Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Joy of Unexpected Expenses...

I was going to write a post about Henry today. I really was. Not that I have anything big to say about him, just that he is awesome and what not, and I feel like I haven't given you a good Henry posts in a bit, and I figured you all missed him.  But that will have to wait until tomorrow so I can vent a little about the joy of unexpected expenses...

So Tuesday night I walked out of work, got into my car and tried to put it in reverse.  Not really blog post worthy news, except for the fact that the drive shaft handle thing came flying back at me, but the car stayed in park.  I tried again another twenty times, stared at it with an annoyed look for a few minutes.  Turned off the car, turned it back on, jiggled the drive shaft thingy, tried again and it still stayed in park.  My car fixing expertise was complete.  I had to make some calls.  Nick and my dad both had the same opinion.  Sounds like a car shop problem.

So, my mom picked me up and we left my poor car there to be dealt with at a later time.  Side note, if you do this, you really should leave a note for your coworkers if the next day is your day off.  Turns out that they will come in and see your car, then see you aren't there, and then they will possibly think you were kidnapped and killed on your way out of the building the night before.  Then they will try to tell you that you need a pocket taser to protect yourself. It's like a snow ball effect after finding your car empty.  It always leads to a taser discussion.

Anyway, the car was broken, which is never a fun expense.  But when dad called the tow truck driver he said he thought Trailblazers had a recall on this issue.  WHAT!  How AWESOME would that be?? I mean, sure it could have gone out and like flipped the car and killed me or something, so we REALLY should have checked those recalls, but the point is they might fix it for FREE!  So I look up the recall and YES our year make and model was included.  But then I contacted the dealership and turns out the previous owner already had it fixed... just not fixed WELL.  So, turns out the recall thing was a no go and we had to pay.  Which.. I guess I could have left the recall information off of this post all together, except it still annoys me and I want you to be annoyed with me.

So since I was stuck at home yesterday and we were out several hundred dollars in car repairs I decided to make myself and excel spreadsheet of our loan balances, so that every three months or so I can update it and see how the amounts are going down and feel super proud of us!  (assuming the total goes down.  If they go up, I will feel depressed).  As I call around everything seems to be what I expect until I get to the car loan.  And it is ALARMINGLY small.  Like, how in the hell did that happen, small.  But I do not question it, I just get excited.  Because we have that much in our savings account!  We can just PAY IT OFF!!  And then we have ONE LESS BILL!  And it's like I just became Dave Ramsey because I am all like, "IT CAN HAPPEN! YOU TOO CAN BE DEBT FREE LIKE ME!" (only one little slice of our debt... not exactly debt free.  but ON OUR WAY!)

So when Nick gets home I tell him my plan.  I want to use the Christmas savings** to pay off the car because the amount that goes in savings plus the car payment saved each month will be PLENTY for Christmas and we are down a bill and will HAVE THE CAR PAID OFF! (I am the new Dave Ramsey! Do not question my logic!) And he gets this look.  This 'that doesn't seem right' look.  And asks our monthly payment, and asks how many months we have left on the loan, then he does some mental math and points out that we would be paying twice as much as we owe over the next 16 months. 

I blow him off.  Tell him something about a watched pot and boiling and how money is just like that!  We just hadn't watched this balance and LOOK WHAT HAPPENED!  IT'S MAGIC!  He said something about money not working that way and being nothing like  a watched pot.  He says I should check into it again. 

So I call and the amount on the loan is the same.  I was RIGHT.  But then I check the Christmas savings account, which is the only other account we have at that bank (we use three banks... because we are insane).  And it has $75 in it.  And it should have around $1200. I just looked at it, willing it to change. Turns out, due to a bank error NOT in our favor, they had been applying the money that was suppose to go into our savings every month onto our car loan.  Which is why the balance is so low.

But I figure this is still okay!  I mean, we must be SO FAR ahead on payments, that we can just take off the next four months and pick back up in January. This allowing us to HAVE MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS.  But I called the bank, and turns out, we aren't ahead on our payments at all.  Because all that extra money was applied to the principle.  'So... opps!  Sorry about that!  Thanks for the money!' says the bank.

After talking with the guy for a bit, he realizes that I am a touch annoyed (he got it right around the time he said I would have to fax a letter to ask them to stop making the payment I never asked them to make which drained my Christmas account WITHOUT MY PERMISSION) and they offered to give us the money back and return our loan to the bigger amount, including readding teh interest.  And then we would be right where we thought we were before yesterday.  But... I mean... now we see how low the car loan is!  And it will be paid off in just a few months!  So we talked about it and made a plan.  We are leaving the unauthorized payments in place and just starting to save for Christmas now.  It might be smaller than normal, but we will just send a picture of us in the Trailblazer with our Christmas cards that say "paid in full". 

So I guess that's it. Money... it's nothing but annoying.  End Rant.

** I know, right?  How am I even complaining about my Christmas account being empty?  Who even HAS one of those??  Well... we do.  But more because we live on an insanely tight budget and have a LOT of family that we love to celebrate the holidays with and less because we have so much money we just made different savings accounts for fun. So... you know... Don't judge.


1 comment:

  1. I'm obviously cheap but I'd MUCH rather have a paid-off car than a fabulous Christmas :)

    AND YAY you going all Dave Ramsey on us! I am a total nerd and LOVE talking about finances and paying off debt, etc. If you didn't have to do so many boring subjects too, I'd totally get certified as a financial planner :)