Update as of 01/13/23. The Honda Fit is no longer available. My Pastor wants to keep this up and running for one more week. After that, I will close out the GoFundMe and probably delete this post. We’re going to wait to see what we have by next weekend, and then start our car 🚗 shopping! I’m getting excited, and I trust God that my feelings of loss will totally dissipate. He has done so much for much for me already. Even if the car we purchase only lasts a year or two, I trust that God will continue to take care of me, and that God will give me a different car that I can love equally as much if not more!
This is my gofundme for a new used car. A friend named, Crystal, set it up. Although I’ve been needing a new car for about 9 months now (since March or April of 2022), I had decided against starting a gofundme for myself. It is not in my nature to ask for money, and I am no more deserving than any other hard-working human being who needs help. However, last Sunday, about a week and a half ago, my pastor, unbeknowst to me, decided to start a collection for a car, and then my friend Crystal set up this gofundme. I decided that it must be God’s will for me to get me a car this way, so I will publish it here one time and then just let it rest. It’s up to God.
I’ve told God that I never want to be the kind of person that asks others for money; especially one that asks every month for more money around bill time. If he wants me to go into full time ministry he must provide the way, other then me having to ask. It is a humbing experience for myself, but aside of that it just feels intrusive and entitled to me. I want you to know that I don’t feel entitled. I’ve had to work hard for everything in my life as I’m sure you have. My needs are no more important then yours. I certainly wouldn’t expect you to give if you have even less then me, or if you’re someone who knows me and already gave. I would only want you to give if God lays it on your heart, and you’re in a financial position to give, where it doesn’t hurt you, but blesses you to give. I may sometime set up a patron opportunity for those who want to support my art or ministry, but that is slightly different because whoever does it will do it because they feel what I do blesses them or others, not because they feel pressured. I just don’t like people feeling pressured. I don’t like it when people pressure me for money, and I don’t want to do that to you. If we’re following God, we will trust that He provides for us without having to apply any pressure or constantly asking for money. So if you feel God wants you to give then give, but please don’t feel pressured. That is not my heart. I don’t expect anybody to give. Only give if you want to. If it blesses you to give from your overflow.
Let me just share my story.
I think my pastor decided to collect money for a car for me in response to me telling him about my plan to buy a car, sending some links to cars I was looking at, and me telling him the steps I took to make this happen. I think he felt bad that I would end up borrowing 4k to buy a car, which might not last longer than my 5-year loan.
I make approximately 50k a year as an art therapist in a psychiatric hospital and live paycheck to paycheck. I’m not poor, but I’m certainly not rich. So far, I don’t make enough to even put money in savings, and my daughter and grandaughter both still live with me. So when my car was stolen and then stopped working, I just didn’t have the funds to buy another one or make car payments, so I prayed and assessed my situation, then came up with a plan to free up $200 a month at the start of this new year, 2023. I’ll explain that in a minute, after I explain what happened to my car.
My car was stolen from the front of my house by some teenagers. I noticed the next morning and called the police. The police found the car within half a day before they even finished filing the police report. They found it about 3 miles away. The teenagers were still in the car, smoking a joint when the cops spotted the car. They took off running. I don’t think the cops bothered to chase them. The cops drove me to the car where I discovered, to my dismay, that it no longer worked!! I don’t know if that was God’s sense of humor or if they had done something to it, or both, but it just so happened that they weren’t going to go anywhere further in that car!! It was a 2013 Hyundai Sonata with 230k plus miles, so its hard to know for sure if it was something they did or it was just its time to die. I had purchased it for $3000, and it lasted me 2 years. So now that I had the broken down car, the cops presented me with two options. I could have the car impounded to collect finger prints and have them finish filing the police report, or I could just have the car towed home at my own expense. My phone died just before that moment, and I almost started to panic. I couldn’t call AAA, and I couldn’t call anybody for help. I knew I didn’t have the money to cover the impound fees. I lost another car I was going to give my daughter that way in the past because the apartment complex suddenly decided it couldn’t sit in the parking lot any longer unless it was drivable and had a safety inspection, and I didn’t have the funds for the repairs at that time. It’s like a death sentence to the car if you dont have the money to get it out of impound right away. I lost that car. I didn’t want to lose this one. Fingerprinting might take a week. That might be $500 or more, but I think it’s close to $200 just for one day. I would have to fund that money myself. I only had liability insurance, and I knew this would not be covered. I could potentially get the judge to order the teenagers to pay it back, but that was not guarenteed and could take a long time, and that money for the impound would have prevented me from paying my mortgage. I couldn’t afford to risk not paying my mortgage when that money wasn’t guaranteed to be returned to me. So I didn’t file the police report. I had it towed. The cops called a towing company, and the guy who towed it was gracious and helpful towards me. He had it towed directly to my house, and he drove me back home. He had also driven me to the ATM machine so I could withdraw money for the towing. He gave me a reduced rate. I was thankful for all that. It’s been sitting there ever since. I had it looked at. It needed a new starter, so I bought one and had it put in there, but then the engine wouldn’t turn over. It costs more to replace an engine than it does just to buy another car, and it’s especially not worth the cost with a car with that many miles. So that’s what happened to my car. It’s still sitting in front of my house, undrivable. I am still paying car insurance and taxes on it until I figure out what to do. I will have to sell it for parts. The last time I did that, I got $200. I was reluctant to do that because I still held out hope for the car. But if I get a new car, that car has to go. Either way, it’s a loss.
So far, the collection and gofundme has raised about $5000 combined. That’s a good amount of money. If I borrow the 4k which I have been pre-approved for, that will give me about $9000 for a car. I’ve looked, and it seems I can get anywhere up to a 2004- 2010 vehicle for that amount of money, some with 70k to 100kmiles. The car I purchase for that amount may or may not last longer than the loan. Ideally, I want to get a car that lasts longer than my loan. I would like a 2013 or better, but I realize that may not be possible. I was blessed by an act of God when I found the 2013 Hyundai for $3000 because it was worth $5000 at the time I got it, even though it had a lot of miles. I loved the car, so it still feels like a big loss for me.
I recently bought a home in July 2021 (my first one) through a VA loan with no money down, which is a lot of where my money is going- to mortgage payments. I had to withdraw 20k from my 401K to cover closing costs. God did several miracles just for me to get the home. I searched for 3 years just to get a house I could afford for 200k. I got it at the height of the housing boom and didn’t have to bid over the asking price. I got it with a 2.5 mortgage rate, which I now realize is a once every 30-year type of thing, or perhaps will never be again. That was God’s grace. I was thankful because the cost of apartments went up to the unaffordable range, and if it wasn’t for that… who knows if I could have afforded to live anywhere. Rent nearly doubled in one year. Now, my mortgage is cheaper than the average rent. However, I do pay taxes on it, and since I’ve earned 35% equity in a year and a half, my taxes have gone up accordingly. Although equity sounds great, I could never use it because I would lose more the I gain to refinance the house since I’d go from a 2.5% rate to a 5 or 6% rate, which I couldn’t afford. The taxes on the house, interestingly enough, went up to about $77 extra per month since I bought it, which is what I was spending on my student loans when I was making payments under IBR plan before the pause, so that is where that money has gone. My student loans have since been forgiven, which is a major miracle in itself after 15 years of payments. I also pay an extra $27 a month for 5 years on the tax penalty from withdrawing from my 401k. I took more than 25% of my retirement funds, but let me just say it was worth it!
My plan to scrape up $200 a month towards payments and full coverage auto insurance came about by deciding to go off my health insurance and switch to VA health insurance since I’m a veteran. I was paying about $200 in premiums just for me. So now, I no longer have to pay premiums, but I will still have co-payments. I think that will result is reduced medical care, and right now I am currently without a Dr or certain meds until they identify a new Dr for me, but it was the only way I could see to get enough money for car payments. It’s been causing a considerable strain and stress on my daughter since I’ve been sharing her car. She paid quite a lot for her car (2018), and she is worried about the mileage and wear and tear of her car. We both work in different cities from where we live in opposite directions, and have to do a great deal of planning, car pooling, and sharing rides. Of course, sometimes I will have to forgo plans or postpone trips to the store due to lack of transportation or else ask friends for rides. It’s been necessary to get a ride to go to the ministry I do. It’s created a hardship and a degree of increased isolation because it’s also added extra time to my routines, and I am already over extended time wise.
I have a long history of car troubles or lack of transportation. I’ve only ever had one brand new car in my life which was in my 20’s in the military. I bought a Honda CRX. I loved that car, too. Since that time, I’ve owned many older, used cars which would typically last only 1-3 years, and I would go long stretches of time relying on public transportation, anywhere from 6 months to up to a year at a time. It takes 2 hours each way to my work by bus. In grad school, it would take 4 hours each way to get to school, and another 4 hours back because I had to drop my daughter off at daycare first. I lost 8 hours a day during that time for at least 6 months, and I was working a part time job on top of going to school full time. I dont know how I did it. When I did therapy for my trauma I took the bus and it was 3 hours each way. I’ve never let not having transportation stop me from doing anything.
The part that is sad for me is that even with all the money collected so far, its still not enough to get a car that is equal to or better the the year 2013, which is the year of the car I lost. Not even if I go in debt 5 years. That’s because of inflation. That makes it still feel like a loss. Plus my car had leather and heated seats, a sun roof, a GPS system, etc.
In the past, I always relied on my tax refunds to get a car, but that changed when my daughter turned 26 and got a job of her own. I was no longer tax wise, deemed head of the household, even though I pay all the mortgage and utility bills. My daughter does pay for her and my grandaughter’s food, plus let’s me use her car when she’s not using it. She makes less than me and doesn’t have enough money to rent an apartment in today’s economy. So many people don’t. I’ve been praying for a long time to make the cost of living more affordable. 58% of kids her age still live with their parents.
I put all this in God’s hands, but if it feels good to you to donate whatever you could towards this fund, I’d greatly appreciate it. My pastor is done collecting funds, so this gofundme will be what covers any additional costs, and beyond that, my loan.
Saturday, I’m going to look at a 2010 Honda Fit with my pastor. It cost about $7000 with approximately 100k miles. I’m going to pray about whether or not this is the car God wants me to have or if He wants me to have a different car. Typically, I do a great deal of praying, research, and price comparison before I purchase anything.
Be blessed everyone.