Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Honest Truth: Being Poor is Hard Some Days.

This won't be the normal light-hearted post. You've been warned.

Being poor sucks. I know we hear "Woe is me, I'm poor" all the time... but, gosh.... It's a downer. 
I'm a pretty open book, no secrets with this one and with that, I have no problem admitting that as a newlywed in school, we basically live off loans. As someone who had gotten through college debt free until now, this has been a big challenge for me. Up until today, I've come to terms with this, but today something just snapped. Not really snapped actually.... broke.

When I was in High School, I asked my parents for a car, and they said no. My dad said "If you want a car, then buy one!" So, for years I worked two jobs and saved until a week before my High School graduation, I purchased my baby! A 1999 Toyota Carolla with only 75,000 miles. Convinced this car would last for years of easy driving, I gave basically my life savings in exchange.

 (awww chubby cheeked 18 year old me!)

 NEVER have I had trouble with this car, and it was always our reliable vehicle. 

Over a week ago, my car broke down as I was driving home from Utah. Ironically, one minute I'm driving and thinking how blessed I am to have such a good car, and the next minute the engine just stops. (Karma or coincidence?) With only 117,000 miles on my golden child, I was shocked to say the least. Stranded at 8pm two hours South of Rexburg, my brother and I began walking 2.5 miles to the nearest gas station in 30 degree weather when someone so kindly turned around and drove us to a truck stop. Again, SO thankfully, my brother had a co-worker driving that way on the same night and picked us up on the way. Leaving my car in the middle of nowhere was a hard thing to do.

With lots of phone calls and driving, My sweet husband was able to tow it the next day, and in Idaho Falls a half hour away was where she was left to await diagnosis.

Wednesday, they told us one of the cylinders in our engine was cracked and it would cost $2000 to fix! Ok, the $100 we paid a week earlier for a car battery in Ryan's car felt like $1000 so $2000 basically feels like 2 million, my first born child and the last can of Dr. Pepper. 

As if that wasn't enough, today it got better. 

As if we couldn't afford it earlier, this didn't help. Basically, we could scrape the bank for a used battery with almost as many miles as my old one, or buy another used car, neither of which we can afford. We've pretty much decided that we are going to have one car that doesn't run, and invest in a bike. Which is all fine and dandy until I move to AZ and my husband stays. One of us will be carless, and as student teaching doesn't pay, the broke-ness just keeps growing. 

Just under 4 years of having this car (calculated over $1200/year+insurance and maitenance), she's a gonner. I'm too young to bury my baby. 

So here I sit in my living room, digging for some answer; something I could have done differently... looking for what I can sell when I realize that... I really couldn't have tried harder. We're both students, we both work, we pay 10% of our income in church tithes, ALL of our furniture is used and I've counted 3 things in my sight that I purchased new (not gifted, not thrifted and not leftover from our wedding.) We coupon, we turn the heat on as we leave and enter rooms, I only buy new clothes on birthdays and christmas, and have furniture made of cardboard and pallets. Pretty sure even if I sold everything we own, it still wouldn't be enough. And though I know I sound like an ungrateful brat right now, life can be just plain ol' disappointing sometimes. 

As my parents have reminded me, everyone goes through this, but gosh dangit... never did I anticipate my first car, my reliable pretty baby, to do it. 

There you have it. Today is a hard day.

And I have a cold.
And there really is no more Diet Dr. Pepper in the fridge.
If you can think of anything else that I can complain about, let me know. I'm on a roll ;)

Now, if you are feeling as depressed as me, scroll a few more inches down and watch John Travolta from the previous post dance, and dance, and dance without breaking a sweat. That's what's pulling me through. 


  1. Val pal... Adam and I are going through the exact dang thing. Of course it is my car that is dead... and trying to prepare for your first baby doesn't help either. I just wanted to let you know someone else knows what you are going through and going through it with you. love you girl!!

  2. I know exactly how you feel. My first baby had to be put down when her issue cost more than she was worth. I had to take out a loan and buy a new (to me) car. And because of that car I had to take on a second job working nights & weekends. It was rough, I'll tell ya that. Especially now when something is wrong with the newish car and I'm sitting here like "wait a minute....I paid a lot of money for you! You can't break!" lol And of course...this new little issue the newish car has comes right when I've been working so hard to save money to go 1000 miles away for my sisters wedding. Looks like I'll have to attend the wedding in spirit. Cars can be a real piece of work!

  3. all I can do is give you a virtual hug. :( my heart is broken for you.


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