This week I had a quasi-near-death experience as an SUV pulled out in front of me, leaving me in a heck of a predicament as I sideswiped it. Thankfully, the only injuries were our our hurt feelings and our vehicles. I received a call today that my car- a Toyota Prius-is a total loss. We expected this as the right wheel appeared to be bent, the car is 11 years old, and has 160,000 miles.
The whole predicament is kind of inconvenient, but I have been praying for us to get out of debt. I saw no feasible means of pushing this process along due to Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. So I have also taken an ax to the finances, whacking off everything that isn’t essential. Except cable. I haven’t gotten there yet. Since I spend a great portion of my time in bed, I want my cable. At least until we have some other feasible alternative.
My husband and I married July 31, 2014- we’re coming up on our 3 year anniversary. I brought a large amount of debt to the table. I was basically disabled, was the single parent of 3 kids, and did not have time for all that budgeting stuff as my energy level was sucked dry from working. When you are sick and you work full time, that is all you can do. That’s it. I had no energy left to worry about money. I was just surviving.
So I spent what I felt I needed to and if it didn’t fit into my budget, I figured out how I could get it. I knew what the Bible said about debt (the borrower is slave to the lender) but I didn’t have time to really care about that either.
My husband and I now are reaping the consequences of my lack of diligence in regard to money. This year I took over management of the finances. It has helped me so much to see where our money is going and to have to make decisions for the family. I sometimes can’t believe my husband entrusted this to me; but he did, and I do try to do the best I possibly can because a lot is riding on it. Our family’s future is dependent on me making good decisions and I now take that very seriously.
So, when I wrecked the car, I thought about things a bit. We have an old camper sitting in the yard. It has only a little over 50,000 miles on it. There are a couple of things that need to be repaired- for one, the air conditioner! But the more I thought about it, the more I thought I’d like to apply the amount of the car to our debt rather than rush out and get a new car. I don’t drive much- I just take my daughter back and forth to work and don’t even do that every day. Between the amount for the car and our tax return, we should be pretty close to being out of credit card debt. And, my friend, that is huge. Because the amount of debt I arrived with was HUGE.
The other thing I’m doing, rather than having big shopping trips, is going through daily what we have, and making a meal plan based on that. For instance, yesterday I knew we had bacon. We had eggs. I had pancake mix and potatoes. BREAKFAST for dinner! And today, I have lots of leftover pancake batter, some leftover taters, I still have some eggs – so I knew I could do it again! I just wanted a breakfast meat to go with it. I went in my daughter’s store when I went to pick her up and they have bacon on sale again. I really wanted ham, but I can deal with bacon, and the rest of the family likes it. It was 2.99 for a pound, so bacon it is. Tomorrow, I have some beans, cornmeal, cabbage that needs to be cooked, so we’ll be having a country dinner tomorrow night- with no meat. Just beans for protein! And I won’t have to buy anything for that. I have stuff to make spaghetti, minus the noodles, so for a pack of noodles (around a dollar) I have a third meal. And on and on we’ll go, until we have nothing to transform into a dinner. And we’ll be saving money that we can put toward bills and debt.
I encourage you to google “$25 meal plan for a week” and you will see several good meal plans- surely one will fit your fancy! My favorite teaching on this so far is:
She has many great ideas, and a list so you can list out what you do have, so that you can make a plan based on that. We rarely, and I mean rarely, have to ever throw anything out because we transform leftovers into good meals!
I do miss my Prius, and I do plan to get another car. But I won’t be rushing to do so. For now, you’ll see me swinging around town in an 86 Toyota Dolphin, living it up. I’m just praying it will continue to serve us well!
Blessings to you and yours.