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Five weeks into this class and it’s hard to believe we’re half-way through. I think we need ongoing support till we get out of this mound of debt, but I’ll just be thankful for the next four weeks.

Buyer Beware

I could say this about all of the lessons so far, but this stuff should be taught to kids. We have the homeschool version of this class and are making sure our high schoolers go through it twice before they graduate. At least they won’t be able to claim ignorance.

I wish I had known this stuff as a teenager. So many mistakes.

This week’s lesson was on understanding the marketing techniques of the companies vying for our money, defining/handling a significant purchase, and negotiating strategies.

My favorite thing Dave said was something like, “You can buy fun, but you cannot buy happiness”.

Right now, we aren’t in a position to make major purchases unless they are dire needs (like if the transmission falls out of the van), so much of what we went over is something we’ll have to reference again later.

We did notice that we had been played in 1999 when we put money down to build a new home. The salesman told us all about “buyer’s remorse” and that it was “normal”. I remember we woke up the next morning sick to our stomachs and regretting our decision, but then I remembered what the man had said and figured we’d probably be feeling that way even if we weren’t already in debt up to our eyeballs.

You see, we had planned to stay in our apartment another year and get out of debt before buying a house, but we grew impatient and foolishly thought we could still get rid of the debt with a mortgage. Of course, we were naive and had no idea how much owning a house actually costs.

If the salesman hadn’t said our feelings were normal, I know we would have been back in his office the next day getting our money back. That’s how horrible we felt about the purchase.

While that’s a little frustrating to look back on, we were smiling a bit as Dave went over negotiating. After a car accident earlier in the year, we had to replace our undriveable car. We did buy used, and in hindsight probably should have purchased something MORE used, but we were encouraged to see that we had actually used most of Dave’s tips without even realizing it.

In the future, we hope to do the same thing, but with CASH!

Progress Check

This past week we were able to pay off another debt, so we are down to 8 now. WOOHOO!

On to Week 6>>