True Confessions - We Bought AJ His First Car

I’ve really been debating this post because I don’t want to get slammed for being part of a decision that I had little control over.  Not to say I wasn’t fully in agreement, it’s just that of course I always wish extra money was thrown at credit card debt.  In spite of my concerns, I wanted to share the good news.

Mr. A had two great months in February and March.  Of course my fervent hope is that this trend will continue, but I learned many years ago you should never count your chicks before they hatch.

I’m sure you can figure out what that saying means, but we have actually had the opportunity to test the statement first hand.  We haven’t tried to hatch any chicks lately, but Mr. A has in the past.   It is a lot of time and effort, and you can not count on the results at all. Basically you keep the eggs in an incubator (since none of our hens are good broodies) and you have to turn those eggs every day, at least twice daily and preferably three times a day.  This is so the chick develops properly. You might start 36 eggs and carefully and lovingly turn them every single day, but at the end of doing this for 21 days in a row, you might find that only 4 chicks hatch out and now you have to deal with 32 rotten eggs. Now if you had dreams of putting chicken on the table for two months with those 36 eggs, now you have to start all over and take the same chances.

Now where was I? OH, I was just saying there’s no way I’m going to now start counting on the income Mr. A had in February and March, of course we still need to be conservative in managing our money, and continue to pay off our debt.

The other part of the chicks-egg-hatching-counting deal is that our youngest has decided to pursue his dream job. He is volunteering at a very professional business two days a week, because he wants to move on from his current job.  He’s doing it right, he’s looking for a new job before quitting his old one, I’m proud of him for being proactive and looking before he leaps.

Mr. A wanted to help AJ get his own vehicle.  So he put out a call to the guy from whom we bought his work truck. The work truck ended up being a great vehicle and has performed nicely in the last year.

It just so happens he had a great classic car for sale so Mr. A and AJ went to have a look. AJ fell totally in love with the old girl, and Mr. A asked me if we could “afford” to buy the car. It’s always so hard for me to answer that question, since technically no, we don’t have the money sitting around to buy a car since that money should go toward debt repayment.

But then the mother in me wins out over the frugal *ahem* hag.   Mr. A and I had yucky childhoods, and our parents didn’t do much for us when we were venturing kicked out of the nest. You know, like other parents were helping their child get their driver’s permit and teaching them to drive, while ours weren’t. My parents didn’t buy me a car although I should admit that my dad sold the racing 10-speed bike he’d bought me when I went to visit him for a few months when I was 17, later sending me the money when I got on my own at 21.  I used the money to get my first secured credit card to begin building my credit. I appreciated that.

It has meant a lot to us to be able to do the things for AJ for which we felt we’d been deprived. We helped AJ get his learner’s permit, and when he got a job we didn’t force him to sign over his paycheck, although we did ask him to pay us $200 each month for living expenses, which I thought was very reasonable.

AJ will be making payments to us for his car.  I would like to say we bought it for him and just gave it to him, but he wants to pay for it, and I think that’s responsible of him to do so.  I am not going to get caught up in expecting the money, however.  I am planning in my own head, to consider it a gift. It is just easier that way.

Back to the chicks hatching…  AJ is fervently hoping his internship turns into a paying job.  I hope so too, but I’m not going to worry if it doesn’t. He doesn’t have a lot left over from his current job, so his payments will be small, but he also works with Mr. A many weekends and last year made just over $2000, so even if he doesn’t get the other job right away, he has ample opportunity to earn money with the family business.

The vehicle cost $2500.  Thankfully, we were able to absorb this hit without going deeper in debt, and that included making the extra payment to the Discover card!  Hopefully this recent trend with Mr. A’s business will continue, that would be great! I’d be able to retire sooner than my Five Year Financial plan. Man. We’d be able to pay down our credit card in 6 short months if every month was that good!

Do you have any True Confessions to share?

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10 comments to True Confessions – We Bought AJ His First Car

  • Ellen

    Hhmm…this isn’t a confession of something we have done in the past, but more something we’re planning to do this summer. We bought our house in June 2009 and besides ripping down the wallpaper, haven’t done ANYTHING to the house yet. We are planning to sink about $750 into redoing the master bedroom this summer.

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  • This sounds like a good arrangement, and it is certainly not an outrageous amount. A couple of months of hard work and it actually can be paid off.

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  • Well, we just bought the most expensive, biggest car we’ve ever owned. But it still gets 39 MPG and we paid cash. . .still, feels kind of weird. It better last forever. Oh, and like yours it was a negotiation between my husband and I. . .I feel a bit ambivalent.

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  • Sheila

    I think you did the right thing. 🙂 If you weren’t able to pay your bills, that would be a different thing. But you are paying down debt, and occasionally you have to do something that is important to you. I read your story just now, and I think you absolutely did the right thing.

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  • It sounds like you did the right thing. You can be frugal but still look out for family members. And if he does end up paying you back, then that is just icing on the proverbial cake!

    I’m thinking about trying an uber-expensive meal system so I guess that’s my confession for the time being. At $300 a month (though, admittedly, I get a second month free) that’s a whopping investment — but it’s my health so I guess it’s worth it.

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  • I think this sounds fine. We spent $6000 last year on a bedroom set and a Tempurpedic mattress…that still makes me cringe. My hubby loves it so I just make myself happy knowing that we will never buy a bedroom set again and this mattress is guaranteed to last for 10 years and give me money back if it doesn’t last for 20…

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  • My son is 9, but I would like to buy him a decent, safe used car to when he is 16… I need to start saving now!

    Here’s luck to AJ!!!

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  • I think you made a good compromise. I’m extremely glad to read that your son is making payments on the car; I think that is absolutely essential for driving home the point that driving a car comes with responsibilities.

    I know my son (who is on the verge of becoming a teenager) is already talking about the day he will get to drive a car. I’ve been trying to impress upon him the amount of money a car costs. He needs to buy the car, then pay for the insurance, and the weekly gas fill-ups. That doesn’t even begin to count maintenance costs, right?

    Of course, I’ve been telling him he needs to start saving his money NOW in a special car account. So far he hasn’t saved a dime.

    If he doesn’t start saving up soon, he’ll be taking his dates to the movies on the local city bus. LOL

    All the best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com

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  • […] totally forgot to mention that my blog post We Bought AJ His First Car was included at the 51st Carnival of Money Stories on April 26th by Andrew over at Earn Give […]

  • […] gas costs went down since AJ got his own car. He was filling my tank at least twice a month, but I didn’t realize what an impact it would […]

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