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Archive for June, 2008

Cars

June 12th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

We've been talking about vehicles here in the onion patch.

DH owns a 1992 full-sized truck. I have a 1993 station wagon. Both of our vehicles have had a few problems over the years but have been dependable. They also have 160000+ miles on them.

DH commutes about 15 miles, one way, to work. In a truck that gets 15 miles per gallon that's about two gallons of gas per day, not counting any driving around he does for work. He has really noticed the increase in gas prices.

On and off over the years I've brought up the topic of our aging vehicles and changing needs. When DH bought his truck he was a single guy doing construction. Now he has a family and a job that's more of a desk job. Meanwhile as Daisy has grown I've noticed that I do more "kid hauling" - I don't just take Daisy somewhere but a friend or two as well. Even well-maintained vehicles don't last forever, and my fear is that one day a transmission or engine will go out and we'll be scrambling to replace a vehicle. I'd rather anticipate that need if possible.

My previous attempts to engage DH in discussing our automotive future failed. Now with gas prices high DH has gotten more interested in replacing his vehicle. He has talked about it over the last several months, but again our conversations went no where in terms of action.

DH's parents are selling their car and DH decided that it would be a good choice. It is a 2004 Honda which they bought new. DH and I have had several discussions about it over the last few weeks. He has looked in to insurance for it and talked with a couple of mechanics (one a relative) about this model of car. I think the car is a reasonable choice, so I will agree to it. He has put a lot more effort into acquiring this car than I have seen him put into other things. At other times when we've talked about car replacement he just figured that he'd get a car loan, go to the nearest dealership and buy the first thing that he saw. (Well, maybe not the first thing but close - after 15 years I have a good idea how DH operates.)

The sticking point has been the money required to buy it. DH wanted to get a car loan but I wouldn't agree to that. Last week DH presented me with a list of sources and amounts for the money required for this car. I was impressed. He also says that once the money is straightened out for this car we will start saving for a replacement for my vehicle. I plan to hold him to that.

Renegotiation

June 10th, 2008 at 07:19 am

Since I wrote the "Negotiation" post we've had a follow on conversation that sounded something like this:

DH (while sitting at desk, which is in living room, and writing a check): "I'm writing a check for the mutual fund."

Me (knowing that our mutual fund is direct deposit, so he's paying the extra that we talked about): "How much are you sending in?"

DH: "280 dollars."

Me: "Hmm, how much was that IRS refund?"

DH: "280 dollars."

Me: "Didn't we agree that we would spend half of that money for gas (for DH's full-sized, 15-miles-per-gallon truck) and the camping trip, and send the other half to the IRS?

DH: "Yes, but it doesn't matter. It'll be fine."

Me (in a reasonable tone, although I was thinking, here we go again): "If we agree to do something, and then don't do it and don't discuss the change of plans with each other, what is the point of having the first conversation?"


In the end DH sent $100 to the mutual fund. Married people, is there any good way to hold each accountable without sounding like a complete nag?

Abridged Version

June 9th, 2008 at 03:02 pm

I suppose some people drop off on their blogs because they don't have much to say. I have plenty to write about, but a bunch of Real Life stuff to take care of and so have had no time for blogging.

The abridged version, with more detailed entries to follow:

* We went out of town for Memorial Day weekend, plus one extra day. We are keeping busy with end-of-the-school-year stuff.
* DH finished the Dave Ramsey book.
* DH has decided to replace his 1992 full-sized truck with a 2004 Honda Civic. He did all the leg work (insurance quotes, talked w/mechanics, worked with sellers) plus he's figured out how to pay for it. I'm shocked. Go DH!
* We are looking at Away School (as opposed to Home School) for Daisy next year.
* DH used Quicken to create an expense report for the last year. Neither one of us are really sure what to do with it, but he is interested in some kind of a budget.
* We still ran a deficit in Checkbook Number One in May. Despite my attempts to pin our money issues on DH, I'm definitely the culprit on this one.