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Author: ThyPeace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308429  
Subject: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/13/2007 4:53 PM
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So I've been playing with Mvelopes and working on getting my budget to where I wanted it to be. I wasn't all the way there yet, of course; I'm brand new with Mvelopes and struggling with what the "right" values for my envelopes are. It'll take me a couple of months to get it all squared away.

But I really think I was making progress.

And then this week happened.

So.

The compressor on the A/C in my car is "tearing itself apart from the inside," according to the nice technician from Honda who called me with the bad news. That'll be $1,350 once they have the compressor, which they don't have in stock right now. And I've already done more than $600 of work on my car this year. Ugh. A well-cared-for 2001 Civic shouldn't have this many problems!

The place where DD goes to preschool doesn't allow "push" transactions. Either you give them your bank info or CC #, or you pay the annual fee all at once, up front. $792, due July 1. (I may have to live with the pull transactions...)

The ex has decided not to listen to reason on a particularly thorny parenting issue, that being whether or not it is appropriate to introduce a third person (her husband) into the parenting process. Result: 2 hours with attorney and child psychologist. Minimum cost: $1,000, with more to come. (Answer: No, it's not good to blur the clear lines of 'who are my parents' with a 4 year old. The ambiguity messes with her secure sense of self and world.)

Because of the above, my ex and I didn't get our child support numbers hammered out immediately. I owe her approximately $500 to cover the difference. (Should have set aside the difference when I knew it would change, but didn't think of it.)

Child support itself has now doubled because of tax changes and because my ex is pregnant and won't be working as much after her baby is born.

My brother is now almost offially almost moved out. He's in SF for the Mac Developers' Conference and will finish moving when he gets back. So it's time for me to start paying the cable, Internet, and electric bills.

Back before I knew about the car, the legal issues, and the dues, I got plane tickets for a cousin's wedding. And I agreed that DD could go to a sports skills class once a week for the summer -- my part is $150.

It never freaking rains but it pours. Next thing you know... no, never mind, I'm not going to say it; no reason to invite more expenses.

*sigh*

A) I am glad I have an emergency fund.
B) I am glad that Dad hasn't shifted his money stream yet. I think I'll ask him to wait until the end of the summer so that I can get my budget stabilized.
C) Yes, this means more working on the budget.
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Author: paca24 One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254395 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/13/2007 5:46 PM
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Child support itself has now doubled because of tax changes and because my ex is pregnant and won't be working as much after her baby is born.
Why in the &*#! does your child support obligation increase when your ex makes the decisions to have another child and reduce how much she works? Shouldn't the reduced income be her and her husband's responsibility?

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Author: aroneous Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254398 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/13/2007 9:30 PM
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Paca24 - I was wondering the same thing myself. If ThyPeace chose to stop working (or go part-time or some such), the child support obligation wouldn't change. If ThyPeace has more children, the obligation to this child wouldn't change.

Doesn't make sense to me.

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254399 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/13/2007 9:38 PM
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I was wondering the same thing myself. If ThyPeace chose to stop working (or go part-time or some such), the child support obligation wouldn't change. If ThyPeace has more children, the obligation to this child wouldn't change.

Doesn't make sense to me.


It makes sense if it's voluntary. It didn't say it was court-ordered support, and it did occur to me that this was voluntary.

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Author: ThyPeace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254404 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/13/2007 10:26 PM
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Why in the &*#! does your child support obligation increase when your ex makes the decisions to have another child and reduce how much she works? Shouldn't the reduced income be her and her husband's responsibility?

One might think that, yes. In this case, however, well... no. Every state varies, and my particular case is, as one of the experts told me today, "unique." In other words, none of the case law and none of the research covers us. We're having to invent 90% of what we do.

Four years ago, my side of the case politely declined to follow the state guidelines for child support because, as one of my attorneys said, "If they're not going to give you the legal right to parent, why should you have to pay like you have it?"

So instead, we establish a budget based on DD's real expenses each year, add it all up, and then apportion the payment of those expenses based upon income. The split over the past few years has been roughly 75/25 and will be pretty close to that this year. Baby's not due until October and she'll have 60% of her income for three (four? can't remember right now) months after that.

Come to think of it, I wonder how much I would be paying under the child support guidelines now? Hmmm.......

Huh. Our combined incomes are now high enough that the guidelines simply say "Since the combined adjusted actual income exceeds the highest level specified in the schedule($10,000/month), the court may use its discretion in setting the amount of child support."

If I do some playing (bring our income down to that, get the number, and then increase it by the appropriate percentage), it appears to me that I'm still paying about 55% of what it would otherwise be.






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Author: VikingErik Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254416 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 11:02 AM
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The compressor on the A/C in my car is "tearing itself apart from the inside," according to the nice technician from Honda who called me with the bad news. That'll be $1,350 once they have the compressor,

Any chance of just going without A/C in the car? That would be a pretty good LBYM option. My father did that for several years. As we often say, separate your "wants" and "needs" -- which one is this?

- Erik

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Author: ThyPeace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254423 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 12:39 PM
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Any chance of just going without A/C in the car? That would be a pretty good LBYM option. My father did that for several years. As we often say, separate your "wants" and "needs" -- which one is this?

You're right, Erik, this is a want rather than a need. I live in the Washington DC area, which means that my (black) Civic gets very hot indeed in the summer. And I spend 12 hours in my car every other weekend, which is tough going when it's 100 degrees in there. DD screaming about how hot it is in there isn't all that much fun either. So all that together makes it a high-priority want for me. Nonetheless, I know it [i]is]/i] a want and may not get fixed for a few weeks while I stabilize everything else.

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Author: thornir Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254431 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 2:48 PM
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It never freaking rains but it pours.

You got that right. My DW just received her final paycheck from her substitute teaching job of the past year. No income until the new teaching job she got starts in September. No problem, I've been planning for a summer of reduced income. What I wasn't ready for was the car needing $700 in repairs yesterday and the call today that our TV, which developed problems this weekend, is not fixable since they no longer make the part needed. The darn thing is only 4 1/2 freakin' years old! We are now using a 12" TV that belonged to my late Grandmother and is more than 20 years old. It appears to be on its own last leg (TV images can be really painful when you don't have the color blue anymore).

I guess I'll be looking to BT my remaining CC debt when the current 0% rate ends in October instead of getting it paid off before then.

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Author: RkeFool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254433 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 3:12 PM
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You're right, Erik, this is a want rather than a need. I live in the Washington DC area, which means that my (black) Civic gets very hot indeed in the summer. And I spend 12 hours in my car every other weekend, which is tough going when it's 100 degrees in there. DD screaming about how hot it is in there isn't all that much fun either. So all that together makes it a high-priority want for me. Nonetheless, I know it [i]is]/i] a want and may not get fixed for a few weeks while I stabilize everything else.

Be careful with this option: Having just went through this in my Camry, if the compressor seizes up and the car doesn't detect it and shut it off (thankfully, my car did), my mechanic said it can destroy the belt (even though my compressor shut off, the belt showed damage from the locked-up compressor), and since you mention you're in DC, we'll, I can't think of a good road to lose a belt on in DC. :) (Mine went out when I was driving home from Springfield to Roanoke in Friday afternoon rush-hour traffic....nothing like sitting in Manassas on I-66 westbound with no AC on a nice mid 80's day.)

You might ask the mechanic about it, to see if your car will behave the same way.

Hope this helps;
RkeFool

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Author: 6Bitsadollar Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254434 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 3:28 PM
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Be careful with this option: Having just went through this in my Camry, if the compressor seizes up and the car doesn't detect it and shut it off (thankfully, my car did), my mechanic said it can destroy the belt (even though my compressor shut off, the belt showed damage from the locked-up compressor),

**********************************
This sounds like what happened to me on a road trip on I-40 near Memphis one really hot day.

I spent 5 summers in Northern Virginia and I would really not want to drive a car without a/c--especially late July and August. Muggy, muggy.
If you are driving to work without a/c, you will be lucky to get there looking any better than a wet dishrag. i think this is a high priority want. I drove a mustang convertible at the time (and boy did I think I was one cool chick).

Also driving in summer with child--especially one in a car seat or booster--is not fun. It is even less fun with no a/c. We lost our a/c one time near the not so cool town of Alpine, Texas.



Molly--

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Author: ThyPeace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254438 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 3:55 PM
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the car needing $700 in repairs

I hear ya! Makes you want to just put the thing out of your misery, doesn't it? Any chance of doing some of the work yourself? Not an option for me -- I know nothing about cars -- but I hear some people are handier than that.

...our TV, which developed problems this weekend, is not fixable...

A TV is a want, obviously, but if you want one, you might want to consider looking at Freecycle. People send their TVs through there (and cheap on Craigslist) pretty regularly these days. Everyone wants plasma and HDTV, you know.



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Author: RkeFool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254439 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 3:55 PM
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I drove a mustang convertible at the time (and boy did I think I was one cool chick).

Reminds me of when I turned 16 years old and got my drivers license...when the card came in to go get my picture taken and pick up the official license, I was staying at a college program for high school kids, and one of the girls there had a nice '87 convertable 'stang. The police officer taking the picture (West Virginia still did them at police stations back then..) said since I just pulled up as the only guy in a Mustang convertable full of girls, getting me to smile shouldn't be a problem. :)

Plus, when I was growning up, my grandmother had a 'stang of the early 70's (can't remember which year) that was lime green....I'd love to pick one of those up and restore it. :) I felt like the coolest 5-year old around riding in that thing with her.....

RkeFool

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Author: ThyPeace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254440 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/14/2007 4:04 PM
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Be careful with this option: Having just went through this in my Camry, if the compressor seizes up and the car doesn't detect it and shut it off (thankfully, my car did), my mechanic said it can destroy the belt (even though my compressor shut off, the belt showed damage from the locked-up compressor),

Huh. Well, I asked them whether it was safe to drive with this problem, and they said it was. However, I wondered about that. It makes noise even when the A/C is off, which they said was because the gears turn all the time. Hmmm. Time to call another garage and ask about it.

If you are driving to work without a/c, you will be lucky to get there looking any better than a wet dishrag. i think this is a high priority want. I drove a mustang convertible at the time (and boy did I think I was one cool chick).

Well, they've seen me arrive looking harried, but not like kitchen help. I suspect they'd be mildly surprised. A mustang convertible, huh? The coolest boy (well, I thought so, anyway!) in my high school was the son of a Presbytarian minister. The minister owned a 1967 dark green Mustang that I thought was the coolest car on the planet. Only later did I hear about the rusted-through floorboards and being able to see the road from your seat.

Also driving in summer with child--especially one in a car seat or booster--is not fun. It is even less fun with no a/c. We lost our a/c one time near the not so cool town of Alpine, Texas.

Ayup. And this is the child who refuses to enter the car until I've rolled down the windows and turned on the A/C for a couple of minutes. Mind you, when the car is 120 or whatever, I don't disagree with her, but it has created a few difficult situations.

Definitely a high-priority want.

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Author: thornir Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254448 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/15/2007 8:53 AM
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I hear ya! Makes you want to just put the thing out of your misery, doesn't it? Any chance of doing some of the work yourself? Not an option for me -- I know nothing about cars -- but I hear some people are handier than that.

No, I'm not a car person either, but I doubt this was something most people could do outside of a shop anyway. Still, it is a better to drop some money to keep it running than to get replace the car. The car is only four years old, and I plan on having it for many more years until I run it into the ground.

A TV is a want, obviously, but if you want one, you might want to consider looking at Freecycle. People send their TVs through there (and cheap on Craigslist) pretty regularly these days. Everyone wants plasma and HDTV, you know.

Yeah, I know the TV is a want. The kids don't watch much TV, but on rainy days it is nice to have something that will settle them down for a little while. Personally I really wouldn't mind not replacing it for a while but, sometimes to my frustration, my DW is pretty much a TV addict.

It is so frustrating that they couldn't fix a TV that is less than five years old because they lo longer make the part needed. Better for the manufacturer of course, since they don't have to maintain the inventory of parts and then people will buy a new TV. I won't be looking at another Toshiba, that's for certain.

I'm exploring options, including used TVs. I've never looked at Freecycle before, I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

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Author: electrasmom Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254449 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/15/2007 9:06 AM
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Also check your local resale shop for TVs. Ours has tons.

electrasmom

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Author: bdgf06 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254458 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/15/2007 10:52 AM
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Nice balloons 2gifts! Congrats!

bdgf06

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Author: foolazis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254469 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/15/2007 6:17 PM
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Any chance of just going without A/C in the car? That would be a pretty good LBYM option. My father did that for several years. As we often say, separate your "wants" and "needs" -- which one is this?

I drove a 1989 Honda Civic for 10 years in Phoenix without any A/C. I could always tell when it got above 110 degrees when the hairs on my arm would singe.

foolazis


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Author: ThyPeace Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254941 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/27/2007 1:40 PM
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For those who were following my saga, let me just note that The Fool was correct and the Honda dealership was not. The A/C compressor ended up locking while I was driving. I was lucky and able to get off the freeway and into a parking lot before it stopped altogether. The garage where I had it towed put in a bypass belt that the dealer SHOULD have told me I needed to make the car safe.

NOW I can wait as long as I need to for the major AC compressor repair. I should not have been waiting before, but was lucky and didn't do any other damage.

Dang, it is HOT in that car without the AC. I think I may dip into the e-fund for this. I'm currently above the minimum that makes me lose sleep, and would still be after the repair.

And no, I'm not taking the car to the Honda dealer for major repairs anymore.

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Author: FiddleDeeDee Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254943 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/27/2007 1:50 PM
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Dang, it is HOT in that car without the AC. I think I may dip into the e-fund for this. I'm currently above the minimum that makes me lose sleep, and would still be after the repair.

Some tricks I did when I was without a/c in the car was to park in the shade wherever I could, and take the most tree-lined routes. I had to walk further or drive further to get where I was going, but it was worth it - even when I had to clean the car because of the birds.

Leave more space than usual at traffic stops between you and the car in front of you.

When parked, I always leave the windows open about an inch all around.

Never leave anything in the car that might be damaged from the heat.

Put an ice chest in the car filled with ice and water bottles and drink a cool water while you drive.

Good luck with your car!

Andrea

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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254949 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/27/2007 4:05 PM
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Dang, it is HOT in that car without the AC. I think I may dip into the e-fund for this. I'm currently above the minimum that makes me lose sleep, and would still be after the repair.


I had the same problem with my first car. I lived in the Mojave Desert north of Palm Springs and drove a black car; it was not fun but I'm here to tell about it. ;-)

Some tips:
Try leaving the windows open and using a windshield sunshade. If you have a sunroof, leave that open just a smidge and drive with it cracked; it will help to suck the hot air out of the car.

Lay a towel over the driver's seat and the steering wheel (and the armrest if you use it); it will absorb most of the heat. Remove it before you sit down! :-)

Wet a cloth and lay it over the back of your neck while you drive; it will help to keep you cool.

Style your hair so that the wind does not destroy it. Ponytails, braids, buns, hairbows are all great; loose, flowing, long hair - not so much.

Park in the shade or a parking garage when possible.

Park so that the rear of your car will be facing the sun in the time before you drive. It sounds weird but if you have a choice, it will keep your seat cooler and be initially more comfortable for you.

Minxie




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Author: JGBFool Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254950 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/27/2007 4:15 PM
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That's good advice, Andrea. Another thing that helps somewhat is to get one of those windshield sun shades to put up whenever you are parked in the sun (I believe the metallic ones work the best, but a white one would be pretty decent also).
These also help somewhat to preserve the interior of your car from extreme heat and damaging UV rays.
As for the mechanic problem-- that is a tough one. If you can find a mechanic who worked in a dealership for a long time (and thus knows the brand very well) but then started a shop on his/her own to get away from the bureaucracy and hassle of the dealership service depts, that can be great for your peace of mind. He/she might not always be the cheapest mechanic around, but "good" is better than merely "cheap" in my opinion.
I can recommend both a Honda guy and a Toyota guy that fit this description for the Knoxville, TN area, but unfortunately I don't know any in Bethesda, MD.
--JGBFool

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Author: DrBooa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 254984 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/28/2007 12:19 AM
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If you're looking for a non-dealership mechanic, a website I like is www.cartalk.com--they have some recommendations from people about mechanics, good and bad, in your neighborhood. It's like eBay feedback, but for mechanics, and man, has it been a lifesaver for us.


--Booa

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Author: foolazis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 255078 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/29/2007 6:34 PM
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Some tips:
Try leaving the windows open and using a windshield sunshade. If you have a sunroof, leave that open just a smidge and drive with it cracked; it will help to suck the hot air out of the car.

Lay a towel over the driver's seat and the steering wheel (and the armrest if you use it); it will absorb most of the heat. Remove it before you sit down! :-)

Wet a cloth and lay it over the back of your neck while you drive; it will help to keep you cool.

Style your hair so that the wind does not destroy it. Ponytails, braids, buns, hairbows are all great; loose, flowing, long hair - not so much.

Park in the shade or a parking garage when possible.

Park so that the rear of your car will be facing the sun in the time before you drive. It sounds weird but if you have a choice, it will keep your seat cooler and be initially more comfortable for you.

Minxie


Minxie, these are great tips. I learned these pretty quickly when I moved to Phoenix. One other tip, try to find where the shade will be in mid-afternoon and park there. I've found that rather helpful at times if I'm planning to be parked for a while.

BTW, I drove a car with no a/c in Phoenix for 10 years. It was a pain during the monsoons, but I actually did not mind driving with my windows down during the rain.

foolazis

- a fellow desert dweller 8-)


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Author: Minxie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 255089 of 308429
Subject: Re: It never rains but it pours. Date: 6/29/2007 10:04 PM
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Minxie, these are great tips.</i

Thanks; it does get a touch warm in the summer, hmmm? ;-)

Minxie

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