Yesterday afternoon Mr F called to tell me that we were officially a one car family. As in... finally... the volvo was sold and he had cash in hand to deposit at the bank.
For the last month or so Mr F has been compulsively looking at cars online to replace the volvo. This was a source of contention.
It's not that I think we should be a one car family indefinitely but I think we should be cautious about how we handle this money before we commit some of it to another car.
What I mean is... until we have paid off the appliances, the medical bills, and repaired the van & replaced the tires... we don't know how much will be left for another car.
We do know it will be less than $2000... or I should say I know it will be less than $2000. However, when Mr F is sucked into ebay world $2000 quickly becomes more as the fever of an auction winds down.
Mr F had to be schooled (yet again) on how REALLY serious our situation is. It just doesn't seem to be sinking in.
We haven't even settled our debts and he's ready to spend our windfall. And that is a pattern for him... and the reason I'm in charge of the finances. I'm not trying to be controlling... I'm trying to save us from our ruinous situation.
Mr F was in charge of our finances for the first several years of our marriage... and... it was (by his own admission) disastrous. Because of this very pattern of behavior. Mr F likes to round up our assets and round down our debts. EVERY SINGLE TIME.
So the car is just another example. Before he'd gotten the money from the buyer (aka maybe the car wasn't sold) he was ready to bid on a car that was well over our budget.
It didn't matter that just a few days ago we got a notice from our mortgage company that our monthly payment was going up $200 to cover some escrow issues. You may recall that our budget was EXTREMELY tight before we had to cover our own health insurance. Add this in and our monthly expenses just went up $900. That's more than 20% of our take home pay. Sadly Mr F did not get a 20% raise.
Mr F sees the cash in hand and thinks we *have* money. You probably know someone like this... and how frustrating for the money manager it is to keep breaking down why that money doesn't really exist. Over and over and over.
Sometimes I just want to yell "Why do you think we sold the car?!!!"
We had a discussion about how the replacement car will not be a car that he wants. (So stop looking at Saab wagons in PA (that you'll have to fly to pick up!) just because it's a really good deal... it's also REALLY over our price range.)
Are you sensing my frustration?
My proposition is that we pay everything off. We get the van completely fixed. THEN Mr F can look for a car with whatever cash is leftover. Doesn't that make sense? Because we are not in a position to cover even a $500 mistake right now.
I'm not even sure we're in a position to pay all our bills anymore.
So last night I called Mr F at work and said...
"There's a 6 o'clock bus. You get it about a block from your office. One stop and you're home. It's one dollar."
Get used to it.