Monday, March 14, 2011

Goodbye, Pontiac!

So Nick and I bought this car off of some friends of our last summer and paid another friend to tow it to our home in Minnesota since we were still in Washington. See, it needed a new fuel pump and Nick needed a project. We figured he could fix it in October or November when he came home and we'd sell it shortly there after.

Lesson #1: Never buy a car you've never seen.

Rust. And no door handles. And a flat tire. It sat there for five months before Nick came home. I was required to park on the street because it was blocking the garage and taking up the only available parking spot on the driveway. Bummer.

Nick came home in October and, of course, got caught up in life and realized that this was a two-man project. Our friend who towed it for us (you know... back in July...) found an open weekend in December and came down to replace the fuel pump with Nick. Finally.

Lesson #2: Treat your friends well.

They were able to move it INTO the garage so we could at least park our vehicles in the driveway. But we couldn't sell it because we had never gotten the title transferred into our names.

Lesson #3: Never buy a car without exchanging the title at the same time as the cash switches hands.

The friends we bought the car from didn't have the title. His mother did. But she wasn't in the state except for a few weeks over Christmas. But she lost the title. And then her OTHER son found it (after she left, of course). We FINALLY got the title signed and brought it into the local courthouse to transfer the title.

We still don't have the new one, but we printed up a Bill of Sale and listed it online anyway.

One guy came to look at it and seemed pretty interested. He took it for a test drive and came home, turned the car off and (GASP!) closed the door. Remember that bit about there not being any door handles? Yeah. The car wasn't locked, but the doors only open from the inside. And the key to open the trunk was in the ignition. Thankfully the guy had turned the car off before getting out. Nick pushed it out of the way for the night (using the grille guard of his Beloved Truck) and called a locksmith the next day.  $40 later we were back in business.

Lesson #4: Don't put all the keys in one place.

Tonight, a couple of younger guys came and took it for a test drive. They didn't seem to mind that the doors can't close if you're not in it. They even enjoyed climbing in through the one door we had left open. The younger had to interpret for the other because he didn't speak English. Turns out he was buying a car for his mother. How sweet. They haggled with Nick and little and he lowered the price so they could get the passenger door handle (we already had the driver side handle... it just wasn't installed yet!). And they took it. They filled out the bill of sale, left their address for us to send the title to when it arrives, and drove off with the spot-stealer.

Lesson #5: Craigslist works. Patience is essential.

And we finally have our garage and driveway to ourselves :-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Envelope FAIL

This whole Dave Ramsey envelope thing is going to be a lot harder than I imagined. We got our cash out on Wednesday, but not until AFTER we had already spent quite a bit on groceries. I figured it wasn't a huge deal since we have quite a bit of wiggle room in our budget this month.

But then when I went to Target today, I FORGOT to split my transaction into "Groceries" and "Household" so i got flustered and ended up giving the cashier $20 in cash and putting the rest on the debit card. Hopefully it evens out...

I did buy small envelopes though. Hopefully that will help me get organized a little more. Also, I'm going to make another envelope for "Household." Also, I need to get a better system for my coupons. While I was able to use everything I was planning on using today, I forgot the item I REALLY went to Target for and had to run back and grab it while the line grew behind me at the check-out. I hate being THAT customer.

Tomorrow's task: fix the grocery envelope and get organized!