Tuesday, May 22, 2007

On the Menu Today...

My own words. I am constantly eating them. Let's look back to a few of my favorites:

1) "They are starving their children." When attending a La Leche League meeting while pregnant, I heard mothers talk about postponing solids until 8 months or even-- gasp!-- one year. Determined that my child would have more than "just breastmilk" once he hit six months, I dutifully tried to feed him. I was so determined, in fact, that I tried to feed him every day for two and a half months. Unsuccessfully. The few times I managed to get the spoon in his mouth, Peter spewed it all out within seconds.

He ate when he was ready, at close to nine months. Rosemary garlic potatoes. The funny thing is that the more solids he gets, the thinner he gets. At his one-year appointment, he was on the charts for his weight (as opposed to skyrocketing above them) for the first time since he was born, though his height still soars.

2) "He lacks in vocabulary, at least compared to your girls, and I think it's because he's not at the best of daycares." That's how I explained why a fifteen-month-old boy I knew spoke almost no words, while babies I knew of the same age had been speaking for months.

Here we are, on the cusp of 16 months, and Peter only knows three words: Mama, Ma (for Tom, gotta love it!), and 'nana (banana, which he learned just last week). Though he can tell you what the tiger says (grr) and the snake (ssss) and the car (bshbshbsh)!

3) "I will never finance a car." Well, I haven't done it yet, but I'm considering it. My 12-year-old mazda visits the shop more than I do the grocery store. The cost to keep it running has become pyrrhic.

Dave would tell me to drive a clunker until I'd saved up enough cash for a replacement car. That's been the plan, and neither Tom (who drives an eleven-year-old car) nor I are particularly showy about our cars anyway. All we want is something dependable and paid for. Technically, we could pay for a car right now, it just would deplete our savings and the emergency fund.

And depleting the cash reserves isn't an option. So what do we do?

My dad, a financial planner by profession, a man who saves the shards of his bath soap in a dish beside his sink and who refuses to drive a beamer as a matter of principle, thinks we need to get over ourselves and replace my car now. This normally frugal man knows that in one year, Tom's income will increase exponentially, and we could pay off the loan in a month. Even Dave makes concessions to callers who are in medical training, cutting them more slack than those whose incomes won't be changing.

But isn't that a slippery slope? One minute, we're financing a car-- the next, we're... I don't know, throwing away our soap shards?

Well, we'll see what the mechanic says today. Maybe the current schreeching and smell of burning rubber is something that can be repaired for under $200.


kristen said...

I've eaten a few in my day.

And I don't like Dave Ramsey... it's one-size approach in a very diverse financial world. So THERE!

Martha's World said...

Get thee behind me Satan! What are you trying to do? Put me behind the wheel of a 2005 Passat Wagon? In silver? (whimper)

kristen said...

Oooh... I wanted a Passat Wagon BADLY but am happy we went for the Odyssey instead. :o)

If you do the math, financing a car with a low-interest loan (Alabama Telco Credit Union!), especially if you know you are going to pay it off early (we choose a short term to ours) is not that expensive. The PEACE OF MIND of having a car that will get me from point A to B, with A/C for my sweet babies, is well worth it.

*looks around for Dave Ramsey snipers*

Susie said...

As usual, I think Kristen is brilliant.

Time does have a value ... and I'm not talking about the time value of money, I'm talking about Martha's time. I think you could reasonably weigh the cost of your time (as well as the cash) spent dealing with the old clunker against the interest on a car loan, factor in Tom's upcoming hike in income, and conclude that you can be both frugal and have a car payment.

Car payments ... ah, those were the days. It's nice to be middle aged! ROTF

TulipGrrl said...

We paid for a minivan with savings when we got back to the states. Someone rear-ended us less than a month later, it was considered a "total loss" and while we got $$ from the other guy's insurance company, it wasn't enough to go out and buy another used minivan outright. We hated financing the van, but. . . *shrug* It was worth it.

greasy joan said...

Oh man, Kristen may not like Dave but I love him. I'm all about cash. We discovered him when we were poor grad students.

What sucks is our only debt now is the mortgage... when we applied for another mortgage for a newer house the underwriter told us that our FICO score could be much higher if we'd just get a credit card. UGH. DH is a banker and is headed down to the branch today.