<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Music to My Ears
 

Music to My Ears

February 24th, 2010 at 03:22 pm

After reading the comments to my last post, and responding to them, I decided to attempt a(nother) conversation with Mr H regarding my car. I've been attempting these conversations since my car approached ten years in age. Usually my concerns were met with vague responses and when I pressed for specifics Mr H would start to sputter and yell. Not conducive for problem solving, to say the least.

I realize that my last post and my response to comments may have sounded a tad whiney. I'm pretty discouraged in many areas concerning Mr H. All I can say is - if you are single choose your life partner very carefully. I'm a shining bad example of what not to do in that department.

The short version of the following is below the asterisks:

Setting the stage:
I chose a reasonable time (Daisy was in bed) and approached quietly.

When to replace:
I told Mr H that I had been thinking about my car, and what criteria we might use to decide to replace it. He told me about the four vehicles he'd owned: Truck 1 was replaced when he'd spent $500 every six months fixing it. Truck 2 was replaced when he'd spent $500 every six months fixing it, plus he just wanted something new. Truck 3 (purchased a month before he met me) was sold 1-1/2 years ago when gas prices reached $4+ per gallon (truck got 15 mpg). Car 1 is an economical Honda purchased used from his folks, who took meticulous care of it.

I asked if there was a dollar limit in repairs at which he felt my car ought to be replaced. We easily spent $2000 fixing it last year. He couldn't really come up with one. I pondered if the $500 every six months was felt more in the 1980's, when his finances weren't very stable. Our finances are reasonably stable; we set aside money for car repairs so while it's a hit financially we aren't wondering where our mortgage payment is coming from. He agreed that this could be true.

In the end, he really didn't come up with a dollar limit. But he believed that if the engine or the transmission needed to be replaced the car should be replaced. Success! I believe this too, so we are in agreement here.

How much to spend:
Without really knowing how much a "good" used car costs, I had thought $5000. He suggested $10,000 as a figure. (The Honda was between $9000 and $10,000.) I agreed.

What to purchase:
He suggested another small Honda. I told him that if my car dies before Daisy leaves I'd like to replace it with a mini van. I'm entering serious kid-hauling years and frequently haul more kids than just Daisy; I'd like a kid-hauling vehicle. After she leaves home we'd downsize the vehicle. He agreed, although, again, neither of us really know what a "good" used min-van would cost. And, I suppose, it depends on your definition of good. My car is likely to go at some point after 200,000 miles. The clock is broken, the tape player is broken, the paint is chipping in spots and I'm taking it in this week to get a seatbelt replaced. A vehicle with 100,000 miles on it could look pretty good to me!

Where the money is coming from:
We'd been doing pretty well in our conversation, and so I brought up the big question. . . the fight starting question. . . where is the money going to come from? He is going to be negotiating a raise with his employer this week. He suggested that we table this conversation until March 1st so we'd know how much, but then. . . he said the words I'd longed to hear since I started these conversations seven or eight years ago: "I think we should set aside money every paycheck specifically for it. If we don't do that we will just spend the money on something else." Be still, my heart!

Now I'll wait to see if he brings it back up on the first. . . if not, I'll bring it back up later.

**************

The end result was that we had a suprisingly reasonable conversation that ended in agreement on when to replace, how much to spend, what to purchase and where the money is coming from. No yelling or sputtering was involved.

6 Responses to “Music to My Ears”

  1. Homebody Says:

    It's amazing what one can communicate when staying neutral when talking to one's spouse. Ha Ha. Happy news!

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    That's awesome!

    You might want to look into a Hundayi mini-van. A friend of mine has one that they like very much. I'm not sure about the price range.

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Yipee! That's all good news. I hope the new to you car journey continues to be a pleasant one.

  4. cptacek Says:

    I hear ya. I have occasionally had to come up with some interesting ways to talk to DH about money or other decisions without fighting. Once it involved offering a lamp shade as a truce offering.

  5. boomeyers Says:

    I held my breath through the whole tale! So glad it worked out!!

  6. baselle Says:

    All right! You wanted consideration for your position and you got it.

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
*
Will not be published.
   

* Please spell out the number 9.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]