Hey everyone! So if you caught one of my previous posts, we are on a journey to become debt free. We are using Dave Ramsay's steps to Financial Freedom as our guide!
We haven't made much progress, other than we are getting better (still not great) at budgeting and are constantly finding ways to try and save a little money. However we really aren't able to save any sort of substantial amount every month. So last summer we decided the best thing to do would be to sell our Jeep. We still are making payments on it each month. My parents gave us an old car they had (that needs some work, hubby has been working on it off and on but it's jacked up in our garage right now lol)- it's a 1987 Chrysler Lebaron. Yeah- old enough we could get antique plates for it if we wanted! lol. Anyway they gave us that vehicle so we were going to sell the Jeep, then keep the Malibu we have (already paid off) and then Brew would drive the Chrysler to and from work as our second vehicle. In the meantime we would save up our emergency fund and then start saving for a minivan to buy in cash with the $315/mo we WOULDN'T have to pay for the Jeep.
Well best laid plans.... we have listed that Jeep continuously in the local bulletin board and on facebook and craigslist for the last 6 months. We've lowered the price every couple months because we truly only are looking to get what we owe out of it (which is less than what it books for). But we have had no such luck. A few have called and seemed interested but then when it came down to it they ended up passing on it. I guess because it is a bit of a gas guzzler and it doesn't have a 3rd row seat (which seems to be what people are looking for). So after 6 months of this I'm just OVER IT. I'm frustrated with not going anywhere on this debt-free journey, and still constantly struggling to pay bills every month and not having any left over for "fun stuff". Several months the credit card payments don't get the minimum payment made. I've had to hoard away any little bits of extra to buy Christmas gifts this year even. So yeah I'm just done messing around with it.
So we are now trying to come up with some other options. We are considering now trading in BOTH the Jeep and the Malibu for a used minivan. Calculating best I could we could afford up to $7,000 and keep the payment below $200/mo. I know, I know, another car loan is NOT the direction we wanted to go at this point. BUT sometimes you have to take a step back before you can take two steps forward. And honestly? We don't have another option except to wait the almost two years we have remaining on the Jeep loan to get it paid off. I don't want to do that not only because I don't want to wait two more years to get rolling on becoming debt free-- but I want to (hopefully) get pregnant with baby number 2 before then (if I wait until the Jeep is paid off, Jackson would be over three years old and probably closer to 4 before I would actually have a baby and I was hoping for them to be a little closer in age than that). Right now we can't save any money for my maternity leave so we really can't afford to get pregnant. (And therefore we are still preventing it at this point). So this is my best idea so far. This way, we could have $100 extra a month to start saving. When we get our tax return we should have our emergency fund then we can start our debt snowball (and just add the vehicle payment into the snowball). And if I should get pregnant in that time period we can put the debt snowball on hold until I can save for the hopefully 3 months off I want to take from work (or as much as we can).
As of now that's the only real option I can see... if anyone has any experience or ideas though be sure to let me know!!! I just know we can't keep doing what we are doing because I'm super tired of struggling every month. We have already cut cable, I meal plan and have a very small grocery budget (about $250 every month and that INCLUDES diapers and other toiletries), we seldom to never eat out, etc. We have had to do all those things just to make it each month- let alone save anything.
So please pray for us that we make the right decisions and that God presents the opportunity/option for us that He wants for us!