Car Woes Part 2

You can expect to hear about my car woes until we make a final decision on how to take care of this situation. The bright side is whatever decision we make, it has to be done by the end of the month since my current inspection sticker ends at the end of the month. If you are not a regular reader and you wonder what the hell I am talking about, you can read this post.

So after talking the car situation over with folks who are more knowledgable about cars than either the Spousal Unit or I, the consensus is all things considered, getting a new or at least new to me car is probably the preferred route to go. While we were content to drive a paid for sardine mobile that really isn’t meeting our family needs….the boy child at 6’2 hates riding in our car, hell at 5’4 I find the backseat pretty damn uncomfortable, so I feel his pain. (yeah, I still sit next to girl child in the back when we are all in the car).

Now my preferred option was to look for a car that I could buy in cash but after asking around and spending hours on Craigslist. Every car we can buy in our range, is either old as Methuselah, or is a bargain because it needs work. Um….I am not buying your piece of shit to have to dump a boatload of cash into it. Hell, if I do that I might as well sink the cash into our already paid for piece of shit.

Now, due to a few pesky credit issues, going to the bank and getting a loan is not an option. Which leaves going to a dealer and seeing what they can offer as far as financing. Well, thanks to the suggestion of a regular reader, we decided to call and seek financing before we go to a lot. Turns out it was a great idea, H/T to On Bradstreet for that idea. Only now that is when the fun starts.

Clearly dealers who are willing to sell a car to folks with creative credit issues really are um, interesting characters to say the least. Now I am not gonna call em out and say they are clever con men but clearly they figure folks who would do business with them are so desperate for a ride, that doing any research on the cars would never cross the buyer’s mind.

So at first I was happy we were approved for what appeared to be a decent sum of cash until I started doing the fact finding on the vehicles available. Um….please, please tell me dealer man how come all your cars are at least a thousand bucks over what Kelly Blue Book recommends for the retail price. Now look, I know you are trying to make some cash, hey I can dig it.

The problem is not only is the car a thousand bucks over what any person with great credit would buy, but your creative financing makes that car even more expensive. Look, I know I need a car but the idea of paying you $12,000 for a car that is really only worth $7000 is well stupid. Maybe its age and wisdom but I really want to avoid short-sighted decisions since it’s that type of thinking that got me to the point of less than stellar credit. Of course I need a car and beggars can’t be choosy.

So the Spousal Unit and I have gone to one of the largest dealers in the state of Maine that also has a division that offers creative financing. Now we are waiting to hear back from them since they have a far better selection of cars and cars that have far lower prices than dealer number one who must think we have a Boo Boo the fool sign stuck to our heads.

I gotta be honest, there is a part of me that just wants to sink the cash into this car and pray but with a starting price tag of almost $1300 and knowing that is not the final cost and that we may only be buying a few more months of drive time, that seems like a bad idea.

Now this whole situation while pissy makes me really mad for the millions of low-income folks who get suckered into these types of schemes on a regular basis. While my financial mess is my own doing thanks to not paying attention there are millions of folks who really do only see that price tag of $65 a week for a late-model car and think, great deal. It’s the same shit that keeps the Rent a Center places open too and it basically amounts to preying on the less fortunate.

So no answers yet, but hey if you live in Southern Maine and have a decent stickered car for $2000 or so drop me a line, I may want to take a look at that car. As for me, I have all day to look online since we are having quite the storm here in my corner of the world.

Living an organic life on a kool-aid budget

I had planned to skip posting today since its been a flurry of activity with both the spousal unit and I on deadlines. Plus I am still trying to get caught up on client work since I basically lost two weeks of work this month between me and mini-me being sick, plus I start the new gig as director of a community center in a couple of weeks, so I gotta hustle.

However as I was doing my usual tour of blogs, I was visiting one of the homey blogs and the blogger had posted a picture of some lush looking house-slippers that she had gotten her kids, handmade, fair-trade action. Good stuff, you would think until I clicked the link of the place she bought them at…how come these nice lil slippers were $36? House-shoes for $36? For a kid? Come on now…

No, I am not sipping my hater-aid but while I care about getting good quality shit for my family the idea of buying some house-shoes for $36 for a kid who will outgrow them in no time is just not something I personally would do. Shit, I am still wearing the $5 specials I bought last year at a local store, some shit just does not warrant spending a crazy sum of money. Yep, go ahead and call me cheap.

On a deeper level though, I was once again reminded of how living a more eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle is something that is conveniently priced out of reach of the working and poor masses. Seriously, when is the last time you saw someone at the health food store with food stamps? Um, that’s not something I see. Shit, when I go to the local health food place, I can spend $50 and not even have a whole bag full of food. I exist smack in the middle class but even I have to pick and choose what I can afford to do as far as living a conscious lifestyle.

Let’s not even talk about the fact that in some areas, you can’t access 100% organic nothing even if you wanted to, how many times have I talked about life on the southside of Chicago and the best I could get for produce was some damn iceberg lettuce and sorry looking apples and bananas?

Now I know there are folks who do manage to eat healthy on a kool-aid budget, however to generally do this requires living some place where you can grow some food yourself. Last time I checked many po folks live in concrete jungles devoid of any land which to grow anything except something in a pot provided they have some decent windowsills. Shit, one might think it was a conspiracy to keep the most vulnerable members of society away from the good shit as far as good eats goes.

I know I am probably just ranting and shit, but nope no $36 house-shoes here for anyone who can’t earn some cash towards paying for em.