“Stupid Tax” is a term I first heard while listening to Dave Ramsey. As I recall, it refers to money you’ve paid out because you did something stupid. I just paid what is hopefully the last installment of stupid tax as it applies to my daughter’s first car. Last year was the beginning of this sad saga. We traveled about an hour so she could buy a 1998 Dodge Neon that needed work – it ran but it needed work. She had an insurance quote but that wasn’t acceptable so I ended up agreeing to put the car in my name and have the title transferred to her at a later date. That was the first stupid decision. I didn’t want to have to drive back out there again so I signed the title.
Then there was the drama of thinking it was stolen only to discover that it had been “borrowed” and now needed a new tire and the moon roof fixed plus the original work still needed done. But of course there was no money for all of that. The car sat under my carport for months while my car sat out in the weather unprotected. Second stupid decision. Third stupid decision – should have turned in the plates and taken the car off of our insurance after several months of nonuse but instead just kept on paying the insurance.
Finally tell my daughter that she needs to do something or I will give it to charity. She says she is going to get a new tire. I check into donating the car but am discouraged by the scams and the need to actually do something outside of my comfort zone. A month and a half go by and my husband decides to get her a tire so she can drive herself to his shop since he gave her a job there. Ongoing bad decision – I still haven’t transferred the title into her name.
Again she gets a flat tire plus somehow the driver’s side mirror gets hit and ends up hanging down. She decides to get another car and leaves the neon parked outside of a friend’s house. Says she may sell it to another friend or perhaps donate it. Then life hits me with my father’s illness and death. Time goes by and I realize that she isn’t going to do anything and I have to. I want to get it done before it needs a new registration but I dither around and take too long.
I needed to go get information for the cash for junk car people and asked her to go with me because I knew she needed to get stuff out of the car. She said she was going the next day so of course I put off going to see about it because she could get the information for me and I didn’t want to go out of my comfort zone. She forgets to get one necessary piece of information but assures me her friend will get it for us. I don’t hear from her so I decide to just go get it myself. I drive out there only to discover the car is not there! Start wondering – was it stolen?? Probably not, it had the flat tire and wasn’t in the best shape who would steal it? Did it get towed because it was thought to be abandoned? Did she actually do something with it? Call her – of course no answer. Text and then wait and wait. Finally she texts back that she meant to call because it got towed.
Made several calls(way out of my comfort zone as I have a serious phone phobia) without finding out exactly what happened to the car. Ended up at the police station since no one answered the phone – I didn’t call 911 because I didn’t think that was an appropriate reason to call them. I don’t have GPS or a smart phone so I check the computer for directions and head out. It wants me to go the wrong way on a one way street and then I can’t find a place to park. Then since it is a small town there wasn’t actually an officer available and I had to wait awhile. The officer knew exactly which car it was and directed me to a tow station in the next borough.
Finally make it to the garage and he tells me that it would probably cost me more to pay the fines and storage costs and have someone tow it out of there than what the junk car dealer would give me. I was ready to be done with the whole thing so I end up paying for the tow, he takes off the storage fees and I sign over the car. Hopefully that is the last bit of time, money and energy I’ll have to put into that car. Oh no, not the last – I still have to call the insurance company and take the car off the insurance. UGH!
Just another sloppy, unedited installment of the random thoughts rolling around in my head today…
Where to start – so many things have happened since last week.
The mechanic said there was nothing wrong with the car and hubby thought I should drive it. I told him that smoke doesn’t come out of the hood for no reason and made him take my car while I took his. It worked okay for a day and then the same thing happened when he had it out on the highway. He said the radiator ran dry and he thought there might be something wrong with the water pump. Took it to another garage and they replaced the thermostat.
Dad has undergone several dialysis sessions, been treated for pneumonia and bronchitis, and had a temporary pacemaker put in. At one point it was all gloom and doom – never coming home, will need to be in a nursing home and now it seems he has turned the corner. He has been peeing, he’s off the oxygen, his heart rate is stabilizing, he’s trying to get up to walk and he’s complaining about the food.
It is so hard to keep from offering advice – the girl found an apartment for September and she needs a roommate to afford it. She says she has several options but what if they don’t work out?? She is on the hook for the rent which she can’t afford on her own. Then she’s talking about getting another car because her current car needs an exhaust pipe, tires and a rather expensive repair. She “needs” to be able to drive around. What she needs is to pay her bills and save up money to get her car fixed.
Luckily we haven’t had much rain so the garden isn’t too bad in terms of weeding to be done. Would like to transplant the lilies and some irises but not sure if I’ll get around to it before I head back down to see Dad.
Dad lectured my sister on how she raised her kids and I didn’t have the heart/guts to add to her distress. It isn’t an easy situation for any of them and when I look at what my kids do and don’t do I don’t feel like I can tell her what she should be doing with her kids. Not sure what is going to happen there. Still would like to talk to her about it but need to figure out a way that is helpful not hurtful. Not sure when I’ll go back down – there is stuff I need to do here but I feel like I should go down to help my sister out. Why is adulthood so hard??
Need to try and get something done so until next time, I hope you are having a good day wherever you are.
Just another sloppy, unedited installment of the random thoughts running around in my head today…
Dad’s actual surgery went well but the recovery has not gone so well. One of his kidney’s has limited function so there has been a concern about his urine output. He has not been able to be weaned off the oxygen and after some testing they discovered that he had a heart attack. They put in several stents and he is in the Critical Care Unit. I’m going to try to go down again this weekend to see him and to have a talk with my sister and her kids about things.
There are five adults living in that house and not everyone is pulling their fair share. Things need to change and they need to change before Dad goes home from the hospital. Not sure how that conversation is going to go but I know that Dad is under stress from the way things are not being done. He’s 87 years old and he has earned the right to take it easy and let someone younger start taking care of him.
I’ve been helping out at Vacation Bible School this week and it has been a lot of fun. I’d forgotten how affectionate the little ones can be. It is so good to see them singing and playing and having a good time together. This is the boy’s first year to be a helper and he has done a pretty good job so far. He needs to be reminded to focus but he is good with the little ones.
Haven’t done much of anything in the garden – haven’t even really looked at it too closely because I just don’t have the time to get in there and do anything this week.
The girl is staying at her rental for another month but is supposed to be out August 1st. Still hasn’t found anything but she’s looking at lots of places.
More car trouble – the air conditioner was not working when we went to my dad’s and then last night it stalled out several times as I was coming home. Smoke came pouring out of the hood so I decided to leave it at the garage and walk home. The mechanic checked it out and says nothing is wrong. I have no desire to try to drive it 200 miles this weekend so I’m going to switch with the hubby and take his car. I’ll let him drive it around for awhile and make sure there is nothing wrong.
Until next time, I hope you are having a wonderful day wherever you are.