This kind of feeling is usually something that would make me stop writing for a while but not this time. I think I just need to be honest and put myself out there. A few years ago we were struggling financially. We make a good enough salary but we were still living pay check to pay check even though we were living modestly. We had large student loans and a line of credit for initial home repairs and “welcome taxes” when we had bought the house, and a few other odds and ends that had been added to that. We were paying minimums and using one credit product to pay for another and vice versa and we we couldn’t see an end in sight. The wake up call was getting a statement outlining my student loans and realizing that I had been paying nearly interest without even touching much of the capital over nearly a decade. If were to keep on the same path, we would be in the same place 20 years down the line. We finally went to see a financial counsellor for advice and we were told that we could not do a consolidation which we were originally wanting to do, and that instead we should try a consumer proposal. Then, when meeting with a trustee we were told that our best option would be bankruptcy. Yeah… bankruptcy.
I never talked about it, because bankruptcy has this stigma around it, and we were afraid of what people would think. But, after weighing all of the options and trying our best to find another solution, it really was the best solution for us. The process was easy enough and because we owned an old car and had no equity on the house and didn’t own anything really of value, we didn’t lose anything except for dept and were discharged 9 months later around the time Wilhelmina was born.
So there it is, the cat is out of the bag. I know that people will judge us, and though I feel somewhat ashamed that we had to make that decision, I don’t feel guilty. We didn’t plan for it, we didn’t buy extravagant things, we were living modestly and just couldn’t keep on going like that. It was truly the best decision for us. We have been working on rebuilding our credit since then but the mark on our credit will be there for another few years.
So why I am saying this now? Well, on Monday I called the bank for information on a Loan for the bus and was told that we shouldn’t have a problem getting a car loan (we got one last year for the car we currently have) especially with the amount that the bus costs which is half the amount of our car. Yesterday, I called the bank back for an appointment and was basically told to not waste our time. The bus is a 92 and for a car loan it would have to be only 6 years old or less. The other option would be a personal loan, but even though we would qualify easily, the bankruptcy is our downfall. He didn’t actually put the demand though which is good because it would hurt us more in the long run. We could try other banks too but I have a feeling that it will be the same everywhere.
So now we are stuck. We have money saved that we could use as a down payment and If we were to get a loan we would have had no problem paying it and when we sell the house we could have easily paid off the remainder. We don’t have family to turn to financially so that is out of the question.
I would love to find a part time job but there is not much in a city that basically closes down after 5pm and on Sundays. I would also rather find something I can do on the internet and that I can bring with us when we leave, or sell crafts or things I make on Etsy but I have tried that before and I guess I was not making what people want/need.
Another idea is that we could get back to selling the house and try to find a place that would let us have the bus around so that we could work on it but I am not sure we could find a place for that.
We could give up on the dream, but of course I don’t want to do that either.
We are not ready to give up. We want this… actually for our sanity we need this.
Thanks for your honesty 🙂 We all love you and bankruptcy never made a difference. In terms of saving money, Eric read this book called Your Money or Your Life and is has been a very interesting read. We are keeping track of every single cent we spend this month and we will check if there is anything we can cut back on. Maybe that might help you find some hidden funds? Hugs
Gen, I use YNAB (You Need a Budget) and I find that really works well also. I do keep track of everything we spend… (though I fall back on old Quicken habits at times of recording after we spend instead of budgeting to spend). Since we have started using it we don’t feel that tight in money anymore…. you should check it out! http://www.youneedabudget.com/
Hang in there. I believe you will find a way. I saw this and thought of you. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=270611683050463&set=pb.228080417303590.-2207520000.1347592666&type=1&theater
My friend Annie shared that on my wall a few days ago also… I LOVE that bus! here is a site that has more pictures if you want to see it 🙂
Write and sell on Amazon, barnes and noble, kobo.
I just wonder what I would write about… I wouldn’t even know where to start!
I did do something yesterday to maybe get started in selling some pictures. We’ll see if I can make that work out a bit 🙂
Hang in there! I am sure you will find a creative way to contribute to the family coffers while keeping up your commitment to un-school the kids. You have been a great source of inspiration, regardless of your financial status.
just an idea… you said your car was worth twice the price of the bus…
i always have found so expensive a new car and never realy got it why people buy such expensive cars when they devaluate so much the second they are out of the garage driveway.
would it be possible to sell the car and buy a “cheaper second hand car” and then buy the bus???
i hope your dreams will work out!
That was one of our plans until we got the idea shot down in a talk with the bank…
Technically it would make sense, but the catch is that the car has lien on it because it is a secured car loan. So in selling the car we have to pay back the loan. (you can’t use the money for something else… not even another car)
We would then have to borrow money to buy another car following the conditions that it needs to be under 6 years old (we bought ours last year and it is now 5 years old) and then we would still be stuck not being able to get a loan for the bus.
thanks for the brainstorming though!!
You guys might be having a tough time, but you both are working hard and planning. I am hopefully that things will work out eventually. We also have bad finances and I am looking for work too. I have some friends that do customer service type work from home. All you need is high speed internet and a home phone. Once I find out more I can pass the info on to you.
Every time I see something about bus living with kids, I think of you. I so much love the idea and love that you’re pursuing it. I shall live vicariously through you!
It is such a dream for me and it is something that I have wanted to do all of my life. When I was a girl, I remember someone who had a bus and stayed in our yard for a while and I remember how cozy and fun it looked. I can’t wait!!
I wish I had some “bons mots” to pass on to you. Anyone who would judge you for your financial situation isn’t worth your time or energy. Your idea to move west in a bus is magical and I really hope it will come to pass for you.