Sunday, March 1, 2009

So What Do We Make Of This?

For a pretty non religious person I seem to think God is sending me messages quite a bit. Things happen in interesting ways around here and I sometimes think that if there is a God maybe he's trying to convert me himself... I know... how very narcissistic of me. Or maybe life is filled with meaningless coincidences. Or maybe I'm psychic. Only time will tell.

Okay so here is the latest... make of it what you will...

As you know we have been trying to sell Mr F's Volvo sedan. We bought it used a couple of years ago and snagged a really good deal on it. It was already 5 years old and we paid less than it's actual value. It was worth about 12K and we got it for 10K.

Well, I've been really worried about our 2008 taxes. Mr F had still had his freelance work while we were in Michigan and we hadn't paid any estimated taxes. In 2007 we owed around 10K in taxes. This year I knew wouldn't be as much since we only had about 6 months of ever dwindling freelance work.... but I didn't know how much we would owe. I thought it best to guesstimate 50% of our 2007 tax bill which would mean we could need about 5K in a month and a half.

We don't have 5K sitting around since we didn't get Mr F's bonus in December as we had hoped/expected. The only disposable asset we have is Mr F's car. The truth is we don't need that nice of a 2nd car. Up until he bought that one he had driven two junkers into the ground. We figured we could sell it, pay our taxes, and then just get another piece of crap that would suffice for his 4 mile drive downtown. Or better yet he could ride his bike (the one he bought 2 years ago because he was going to commute to work on it).

So Mr F priced his car at what he felt was a good (for us) price. It wasn't the most expensive Volvo listed but it was up there. It's a beautiful car so that seemed warranted. Plus if someone wants it at that price... we need as much as we can get.

No one wanted it. We've had it listed for weeks. People came but no one bit. Mr F kept lowering his price little by little.

At the same time I've been doing our taxes on Taxact.com. It's free for your federal return and you pay for your state returns. Better yet you don't pay until you file. Up until now we have used an accountant to prepare our taxes. We pay around $200- $300 for that. Mr F has his business stuff and we have investment stuff... and it is just what we have always done. This year we don't have $200 -$300 sitting around so I figured I'd give this online resource a shot. If I felt like I couldn't do it I could just send the stuff to our accountant... and I would have organized our stuff in the meantime. Plus (the real reason behind all this to begin with) I'd get a pretty good estimate of what we'd owe.

I am so glad I did this!! We don't owe any federal money and we only owe Michigan less than a thousand bucks. That is a huge relief and an upside to our down turned financial existence. So with that information in hand I told Mr F that it wasn't imperative that we sell his car. I mean the worst thing that could happen is we sell a well maintained used car (that we own outright) for a junker that might need 2K put in it 6 months later (it's happened). If we don't need the money why take the gamble... we can always sell it at a lower price if we need to down the road. But it's used and it's getting older and since it is a high end car it's not going to depreciated much year to year... we could sell it next year for a very similar price.

We felt good about that decision. I thought it was a prudent smart choice.

Then the phone started ringing. In less than 24 hours two people have made offers on the car.

I feel like I'm being tested. But I don't know what is the right answer. Stick with my gut and hold onto the car... or sell it for less than we want to get the cash reserve?

Remember when I thought God was telling me to homeschool? But I didn't do it I put Kid in her private school. Then she loved it and I dismissed a high power intervention. Then Mr F lost his freelance & bonus and it turned out if we had homeschooled we would have avoided financial ruin. I thought at the time that the message was about Kid's happiness but then later in retrospect maybe it was about our financial situation. You know? If you were to side on that having been a providential message.

21 comments:

Haley said...

Hmmm... I don't know.

I tend to try to see bad breaks as happening for a reason I don't yet understand. Life then goes on and inevitably I find a reason why the bad thing happened and I feel better. I didn't get one job so that I could get a different one. I didn't move to one city so I could meet someone I was supposed to meet in another. That sort of thing.

It's hard to make decisions based on perceived messages though (well, it is for me at least, since I don't have much of a religious identity) since they only seem to become clear after the fact.

So, basically I got nothing.

But great news about your taxes!!! I hope this takes a lot of the stress that's been weighing you down off your shoulders.

Mrs Furious said...

Haley,
" since they only seem to become clear after the fact."
Yeah that's kind of how it is for me. Everything is clear after the damn fact.
I do wonder what it would be like and how it would affect my decisions if I did believe in God in the traditional sense. I'm more likely to believe I'm psychic.

OH yeah I'm totally freaking relieved about the taxes. It's the difference between ruin and doable.

Haley said...

Go with your gut. I think my own non-religious, pseudo-faith impulse lies somewhere in my stomach and I try to listen to it when it pulls in one direction or another.

I guess it comes down to which will improve your quality of life more: A sense of security that some finacial padding will bring, or the ease of the 2nd car and the possibility you might get more later. I think if it were me I'd probably sell it now, espeically considering it's unlikely people's financial situations will be improving much in the next year so it could become much harder to sell down the road if you need to. But I'm pretty conservative (read: scaredy-cat) about decisions like this. :)

gooddog said...

I like how Haley broke it down between which you want/need more: the security or the car. Sure wish I knew how to figure these things out for us all! can't wait to hear what you decide...

And GREAT about the taxes.

Kniki said...

I say sell the car!!! It's always easier to sell things when you are not desperate for the money. He has the bike...will be good for his health too!

Kiki said...

I'll jump in on the religious bit because for me it has been faith in that unseen hand that gets me through some VERY dark times. I'm no zealot, we all know that, but faith, in God, for me is what gives me peace. It's personal though and everyone has to find there own way. I'm not here to preach.... Maybe, Mrs F, that psychic bit is really the "still,small, voice"....that is usually what it is for me.

I think you should go with your gut on the car thing, you can always change your mind...but the financial cushion might be nice too!!

Out of curiousity, did you grow up in church? Do you or Mr.F have any religious background?? If it's too personal-ignore that question!!!!

Mrs Furious said...

I don't know what we'll do. I'll let you all know when we decide. Right now we're willing to sell it if they meet our current price... but not go down yet.

Although, Kniki makes a good point.


Kiki,
Oh that's not too personal. I did not grow up in a religious home/family. My mother's family is involved in church and I did always enjoy going and have been both baptized and confirmed (my choice and I believe I'm the only one of my generation to do that in our whole family... Elizabeth might correct me if I'm wrong). My parents were divorced when I was young so I spent my weekend with him and he did not attend church. He and I have had a lot of philosophical/spiritual discussions and he is more New Age oriented. But he's very open... I'd say he's agnostic. My mom still attends church (maybe she'll chime in)... but she is not a believer in the traditional sense either. She and I are more in the same boat of feeling there is a connected energy.

Now I find that if you aren't raised in a religious home it is hard to then have a traditional faith. If you aren't exposed to that at a certain age... especially if you are exposed to the opposite... like extreme logic... I think something almost has to happen to you to allow you to *believe*.

I do strongly believe that there is an interconnected energy. And that I have a sense about things. I think a religious person would experience a lot of the stuff I experience as feeling The Spirit. But I don't have an idea that is that defined. And I definitely don't believe there is one true religion.
It is very hard for me not to intellectualize it.

For me if I were to have a religion... and in a way I do... it's psychology. I believe in psychology. I believe we are motivated to do things on a subconscious level. Some people call that God and I call it Object Relations.

But I have a romantic earning for a religious faith.

As for Mr F he was raised in the Catholic Church. He is one of the stereotypical ex Catholics who pretty much shuns religion. I think it was too confining and too much rhetoric without any real connectedness for him. Too much guilt and not enough love.

Kiki said...

I agree with you that if you are not brought up with some kind of traditional upbringing then it seems more fluid...religion, I mean. While I believe what I believe because of my positive experiences with church and faith, others have not been so lucky and associate with unpleasantness, I guess it all depends....

I kind of agree with you on the interconnectedness part, when I speak to someone of another faith there are familiar/similar tennents that are integral to any faith based belief system and I respond to that usually in people.

Thanks for responding to that question, I always wonder about people's faith, while I kind of knew part of yours I didn't know the back story.

katieo said...

Well, if there is a God and if he is sending you messages you could always ask Him what's up. or just to make it more clear. Of course that would imply actually believing in a God enough to ask or pray...which I understand might be a considerable hurdle.

Maybe He'll tell you you're psychic, lol...

retrospect is a killer. It's always easier to see the way things are supposed to work out for us after the fact.

(and YAY for not owing what you thought on the taxes! Such a huge relief!)

Andrea said...

I just wanted to chime in and say yay on the tax situation as far as God speaking to you thats your call but I say go with your gut womens intuition is always pretty right on! btw made pizza last night a la furious style and it was fantastic I really love when you post recipes they are always great and easy.

The Other Susan said...

I'm with Kniki--sell the car while you can and biking is good for Mr Furious.

Plus, having a cushion in case of emergency will relieve much stress, and that will make you (and thus the rest of the family) happier and more relaxed.

Which is worth way more than a 2nd car.

Elizabeth said...

You know, i don't think anyone else was confirmed.

I remember yours though. I think the Bishop was there. It was all very impressive.

By the time I was old enough, I'd found my path.

I do believe that things happen the way they're meant to.

wootini said...

Just wanted to say congrats on the taxes!!! That is wonderful news.

I still haven't looked at ours...

SV said...

This is a bit late on this post - but I think if you can committ to not buying a second car then great - sell it.

If you are thinking of getting a cheaper, older car as a replacement - that can really bite you! I have had that situation and the repairs cost more than the value of the car. A couple $500 bills (or worse $2000 like mine) might be a bigger headache to deal with.

Mrs Furious said...

SV,
You are not too late. That is exactly my fear and why I thought we should hold on to it. If we desperately needed the money that would be a different scenario that might warrant the risk. Now I'm not sure I want give up knowing we have a good used car.
And, no, we can't stay with one car. 70% of the time it would work out but Mr F travels the other 30% around the region and I don't feel comfortable not having a car with Kid in school.


Wootini,
Thanks :) It has been a huge relief. We should actually get a fed refund... which is the 1st time that has ever happened. Of course we made 60% of what we made in 2007...


Katieo,
"Maybe He'll tell you you're psychic, lol...
"
That would be one awesome 2 for 1 on that kind of revelation! ;)

Andrea,
I'm glad the pizza worked out! :)


Elizabeth,
Wow... you remember more of it than I do! I just remember that I was paired up to walk down the aisle with the tallest girl.


The Other Susan,
I think if this one buyer comes back with a good offer we'll take it. But we have a limit we won't go below. I would like to have a cushion that can break us out of the pay check to pay check stress we're under.

gooddog said...

One last thought as I reread those comments. If you DO sell it and get a cushion, I encourage you to put it into a CD or something that you can't touch. Our cushions tend to disappear little by little if they aren't in CDs. My hubby did the math and figured out it's worth it even if we have to break one than to spend it all!
(Tough math there, huh?
Anything > Nothing! )

Mrs Furious said...

Gooddog,
Oh I hear you! We had a good sized cushion after selling our house... gone.

michelline said...

We've been using taxact since 2002 or so and I love it. Glad to see that your financial stresses (at least on the tax front) eased significantly. That's a huge difference!

Mrs Furious said...

Michelline,
Oh that's good to know. I've really liked it and felt it was really easy and thorough. I wasn't sure with all our weird complicated income shit, the move, buying/selling, two states etc. If we can do it... anyone can! I was just trying to convince my mom to do it and pocket her $400 she usually pays out.

CM said...

RE: the Lord talking:
Once knew a guy who was a Detroit city inspector. He was certifying a church bus that was on it's last legs. He told the preacher that the bus was a rattletrap, in no way driveable.
"Young man," said the preacher, "We place our trust in God."

"Good," said my friend, "'Cause I'm the voice of God and He's telling you to get a new bus."

Mrs Furious said...

CM,
Mind ringing up your friend and asking him if he thinks we should sell the car? ;)

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