Monday, November 21, 2011

Gary's a Soccer Mom

Not too long ago I sold my big 4wd 3/4 ton suburban and got a 2003 Ford Escape to save money on fuel and insurance. I was looking at a used Hyundai Santa Fe's, but they were more money than I had to spend. With ethanol added to the fuel cars get 5 miles to the gallon less than what they are purported to get. My Escape should get 25 mpg, but with ethanol fuel it gets 20 mpg. Scratch saving as much money on fuel as I thought.

Right after we got the Escape we did something we've never done before, we knew it needed tires when we bought it. We've always said safety first and have always ran new tires with a warranty. But Gary went to the junk yard and got a set of new tires for less than half the price of new ones. There is no warranty we'll just have to take our chances.

When I got the car insurance bill I noticed it went up $32 dollars a month for a car almost 10 years old. It is 2 years newer than my suburban but the internet said a suburban insurance would be much more than the Escape. Gary's truck was a 1996 Ford pickup with a 6 cylinder which got over 20 mpg. Our insurance is $107.59 for liability only, we have no full coverage. If our cars are wrecked we have nothing, we'll just have to take our chances.

If we pay our car insurance by the month, they charge us more. There is a monthly fee added on, even though we are paying in advance for the insurance. If we pay our house insurance by the quarter they charge us more. There is a quarterly fee added on, even though we are paying in advance for the insurance. If we had enough money to pay our car and house insurance for a year in advance, we'd pay less. Right now that lets us out. Last week we switched home insurance companies to save a few hundred dollars and then we switched car insurance companies to cut costs.

Then we've discovered the Escape wasn't as comfortable as we thought after a longer trip sitting in the seats. Plus the car doesn't have much room to carry pottery or sleep in if we take a trip. Since we sold Gary's truck and only have one car, we decided to sell the Escape and get a mini van. Gary had been trying to talk me into getting a mini van for years and I just didn't want to get one. We ended up getting a 1998 Toyota mini van. After we got the mini van, I said to Gary, now you're a soccer mom. Ha.

About two months ago our well wouldn't work. We needed a new pressure tank and a regulator to the tune of over $600. You might recall last winter we needed a new well pump and that cost us a bundle. About a month ago our well wouldn't work again. Come to find out someone apparently spliced the wire that feeds electricity to the well and with the five inches of rain we had one day it must have shorted out the well. So we had to get an electrician to replace the wire which goes to the well. Gary dug up the fifty feet of wire to help save us labor costs.

Every day we find ourselves right back at the same point. Our conversations revolve around thinking and planning ways to save or make money just to survive. Which food is the least expensive, how can we reduce our electric bill, which gas station has the cheapest fuel, which insurance company has the lowest rates, who cuts hair for the lowest price, what can we sell in a garage sale or a flea market to make a few bucks. Luckily the mini van is turning out to be real handy taking stuff to the flea market to sell.

Neither Gary nor I have had any luck getting a regular paying job. One job for a ghost writer I applied for I was really excited about. Supposedly I was in the top two, but they never got back to me. I called and left a message and still they never returned my call. Hey, at least call me back and let me know. Four different companies said they'd hire Gary when business picked up. He stops by regularly but business hasn't picked up for them yet.

Some days we're optimistic and think things are turning around, we splurge on some fresh fish from the local market, or take a drive and think some good luck is right around the corner. I even remembered to say white rabbit several months in a row. I mean what's the point of living if you can't even afford your bills. We're so tired of worrying about what problem will befall us next. I read our illustrious lawmakers want to cut social security and medicare benefits on a sliding scale a little more each year. What ever happened to the golden years? If we make it to 90 perhaps we'll be able to afford to live in a ditch, if they don't kick us out for loitering. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hi Linda!
    I must say that I am not so good at english but I hope that you understand me.
    The time now is hard and I feel sorry for many people. It´s a fight for many to survive. And I think that the leader in the country don´t prioritate the people. Everyone only look´s to their self and their owns buisness and try to keep money, the rich be richer and the poor poorer.
    I hope that the time will be good to you.
    Hug from me.

  2. Hi Gudrun, thanks for your words of support. Times are hard for lots of folks and I know there are many more than me that are far much worse off, but sometimes I have to vent. oftentimes folks are there for the good times but don't want to hear or think about the bad times it seems. Thanks for the hug and hugs to you too.

  3. Hi again Linda!
    It´s sad when people don´t "stand" by yoour or my side when hard time come or when lifes is hard. Everyone have to go through hard times in any way. Life is not a dance on roses.
    Nice to meet you. :)
    Have a nice day full with creativity.

  4. Hi Linda
    You are remarkably UP most of the time given your circumstances so in a way it's nice to hear you 'vent'. All the best to you and Gary.

  5. I admire your ability to stay upbeat most of the time Linda given the challenges. You mentioned that Gary is a veteren. Has he checked into USAA for car and home insurance? We've had good rates and service from them for almost 20 years. They are so helpful by phone if you don't find all you need at the website.

  6. Hi again Gudrun, thanks, yes life is not a dance on roses, it used to be more of a dance on roses when I was younger, if only I had known then what I know now, but cannot go back to the past only forward. thanks for checking in again. The clay really does keep me going and I am thankful to have that for sure.

    Hi Anna, thanks, well I try to stay up otherwise I'll get in the doldrums, Ha. thanks for your support.

    Hi Barbara, thanks, we did check with USAA, but for some reason in this part of Florida they wouldn't insure houses and with our house and car together we get a discount, but we did find an insurance company that is much less expensive for both of them so thank goodnes for that, it does pay to shop around and some folks around here change every few years as the exisiting customers sometimes pay more than the first time ones, people aren't rewarded with discounts for their loyalty to business any longer it seems.

    Oh USAA started spamming us via email and sending letters repeatedly after we checked with them which I didn't like. We have a company here where we can see a person in person which we like and it's a local office which I also like.


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