vent: Finances and freeways - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-23-2006, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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i normally lurk in the shadows but now need a shoulder...

So this weekend, DH and i were on our way to a funeral of a friend's father to be held about 4 hours away. What was to be a day trip turned into a Lampoon Nightmare when our only car, a less-than-one-year-old-to-us 94 corolla wagon, DIED a very painful death on the side of the highway 3 hours into our trip. We managed to putter and push our way to a Toyota dealership we passed along the way only to learn that we would need a new engine (costing more than the car's value, of course). My dear mother ended up driving two and a half hours (from the opposite direction) to pick us up and take her to her home which now means we are 5 hours from our own home without a car and completely missed the funeral. So, based on advice from what appears to be everyone in our families and my mother's mechanic, and after a couple of emotional breakdowns, we ended up purchasing the cheapest reliable brand new 2006 car we could find to aviod another used car fiasco (while still having a small loan to pay off on the now deceased wagon). Financially, we can muster in our current situation with both of us working full time, but I am slowly heading into a fiancial panic tailspin thinking of "what about when the baby comes." To avoid ungodly childcare costs following my maternity leave we were planning to have me return to work part time during the evenings and weekends so I could stay home with the babe during the day and my DH at home in the eves. I'm a bit freaked out because DH and i just sat down and updated our current and proposed post-baby budget, and i cannot for the life of me see how this is going to work! i'm at a total loss as we live very minimally already and really cant see many ways to cut costs. please tell me that things financially will work out somehow (especially if you've BTDT)...i'm beginning to wonder...:
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#2 of 5 Old 08-24-2006, 08:08 AM
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well, first off to you

what a horrible thing to have happen - I'm so glad that you made it somewhere safely though; the shoulder of a highway is *not* a nice place to be stuck.

As for the finances, as a family that's definitely bt and doing that, you can and will make it! It's not necessarily easy, and sometimes I have to get really really creative but it is doable; we definitely have a lot less 'spare' $$$ at the end of the month (i.e. none : ) but as far as I'm concerned it's worth it to have the privilege of being at home to raise and school my dd and coming little one. I work part-time for friends on the weekends when they need a break, and I also do a bit of freelance stuff when I can get it.

Although you probably are doing a lot of things already, come and check out the Frugality and Finances forum - there are some really really thrifty and creative mamas there

be kind to yourself, okay, and we're always here if you need us.
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#3 of 5 Old 08-24-2006, 10:24 AM
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We just had to buy a new car too. What really helped us was sitting down with an actual budget calculator program and doing both our monthly and yearly budgets. We saw that we could afford it easily if we cut out lots of the unneeded expenses and set a budget for everything else (even my husbands beer). Just seeing it in black and white really helped us out!

Having a car break down really sucks! Have you sold it to a junk yard? If not, I would do that just to help out with the pay-off of your loan.

And what kind of car did you buy? Even if it was unexpected...having a new car is exciting!

Eden yikes.gif, working on a PhD in Education mama to Laurelleshamrocksmile.gif (16), Orijoy.gif (6), Yarrowfaint.gif (4) and Linusfly-by-nursing1.gif (1) partner to Brice. 
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#4 of 5 Old 08-24-2006, 11:30 AM
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Nothing makes finances more 'in your face' than the reality of a new little one! We've gone from two incomes that let us pay bills and have fun to one income that makes it if I watch it.

My advice would be to try to work things out so that you could make it work with you part time or at home for the first year of your babe's life. After your baby can eat solids and be with someone else for awhile it's easier to go back to work... now that dd is 2, I think I would be okay working full time, if I needed to. It gets easier when they are older.

I went back to work after dd #1 and it just wasn't worth it- too hard logistically to be away from my infant. Then I picked up part time work that I could do with her and then by 18 months or so she started staying with a sitter so I could work- but by then it was just me choosing to have some 'quiet time' (my employer accepts dd as part of the package)- and I got a raise that allowed me to afford a sitter.

So even if your $$ is tight right now, you'll be able to make it work. New babies really need their mom's attention (IMO!); I know that now for this go-round. When they are a little older, you could go back to work if you needed to.

But anywhoo, didn't mean to make you : ! HTH- meg

PS: During the first 6 months of my dd's life my car went 'kaplooy', several times, in horrible locations. My dh and I ended up sharing his truck for months until my dad came to fix my car- I finally realized I needed help when my dh ended up not working for a month (was it two?) due to severe back pain. I had 1. an infant 2. an immobile drugged partner and 3. one standard cab gas-guzzling pick up. Yes, it was a rough time.

Megan~ mama to Cecilia (9/1/04) Carl (11/19/06) Vivian (9/10/09) & spring 2011 baby.
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#5 of 5 Old 08-24-2006, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all the kind words and advice. My DH and I are smart, resourceful and have good support so I know in my heart that we will be able to work things out and that we will be able to keep our baby with us at home. I feel that things happen as they should and have a reason and ultimately offer opportunities for growth and change. But sometimes it's hard to remember these things, especially when in the midst of feeling pooped on. I appreciate being able to share these fears with other moms and moms to be and knowing that we are not alone in this journey called parenthood.

And yes, it is nice having a brand new car even if it looks like a silly little shoe box (Scion XB)!

Thanks again, Mamas!
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