Editor's note: Deseret Media Companies sponsors a financial empowerment campaign for women. As part of that, three women were selected for yearlong financial mentoring, one each in the areas of overcoming debt, budgeting and investments. All three blog regularly about what they are learning and how their journeys to a brighter financial future are going on www.imagineahappieryou.com. Each week, one of the blogs — or that of one of the mentors — is published in the Deseret News.
I did it. And I'm still in a state of shock over how fast it happened. Todd and I recently made the decision to sell my dream car, a Sequoia. It is something I had been thinking about for quite a while, and I had been looking at cars in our price range daily. It seems like as soon as I put the permanent decision out there for the world to see, things really started to happen.
I began last Saturday, a Saturday like any other. I got up, went for an early run, then came back to make my family pancakes for breakfast.
Afterward, I sat down at my computer to check out any newly listed cars on KSL.com. I had narrowed down our options. I had started out looking for minivans but knew with my family size and all the carpooling I do, I needed the eight-passenger option.
I quickly found that eight-passenger vans weren't made until about 2004, and those were above our price limit, so I narrowed my search to older Suburbans or Yukons.
I was excited to see a newly listed 2002 Yukon XL, with low miles, priced way below Blue Book. It had been listed for less than an hour, and I knew we had to jump.
So we did.
We called, test drove it that afternoon, loved it and immediately told the sellers we wanted it and would finish up the sale on Monday when the banks open.
As we drove home, I had an overwhelming feeling of happiness, the feeling of having made a good financial move in the right direction.
Jumping, squealing and clapping my hands? Guilty on all accounts.
Buying a car with no buyers remorse? This was weird
I wonder how much happier I will be when I can one day buy a car with cash. I may just have to revisit my childhood cartwheeling days.
Then came the obstacle of selling our car. We looked online at comparable cars that were listed and noticed that they weren't really selling too quickly. We checked the Blue Book pricing. We knew we had pretty low miles for the year, and I felt confident that we could sell — well, at least I hoped we could.
We listed it Sunday night about midnight. I had a sleepless night. I started to worry that maybe we wouldn't sell it and then we'd have to cover two car payments, something I knew we couldn't do.
Still, I had an underlying feeling that we were heading in the right direction. Somehow, I knew it would all work out.
Monday morning, before Todd headed out to work, our family said a quick prayer that we'd be able to sell our car quickly, since we were buying the Yukon that day.
Todd went to work and made some calls to start the loan process for the new car. He called me two hours later and said there was a mechanic (the brother of a woman who was interested in our Sequoia) coming to look at our car in an hour.
So I quickly vacuumed it and got it ready to show. He came, gave it a quick look over, was impressed with what he saw and called his sister to say that if she didn't buy it, he would.
What is even better is she had cash to buy it that day. That was the one and only call we had on the Sequoia.
Picture this: three parties at the same credit union. 1) Todd and me; 2) The buyer of my car; 3. The sellers of my "new" car (whose loan was conveniently at the same credit union — talk about ducks in a row).
As all the transactions were completed and everyone drove away in their cars, I asked myself, "Did this just happen?"
We dropped our payment from $300 to $100. We plan to keep paying the $300 and have the car paid off in about a year. After that is paid off, it will allow us to dump that same $300 into our next thorny debt, the second mortgage.
Call it what you will. Fate. Fluke. Coincidence. Me? I like to give credit to the man upstairs who saw a need, heard a prayer and was anxious to follow through. All it took was that leap of faith, a little work, a willing heart and to just simply ask.
We love the car, but what I love more is the light at the end of the dark tunnel. We can do this. I'm feeling more confident than I have in a long time. So, don't give up. Is there a step that might seem rather drastic, but would make sense in the long financial scheme of things? My advice? Do it.
Follow Melody and the other women on their financial journeys at www.imagineahappieryou.com.