Friday, August 22, 2014

I'm not dead yet... and an honesty check about finances.

Alright, my header reads that we live on $17,500 a year and I'm not changing that right now (yet?), because, well, that's how this started and how we could still be doing it.

Here's the rub, though: Hubbin wrecked his truck this last winter, and we bought a new, more fuel efficient car, which came with a car payment that bumped our annual budget up to $21,500.

Oddly enough, there was a negative change in our insurance cost ($5 less a month, WHAT?). The data geek in me now wants to know the algorithms that go into that calculation, when a 10 y/o full size truck with minimal insurance costs more than a new, full coverage insured tiny little bump in the road.

So obviously, it's not fuel efficient enough to offset the loan we took out for it, and trust me when I tell you that that was totally part of the 2 month long discussion here at Pinch Manor. It gets somewhere above 35 mpg on average, though, so I'll put that out there for our little zippy thing. It will be cheaper over the long haul than a used truck (other option we discussed) would have been, so we did still make the frugal choice. Because you know what else comes in blue and is a much sexier car, albeit without the cargo space? Convertible Mustangs:

Shamelessly stolen from this page:

Deep, longing SIGH.

I am a little ashamed to admit that the deciding factor as to whether we would just use the insurance payout (uninsured driver rider, thank you ever so much, if you don't have that insurance rider, do it, do it now!) and buy another used vehicle, or if we would use it as a down payment and get something new, was the colour of the car we got.

It came in my blue. I am a bad person and a shameless spendthrift. Did I mention it's a pretty, pretty blue that matches a lot of my wardrobe? A girl's gotta colour coordinate, don'tch know?

Our two vehicles, minutes after we signed on the dotted line.  Wonder what they are talking about?

The thing we can't decide is, did the van have a baby or is it dating a midget? 

(If you are thinking about flaming me about that one, I'm talking about an inanimate object, not a person, grow a sense of humour, or buy one, I hear they are on sale this month at most local retailers)

So there it is, we broke budget because we took out a car loan. I'm not changing the header, because this is the only change to the budget and frankly, we could have done without it if we had to; or kept the payments significantly lower by putting a larger down payment up or changing the terms of the loan around a bit. Purely a luxury item that ended an argument. If we hadn't had the room in the budget, from pinching and saving and generally living below our means, this picture would have been of a used vehicle, bought from a private seller for under $3,500, which was the budget we had agreed on for a used car. 

Did I mention it's MY blue? Which is weird, because it's the car the hubbin drives most of the time :D

But seriously, I totally admit that I saw this car in a parking lot, went and got the hubbin and asked him why I don't have one of those. Yeah, I'm that kind of high maintenance.

That's one of the reasons why we live frugally, so we can look at each other, ask that question, walk into a dealership and fix that problem we are having. 

And because we could both work minimum wage jobs and be fine. Which is how this whole thing sort of started, with someone telling me how it's not possible to live on the current minimum wage of $7.50 an hour (two almost full time (38 hrs) incomes, after taxes: $23,700, so that's what we had to stay below to prove it can be done, that, and groceries for no more than $1/meal, because that's less than food stamps would be for us). Best way to get me to do something: Tell me it can't be done.

There is another blog post brewing somewhere in my brain about closing that challenge (because I have proved the point to MY satisfaction and that's really all that counts at this point) and just focusing more on sustainability and crunchyness (did I just type that?), without going too granola (YUCK) and shifting the frugal aspect more toward the economics of what is my time worth. It's a journey and there is a change of direction brewing. It's all good :D

K, that's all I got for now, back under my rock for a while, because the garden is coming in nicely, and I am doing a lot of this (hint, it's about Lacto fermentation)

Happy Pinching :D

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