way more than you think you’ll need for gas :-P. The emails telling you “you went over your monthly budget for gas” make me want to punch Mint.com in the face).

    Money is one of those things I’m pretty much always stressed about. I hate money mainly because I don’t have any. I feel for you tons and wish I could help! I wish winning the lottery was easier. If I won, I’d totally share it with you!

  14. Raquelita says:

    I’m so sorry that life has been dealing you such a shitty hand lately. Being broke can be incredibly stressful.

    If it’s any consolation. You are not alone. I worry about trying to save money because my job isn’t tenure-track and my husband is underemployed and it’s not as though people are banging down the door to hire in most sectors of the economy these days. I try very hard to remain optimistic and to only worry about controlling the things that I can actually control: try to be frugal, teach my classes well, work on publications, do things that add to my CV, apply for everything even if it doesn’t seem like there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that an institution will hire someone without an Ivy League PhD and a publication record a mile long.

  15. I also make poor decisions with money and have to pay for it later – mine problems are with eating out!

    I just wanted you to know I am thinking about you, and I for one appreciate your honesty. We all need to be a little more honest with ourselves at times – whether it be in a public forum or not.

    Running is very expensive and I need to start watching what/how much I spend when it comes to races, gear, eating out on Saturdays, etc. We can do it together! Like anything- having someone to hold me accountable really helps!

    Hang in there, friend!

  16. Life is throwing the same shit here…I am SICK OF IT!
    Keep your chin up and keep moving forward…

  17. Well, you know my deal with money. As much as I love being vastly under employed and working 2 jobs to not even make ends meet, I’d rather be more financially stable 🙂 Life throws us curve balls with recessions, layoffs, tickets, accidents, etc. I really admire your honesty about this topic and think it’s great when we can figure out the hard stuff of life with friends.

    Hugs to you my friend!!!!!

  18. Aww, girl. That sucks. Especially since you just paid off the car. I SO know how that goes. I’ve been in the same position. I once had to borrow $24 from my mom so I could make one of my credit card payments.
    As for the jeans. Ross or TJ Maxx can be your friend. And Old Navy had a super sale on jeans recently that might still be going on. Like, $10 a pair.
    All this crap will turn around eventually. And going through this will prepare you so it doesn’t happen again.
    My best tip though is not eating out. It sucks to eat all that stuff that’s been sitting in my pantry for awhile, but sometimes, I gotta do it for awhile to get by.

  19. Sam says:

    oh no. life can be so full of suck sometimes! i’m sorry everything is crappy right now.

  20. Sorry to hear that!! Hubs totaled his car in an ice storm on valentines day in 2007. Actually, he was not hubs yet, we were 6 mos away from getting married. We were both grad students at the time. The car was paid off and in good shape. Luckily the insurance money received was more than we thought the car was worth and we were able to buy a used car, taxes, registration, etc + pay for the ticket he was issued. and had some left over.

    We didn’t eat out much (being busy with work and grad school from 9 am til 10 pm helped). When we did eat at home, we’d make big cheap meals like chili in a crockpot. Beans and tomatoes are cheap, and a full crockpot lasts for several meals. Bringing lunch to work is cheap: dinner leftovers, pbj, soup, etc. Like Emily said, I’ve heard mint.com is good, also Learnvest.com has a budgeting tool. I’ve gone overboard with grocery shopping before, now I try to really plan out meals, make a list, and stick to it. If I go when I’m hungry, I come home with all kinds of extra stuff. Look for coupons online for some of the stuff you buy regularly. Buy store brand stuff when you can (cereal, tp, paper towel, etc).

    Do you have stuff you can list on ebay or craigslist for some spare cash? Weirdest thing I did for extra money: the University where my husband is a grad student…the psych department has paid experiments. I used to go in all the time for little “studies” usually done on the computer, sometimes they were just questionnaires, sometimes they were tasks (i.e. reaction time, etc.) which paid $15/hr. I also have volunteered for their fMRI lab — secretly I just wanted pictures of my brain because I’m a psychology/biopsychology nerd, but those studies paid like $60-80 for 1 – 1.5 hrs of time. It was pretty sweet. And I still have the color pictures of my brain.

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