By: Revanche

What to do with budgetary surplus: another bailout?

February 3, 2009

The truck sold. What’s next?

Well, I’m pretty sure that the sale price didn’t come close to breaking even against the amount of money I’ve expended on the truck payments since last July, I’m not even checking, but it did cover the lump pay-off sum of $2356, with some cash to spare.

The question is: what do I do with that “extra” money?

My first reaction was to kick that money over to pay off the family car. It’s just about the right amount to pay it off, and would remove one more loan from the family resources. (That car is currently my parents’ responsibility, and not under my name.) It would free up cash flow about 7 months earlier than expected.

My second reaction was to put it in the emergency fund because I’m neurotically squirreling money away.

My third reaction was to leave it in the expenses fund because that’s where the money came from in the first place, and I’m a BIG fan of paying myself back.

Lastly, there’s a hybrid option. I could give them some partial assistance monthly, depending on how much they need to break even between my mom’s (piddling) disability money and my dad’s erratic income. By my calculations, it appears that they should only be running short a hundred or so each month until April. At that time, another monthly obligation falls off the balance sheet, and they should be fine with regards to the few debts I don’t pay for them.

As much as my gut reaction is just to pay it all off, I don’t want to nip this budding sense of responsibility that my dad’s developing. I want to encourage him to work with me because I’m just not up for ANY more shenanigans.

Thoughts?

9 Responses to “What to do with budgetary surplus: another bailout?”

  1. I’d definitely teach your parents some small, controlled responsibility.. so a hybrid option makes sense to me.

    But hey, whatever makes you feel comfortable. I know you’re paranoid and want $50k saved aside in liquid savings.. which is something I may consider once I get a job lol

    I LOVE IT! 🙂

    Especially that wallpaper at the back. I’m linking to this.

    Fabulously Broke in the City

    Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver.

  2. Miss M says:

    I definitely think you should be encouraging responsibility, I am often amazed at how reversed your relationship with your parents is. I like your hybrid idea, help them out without consuming all the money you worked to save.

  3. I think you have a great idea there–help them out just enough, but not too much.

    Good luck!

  4. Hmmm…I say pay off the car loan. Given your parents’ track record, it’s just easier to not give them too much responsibility.

  5. I think you should go for the hybrid option as well. Having more cash in savings will make you feel more secure, and you won’t have to worry about leaving your parents high and dry.

  6. Karen says:

    First choice would be hybrid then pay it off. But it also might depend what else would benefit if you outright paid it off.

  7. Revanche says:

    FB: Hah, thanks for reminding me about that 50k wish-goal … *goes off to rewrite 2009 goals*

    Are you saying I should keep this template? Just when I was yearning for a new one! 🙂 No time, though.

    Miss M: On the side of paying it off, I’m really buying myself a pass on guilt so I don’t feel like I’m hoarding money from them. But y’know what? I’m going to be financing their retirements, so I have to save from them as well as the average retailers.

    stackingpennies: Thanks! It actually took me three days to come up with that. I’m slow.

    losangelesdaze: Given your situation, I’m a little surprised to hear you say that. Is it a case of no-faith (not a stretch!) or just a change of heart? The reason that’s an option is because they do have a small amount of steady income right now, and I’d like them to start learning to manage small amounts of money instead of a “lot” all at once.

    paranoidasteroid: Cash makes me feel a LOT better these days (… my precious….) J/k!

    Karen: Side benefits, good point.
    A) Avoid another situation
    B) Clear their balance sheet so they feel more secure.

    *thinking*

  8. In response to your response – from my experience with BF’s family, I have seen how they can’t even manage a little bit of money. They squander it on useless things, like getting a tattoo or a new tv on credit when they are broke. You won’t believe this, but the little money my BF gives to his dad, in addition to his dad’s social security checks went straight to a plane ticket to Mexico instead of rent/food. I would have thought a disabled man would be more careful. I’m not saying your parents do this, but what if your dad *forgets* to pay his car loan again for the next couple of months? I guess it’s a case of no faith. It seems like you’ve had to go through a lot already with your family. Pay off your dad’s car, be done with it, then look out for yourself. Then he can use the money that he currently uses to pay off the car for something else (his own little responsibility). Unless I have it all wrong here and you are currently paying for their car every month? They are very lucky to have a daughter like you!

  9. Revanche says:

    losangelesdaze: I see what you mean. That makes sense.

    No, I don’t pay for the car, but the breakdown is something like this:
    Mom’s Steady Income: 1000
    Dad’s irregular: up to 250-300
    Expenses: (Car, 400) + (Loans, 800) = 1200
    The loan will be halved in April, so they’ll have about 200 extra, then the car note will be PIF in August, so they’ll have about 600 extra.

    The sentiment is that “extra” money will come to me because I pay the entire household expenses every month excluding that one car. You know, rent, utilities, etc.

    BUT, there’s no plan for it set up yet, so I need to do that. My concern was that my paying off the car would create a huge gap in expense/income immediately on their end, and without an agreement in place about how much is “their” money and how much is household contribution, they’ll waste more than necessary.

    I want to use the gradual “decline in expenses” period to train them to set aside some money for personal use, and the rest for household expenses. Of course I’ll be saving on their behalf as well, they just won’t know it.

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