I am almost finished with his book "The Total Money Makeover". I just can't wait to start so I did just that by starting with the "baby steps". Baby Step #1 is to save $1000 Emergency funds, FAST! We did have a small savings account but not $1000. Dave instructs you to sell your extras, i.e. extra cars, boats, furniture, via Ebay, Amazon, garage sale etc. We had a mini van that needed about $1500-$1800 in repairs and after the repairs it would only be worth about $500. We decided that it was not worth it. So we sold it! Whoo Hoo! We only got $440 for it but HEY!, that's closer to our emergency savings, right? Baby steps remember!
Our only car now is a 2000 Buick Century. We know it needs some work so we thought we would use our emergency funds for some repairs. Before you fuss, the emergency fund according to Dave Ramsey is for unplanned car repairs and real EMERGENCIES! As I stated before, we really didn't have much of an emergency fund. So we spent $89 of our emergency fund to purchase a water pump and a thermostat and a few other little things for the car. (My husband is a back yard mechanic and made these repairs himself. I'm so proud!)
Well, we had a small wrench thrown in our plans. Having the water pump and the thermostat replaced unmasked a much greater problem. Are you ready for the really BIG bad news?! I sure wasn't. Well, after a professional mechanic looked at it, he discovered that we have a blown head gasket or a cracked head. Yep, I said it! Those most dreaded words that any car owner wants to hear. We figured it happened when we went to the Blue Bayou in Baton Rouge, LA. We heard a thump and the car got hot but then ran fine after that. Weird, huh?
The repairs needed on the Buick Century were going to be anywhere from $1500-$1800. These major repairs my husband couldn't do so it was going to cost a lot more. My dh has been saying for months that we just need to get another car. I have been encouraging him to please just make the needed repairs so that we could keep it until we were credit card debt free. Which will be January 2014. (I know, right? I'm so excited) I just didn't want to get into any more debt. I was fine driving the "green gobblin",( as my kids called it) that only had 1 hub cap. I was willing to live like no one else, so that we could live like no one else...DEBT FREE!
The mechanic actually suggested to us that we get another car. He said that once a head is cracked or a gasket is blown it just creates so many more problems and that a car with over 150K miles was just not worth the investment. This is just what my husband wanted to hear. We went home just feeling hopeless. My plans of being debt free seemed to just fall away so quickly. All I could see what $$$$$$ and more money going that coming in. We went to bed praying for God to lead us in the right direction for purchasing a used car(Which we had been doing for about a year). He did just that. I will tell this story in detail on another post as I like to try to keep my post short.
So to keep it short, HAHAHA! we got a used 2005 Toyota Highlander with only 42,000 miles and $4,000 under Kelly Blue Book value! AHHHHHHHHH! (That's me screaming) We are so excited. Yes, we are in debt $13,000 more but what were we to do? We had to have a car. How else was my husband going to get to work? At least we did take Dave's advice and get a used car instead of a new one. And with our snowball debt we will be able to pay this thing off in a couple of years instead of six.
God is so good and He knows just what we need and want. Yes, he is concerned about our wants as well. He's our Daddy!
Be sure to look for my post about our new SUV.
Until then, be safe and live DEBT FREE!