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8.19.2007

You Know What I Did This Summer

Oh, internet. You're so cute when you're feisty.

In response to recent inquiry from my concerned - albeit a bit presumptuous - commenters and emailers, I present to you in handy Q&A form, The Anatomy of a BMW Purchase.

Q. Lena, how could you pile on more debt when you haven't sold your house??
A. It was pretty simple, actually. Although, it did require both hands and a flashlight.

Q. Why aren't you riding a bike?
A. The helmet made me look fat.

Q. After the way you've handled your finances, I can't believe your husband would buy you a BMW.
A. If you like what I've done with my money, you should see what I can do with a cherry stem.

Q. Are you really having problems with your money?
A. Or is my money having problems with me. I admit, you raise an interesting point.

Q. Why aren't you selling fruit at intersections?
A. My Jimmy Choos get stuck in the sidewalk cracks.

Q. Why a BMW? Why not something more practical?
A. It has four cup holders. Hello! Practical!

Q. Lena, are you learning nothing from your house-selling nightmare?
A. I did! I learned that there's so many other things you can be doing with your m*rtgage statement rather than paying it. Bo-ring.


True Mortgage Statement Confessions

Don't worry, internet. Life still sucks. Despite what apparently shiny six year old wheels suggest.

I certainly don't need to defend myself or explain my decisions. What I will tell you is that my new car was a fin*ncial decision Chris and I made months ago. A decision that would put us in a much better position on a monthly basis while still providing security and dependability.

I'll also tell you that I'm now working part-time and giving over my entire check to pay off our credit debt. And when Savannah starts Kindergarten next month, I plan on taking the time to get really creative with my next at home business.

(I'm thinking of doing children's parties as The Irritated Clown. It's an untapped market, don't you think?)

I shouldn't have to sit here and tear down my car and further expose my finances so that the internet can sit back and relax and breathe a sigh of relief that I'm not treating myself to something nice (why would I deserve that, after all?).

But, I am.

Not for the trolls with their anonymous email accounts. But, for the people who read me who I know are genuinely concerned over our situation. The people who email me their house-selling horror stories and are rooting me on. The people who I commiserate with off line. The people who deserve to know the finer details of my story because they care. To you, I say, thank you. Thank you for letting me celebrate my six year old little car. Thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt. Thank you for seeing through my silly self-deprecating act and knowing I'm not a complete moron.

I appreciate your interest and your respectful curiosity. To those who are simply being judgmental, I say bite my cookie.

No, I'm not rinsing out my baggies and no, I'm not driving a Yugo. But, I am doing something far far worse. Or better, depending on how you look at it.

Me On a Budget

Happy now?

53 comments:

Kim said...

Cheers to you for trying to keep your sense of humor in a horrible and stressful situation. Dont let others get you down, you know what is best for your family, and how to juggle the finances and responsibilities in your life. It's not easy being open to the world with all the details of your life, and shame on people that need to nit pick and judge....

Im a new reader, cheering you on and wishing you the best. And now that you live in my neck of the woods, Ill keep my eye out for you, speeding around in your fancy new car ;)

DianaCLT said...

Hey! How come the anonymouses get to bite your cookie? I want a cookie! I've been craving warm, fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookes all day! (BTW - do you like my new word? AnonyMOUSE?!? I like it - sounds like a comic book character or something :-D).
Every person has a lifestyle they are accustomed to. You've been open about the fact you and your DH had a rather comfy lifestyle not so long ago. Your recent financial struggles were not something you were accustomed to. You have every right to feel you are struggling.
BTW: don't knock Big Lots! True, some of it is crap, but you can actually find really cool things there, too, sometimes. If nothing else, at least you can get the feminine products and what-not for cheaper than at the grocery store. ;)
Might I also recommend visiting a Tuesday Morning? Have you heard of it? It's fabulous! Seriously - they have everything from cat beds to crystal. Was just there yesterday. Got lots of Leap Frog stuff for the kiddies, got a gorgeous birthday present for my SIL, and had to hold myself back from buying the Calvin Klein bag. Did I mention everything there is about 80% off regular price? Did I mention how much I love the high-end luggage we bought there last year? The Italian bedding we just bought there a few months ago? Again - GORGEOUS! Yup - get yourself to a Tuesday Morning! :)
And never lose your sense of humor! You've invited us in to view your life, and the majority of us love and appreciate it!

Lola Goetz said...

when we were in dire straits, i sold my new car at a slight loss just to get rid of the payments. so if an older, nice car helps you with that, then good for you.

it sounds like you are both trying harder to make sound financial decisions. it's not easy, but you will be so proud of yourselves at the end of two years. keep working on it.

Loralee Choate said...

I guess that the haters would be happier if you were supplementing your income by giving $5 blow jobs on the corner and teaching your daughter to sell dime bags of heroin.

I know, I know, I'm being petty, over reactive and juvenile, but dammit, I loathe haters.

canape said...

A six year old BMW will retain more of it's resale value than the other "more economical" (read 'cheaper right this second') cars. It is a smart car purchase IMO.

I was surprised to see that you got haters. It never entered my mind that you should be questioned or judged on a car purchase when you've just had money issues over a house. They are two separate things in my mind.

You sort of have to drive in most cities around America.

Ronni said...

Oh, I get it...you were just being shallow and snotty, bragging about the fact that you now have a BMW.

Now that I understand, I'm going to delete this blog from my bookmarks.

Nancy said...

Fuck the haters.

Butrfly4404 said...

My Geez! What the hell happened?

Hey people! Lena is a funny girl. She makes jokes. She is also a REAL girl with REAL problems and REAL feelings. And once in a fricken while she has REAL joys to share with us.

Here's your problem, doll: those trolls only want to read about you when your life is miserable. They are sad about their lives and don't want you to be happy. They only want to hear the bad things that happen to you (which, I guess is better than the anon I had that thanked me for trying to overcome my depression because my posts had a 'downward spiral' going on).

But there ARE some of us who are positively excited that you have found a way to make yourself happy.

You know, our family doesn't pull in nearly as much money as yours. When you wrote that funny post about VS's being liars, I thought "Heh, at least you can afford that!" but I laughed it off, because IT WAS FUNNY. And because I know that there are a lot of people who don't have things nearly as good as I do and yet, here I am, regularly complaining about the shit in my life. God forbid someone less fortunate than me sees that and goes off in a tizzy.

Sorry for the long rant.

I loves ya.

Sheen' of Diaper Harlem said...

Wow! Bored people with nothing else to do. Don't you love those kind of readers that are so insecure that they have to tell someone they don't even know that they are doing everything wrong? Strange. Can't ever figure that out but I get it a lot! Well, I think life should be enjoyed in between all of our 30 year old grown up blahs. Have fun and good job!

Butrfly4404 said...

PS - I found a Tuesday Morning in a burb I'm not familiar with and walking in, I almost walked out. It looked like a giant garage sale run by a crotchety old lady - but I stayed (because I had time to kill) and found some REALLY cool stuff for REALLY cheap. (It's new, not used, it just LOOKED like a garage sale.)

verybadcat said...

Oh criminy. How asinine. I figured with the house situation on the mend, and only the cc debt looming, you knew what you were doing. Or how about it's really none of my business? Some people just have too much time on their hands.

As I've said here (and on my own blog) before, we have considerable cc debt. It sucks, and we must pay it down, pay it off and behave ourselves. That doesn't mean, though, that we don't deserve to survive, and that we don't deserve some rewards while we do it. Depriving ourselves to the extent that we went overboard doesn't fix things. It only eases the guilt, and then only temporarily.

I used to work at a BMW dealership. You made a smart decision. They are very well built cars, do not generally break down the way many American cars do, and will hold it's resale value.

Not to mention- it's six years old. Hello?

Sheesh.

MommasWorld said...

I was really surprised to hear strangers actually emailed you about your finances. It is none of their freaken business what you spend your money on or how you manage it.

I had no idea the rest of this stuff was going on. I thought the only thing you had to worry about was selling the old house and then everything else was working out great. No matter, those strangers have no say so in what you should or should not have.

Congratulations on the car. You deserve a great car!

The Robbins Nest said...

You go girl! we bought a 10 year old bmw and selling our 2004 jeep b/c we are getting ready to pay back my husband's school loans. The $350 a month car payment would put us over the edge. So I figure if i need to get an older car with no car payment, I am going to look hot it in--which is why I choose the BMW. I am a new reader and cheering you on. Screw the haters! they are just jealous

Heather B. said...

Oh I didn't know it was class participation day and we were all supposed to berate you on your finances? Damn it, I missed that boat again. Possibly because I was worried about myself and not butting into the lives of others, because I'm pretty sure that at 30 you know what the hell you're doing.

Lena said...

the robbins nest - ha! That's what we sold too!

Lena said...

Ronni - Here's some more bragging. Right now? I'm ON THE PHONE WITH THE MORTGAGE COMPANY GETTING THE RUNAROUND.

And? After this? I'M CALLING THE OWNER OF THIS HOUSE BECAUSE WE STILL DON'T HAVE CARPET FROM THE FLOOD. JUST CONCRETE FLOORS.

I know. Everyone wants to be me.

Ginny said...

Well, Lena, I have recently ADDED you to my bookmarks, 'cause I think you're hilarious! I wish you'd post more often, but obviously you're busy paying off your debt and fending off the haters! Good luck to ya!

blog Portland said...

You get some of the longest comments I've ever seen. Because, you know, if any of us were given puppeteer right to your life, we'd manage it so much better than we have our own.

Suburban Turmoil said...

Only you could make Big Lots look Sexxx-ay.

petite mom blog said...

Oh The trolls. They are everywhere aren't they? I hate judgemental people.

Love the Big Lots pic! LOL.

Stephanie D. said...

Hey Lena,

If nothing else you are entertaining! *snort*

I'm usually just a lurker, but a devoted reader. I feel your pain. My hubby and I always seem to be living paycheck to paycheck, but we sure do laugh a lot. We have two sons, three dogs & 2 cats and seem to owe everyone money. We too just sold our 2005 Suburban (the land yacht) and bought a cheaper (ie, we paid cash for it), older car 'cause it is saving us $500 a month. Of course, all of our relatives/friends think we are nuts not to keep the SUV. (Hmmm... maybe if they would pay the monthly car note.....we would have kept it....wish we'd thought of that!) LOL!

Anyway, thanks for your posts...they make me feel that we are not the only couple bobbing along (happily for the most part) in a sea of debt.

Oh and enjoy 30....40 is a real scream...trust me on that one!! :)

Tara in VA said...

Wow. I would not have presumed to question the car decision--you mentioned it was a few years old & used, and I know you guys know your situation. I find it amazing that some people gave you grief about this.

Good luck, hope everything turns out okay!

Julia said...

As soon as you wrote about the 'squish' of your birthday, I hoped that something good would happen to turn your day around. I'm sincerely glad it did!

Forget the haters and their 'sack cloth and ashes' mentality. So many of us have been in icky financial situations and we're all rooting for you.

Pete said...

i've been reading for a while, (thanks to dad gone mad), and screw what others say.

i just did the same thing, that is, buy a nice used car (01 outback), with leather and heated seats(booyah), that in fact cut my car payments in half.

hang in there. i'm trying to implement a family financial plan as well.

and though you make big lots look very attractive, i will still force myself to stay away.

Amy said...

If anyone wants to bitch about how you spend YOUR money, let them post their complete credit history and monthly budget for all the world to see. You aren't making your payments with welfare dollars, so I don't understand why people feel your financial situation is any of their business.

I hope you fucking LOVE your new car. I'm jealous!

Lena said...

Ginny - My constant chant in my head: September 4, September 4. Because THAT is when Savannah starts school and THAT is when I can post every day. Or two. With my trusty sidekicks: my onion bagel and my mocha. HOMEMADE ...OF COURSE. ;)

sweetney said...

fuck the haters. jus jelus. xoxo.

Kristabella said...

Wow, people need to get the hell over themselves.

Congrats on the Beemer! I turn 30 in 3 short weeks and I'm trying to talk myself into buying a laptop for myself. Even though I have mounds of debt and people keep saying IS NOT PRACTICAL, you freaking idiot.

And I just tell them to shut the eff up.

Kim said...

Thanks for clearing that up Ronni, and yeah, it's just as we all thought.....

your issue is with the make of the car, a BMW.

Forget the 6 years old part, or that it is less $ than the car she had.....

News Flash**** Junior High is behind you Ronni, grow up and stop being jealous of people. If you are that unhappy with your own life, make some changes, but dont take it out on others, geesh!

Heather said...

Go, Lena! I want nothing but the best for you and am crossing my toes and fingers that this will very soon be nothing more than an unpleasant memory.

Patti said...

New reader here...delurking to say "CHILL, people." Sheesh! As Kim (I think) said...junior high is over. As my mom says...if it's none of your business and you can't be nice and supportive, shut up!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy the car, Lena...and let us know when the Irritated Clown business is up and running...a winner of a concept. Talk about the answer to all your financial problems!! :-)

Anonymous said...

BMWs are fun. I bought a seven-year-old one when I went away to college (bought with grocery-store-job earnings). Traded it for an SUV about four years later, which might make me a bad person. But now I have a Subaru.

I wish I didn't need a car. I think of how much money we could save if we could walk or bike or take a train somewhere. Enjoy the car and don't worry what anybody thinks. Although I'm reminded about a joke about BMW owners ...

- Texas "Never Been here before" T-bone

JP said...

I had a comment all written in my head about people who live in glass houses (or, you know, hiding behind computer screen) shouldn't throw stones...but really? Does it matter? Not really. Trolls will always be trolls.

I say, enjoy your car. Good luck with EVERYTHING you have going on right now. I wish you nothing but the best.

I shall now retreat to my lurker status in peace. :)

Amy said...

wow i can't believe some people! if lena chooses to share financial information and then chooses to share that she has a bmw, so what? it's her blog!

i applaud you lena for sharing all that info! good luck with your closing day :)

Laural Dawn said...

You have to take it all with a grain of salt. When we opened up about our financial woes people questioned me about everything - why was I buying coffee when I could bring a travel cup? Why did I buy my lunch one day? It's ridiculous. I know people care, but still.
Personally, I love your car.
We're in a crappy financial situation as well, but we're looking at new (to us) cars because fixing an older crappy car is expensive.

Felicia said...

Hey, I totally here you about your 6 year old baby. I bought my bimmer at it was a 92! with a 100k on it. I traded in my new car for that car and walked away with no payments. I know have 300K on that BMW and it still looks good. Good Choice.

Anonymous said...

I AM THRILLED ABOUT YOUR CAR, even though I am guessing it means you don't need to come to Hawai`i with QUITE the urgency you felt last week! And it's a fundamental life lesson that sometimes ya gotta SPEND money to SAVE money, right, Internet? Lena, why would anybody begrudge you a little happiness, all wrapped up in a BMW??? Take it wherever you can get it! And you're STILL invited to come visit. I don't care WHAT you're driving. (Though if you ever DO manage to score a Bentley, honey, please bring it with you. It will look great in the driveway next to the 2000 Mazda Protege with a hole the size of North Dakota in the muffler and the mid-90s Chevy church bus, oh gawd, that hauled my family cross-country before we got on the plane for Honolulu. Such class, my life!) Anyhow, y'all come! This invitation will simply remain open indefinitely. Maybe it will be a little spot of sunshine when the lights go out, as they are sometimes wont to do in this precarious world we live in. Hugs and aloha from Caroline

Shash said...

I LOVE BIG LOTS!!!!

I'm so kidding.

Congrats on the car, a fine choice.
Lena, don;t worry about other people's jealousy, whatever makes you guys happy is all that matters. Ya'all deserve that and more.

Shash

Shash said...

Oh, and Lena?, sorry but I've tagged you:

http://crazedmommy.blogspot.com/2007/08/tagged-on-first-day-of-school.html

Love you. Smooches.

Shash

Y said...

Ohhhhhh, you shop at Big Lots while I have to shop at thrift stores so basically you're saying your better than me because you have nicer legs and prettier hair and OMG I'M TOTALLY DELINKING YOU!!!!! RIGHT NOW! SERIOUSLY! I AM!!!!!!!!!

The Internet said...

Dear Lena,

Thank you for taking the time to clear that up for me... You know how much I worry about you! You're almost like a "real" person to me. From now on if you could give me a little heads up about any big decisions you're making, I think I could help. Lena, let me be your magic 8 ball! Please.

Yours forever,
The Internet

CK said...

I think that some of your readers are just confused. We tend to forget that bloggers' lives happen offscreen and that there frequently are a lot of gaps in what we are reading. Because, heaven knows, you shouldn't be telling us everything.

I'm guilty of being one of those confused, wrinkled brows when I saw the BMW. And I will tell you why. Which I'm sure you are thrilled about!

Here's how the last few months have looked from a reader's perspective:

I'm in horrible credit card debt!

I love my $4 coffee from Starbucks!

We might lose our house!

I'm going to Chicago!

We have to short sell and are in dire straits!

We just bought a BMW!

I just bought my daughter hundreds of dollars of school clothes! I can't stop buying things!

I'm going to shop more at Big Lots!

You may have perfectly good reasons for all of this. But from the snippets we see (and once again, with feeling, for the hyperventilating fangirls, IT IS YOUR RIGHT TO ONLY TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT), it looks a little crazy.

I'm just sayin'.

Michele said...

First you look skinny in that picture! And you say your pants don't fit! Work it I say. Follow this link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/20/business/20taxes.html?em&ex=1187755200&en=f7a1269ba284eef5&ei=5087%0A. I don't know if this will apply to your situation, but I know you don't want any surprises. It is in regards to mortgage settlements and the IRS. Scary. Who judges someone for lowering car payments? weirdos. ignore them. If people are jealous, that is their problem. Be happy.

B said...

Why do people feel the need to comment on your finances? Husband and I are trying to shovel out the debt too, and while we've been credit card free for about 3 years, we still have that shiny 2007 van that screams "PAYMENTS UNTIL YOU DIE" Sucks for sure!

Congrats on grabbing the bull by the horns.

Priscilla said...

Lena... first, I wanted to say that I love, love, love, your writing! This is the first time I've ever commented on ANY blog..I read both of yours religiously, but had to delurk to put my 2 cents (or 3, or 4...) in.


I have to admit, that my first reaction was 'Shut. Up. I hate you.' LOL I initially was thinking every thing that ck posted.



Yes, I know that you are by no means obligated to tell us everything...BUT... I think a lot of the jealousy stemmed from the fact that you didn't say that you traded in anything to get the new car.

You've posted about how a few years back when you were raking in the cash & spending instead of saving, that you had gotten a new car....so, I personally, assumed it was paid off. Also, the posts about you being allergic to the sun & having to drive Chris' old jeep? Made me think that he was driving your old car....and Girl..lemme just tell ya... I'm sitting here going "Tahoe...& a beemer? Not to mention that the last time my waist was as small as yours is, I was like..11....YOU BITCH!"

Anyway, glad that you cleared that up about the trade-in (not that we were entitled to know or anything). And to everyone who didn't know that she traded in a Tahoe, for the BMW....even if she had taken on new debt...do you have ANY IDEA how much she's saving in gas alone????

Lena, btw, Happy belated birthday...I adore you!

islaygirl said...

ok, first, even when you're (read: I'm) trying to make a smart financial decision, sometimes it backfires. before my divorce, when i knew it was coming and i was trying to plan for the future, i got rid of one car and bought a smart, safe, long-wearing car. it'll probably be fine, but the payments are killing me, and even tho it's dependable and yadda yadda yadda, i wish i had done something different. like buy a used BMW. i'm not even remotely kidding.

and second, i love you lena.

Mere said...

I admit I thought twice about your new car. Then I realized I too am downsizing my life (went to a fabulous conference that touched on money that I will remember for the rest of my life this week) and am getting a NEW car - just one that will save me upwards for $4k a year. It seems like cheating to me to get a new car when I am trying to cut expenses - but it was what needed to happen.

Being in sort of the same boat (was making tons, now not so much) I am learning the whole need vs. want thing. And things are hard, but I am thankful that I am learning the lessons now while there is still time to make changes.

Enjoy the new cheaper toy!

me said...

I have recently entered the blogosphere and I'm so glad I've come upon your site - other than the horrendously long process of watching it load, I love it and your sense of humor. thanks for the laughs -

www.DraperDaily.blogspot.com

Lena said...

CK - I think I just found my new bio.

Lena said...

Dear Internet -

< DEEP BREATH >

The Tahoe is 0% financed and is almost paid off and is an awesome car. It is now Chris'. We sold the Jeep, made a little cash, and put it into a MUCH MUCH more dependable and much cheaper vehicle. Which also does not make my skin break out into boils.

I have a mole on my leg.

My favorite color is green.

I talk in my sleep.

Now you know everything.

< /DEEP BREATH >

DianaCLT said...

Oh Lena,
You talk in your sleep? With all that you've had going on lately, the talk coming from your subconscious mind must be fascinating, if not a little disturbing.
How does Chris sleep? ;)

Working Mom said...

I do not advocate selling veggies in Jimmy Choos, but they wont get stuck in the cracks if you place your weight on the balls of your feet, plus, your calves get a GREAT workout. I am only kidding...Mostly.

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