So let’s just ignore the long absence of updates for this blog. Can we just chalk it up to life and call it a day? I have several posts to share what’s been happening over the past several months and those will slowly show up over the next few weeks. The TLDR version is: a lot of has happened. Your hints are: moving, suing, buying, and saving. More on all of that later.
Let’s talk budgets…or better…what it takes to blow that budget.
My budget buster has a name and her name is Betty. And she’s pretty special. Honestly, it’s a match made in heaven. The best part is that I was a major brat during the process of purchasing her…make sure to read all the way through to see why and the next time you see Mitch, you should buy him a sympathy drink.
Betty is a 1979 Volkswagen Microbus. It’s always been a dream of mine to own a VW bus so when I spotted her for sale, I just had to check her out.
How did I find her?
A list serv! Here in New Hampshire and specifically the Upper Valley, there is a great network of email lists and Craigslist-type sites that are extremely active. You can find pretty much anything and everything. Every morning I get several email digests of people selling, advertising and looking for all sorts of things. I’ve found lacrosse gear for Mitch’s stepbrother, frames, a washer and dryer (for free!) and now, a VW bus.
The list serv has an issue though—you find things you don’t really need but definitely neeeeed to have. You get what I’m sayin’?
I was scanning through the list serv to see if there was anything worth checking out when I noticed Betty’s listing. I had somehow missed the originally listing because this one was a listing for a price cut…how that happened I have no idea but my wallet is very thankful I didn’t see her at the original price. Otherwise I am pretty sure I’d have convinced myself to buy her then.
I checked out the photo and decided that although it was awesome, I probably shouldn’t even tempt myself. You see, we just had put a deposit on a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek for Mitch. His car is kicking the bucket and after months of research and going back and forth, trying to decide if we could afford it, we had decided to take the plunge…four days prior to me finding Betty.
But I just couldn’t shake her though and soon I had sent a link to Mitch and my parents. I send a lot of links to Mitch and usually he entertains me by looking at it and offering his opinion on it but nothing comes of it because I talk myself out of it or we actually don’t need whatever I’ve found.
Spoiler alert: this is where I start being a brat.
He never responded! My mom was interested in it and was asking me some questions but Mitch ignored me. He just wouldn’t answer me. I chalked it up to him being busy at work (which is usual) so I decided to email the person who had posted it and set up a time to see it that weekend without Mitch’s input.
Later that evening I brought Betty up again and pestered him into telling me what he thought of it. He thought it was cool but again, didn’t really offer up much of an opinion on her. So naturally, I gave him a perfect amount of sass and said “Well, I made an appointment to see it tomorrow so we’ll find out if you like it!”
And then I immediately felt like a jerk because while I thought Mitch was busy at work and then extremely disinterested in my dream vehicle, he had been coordinating with my parents and the woman who had posted Betty to check her out as an early Christmas/birthday/anniversary/Christmas 2016 combo present to surprise me.
And that, my friends, is why I am the biggest pain in the ass but luckily this story has a very happy ending.
We went to see her the next day and well, we barely got home before I told Mitch that Betty was perfect and we needed to get her. Mind you, Betty was parked only five minutes up the road from our house so it took a ridiculously short amount of time to decide I definitely wanted her. Lucky for me, Mitch agreed she was a great deal and there went our budget (and part of our down payment on his new car) out the window.
What’s the damage to our budget?
Well, Betty was originally listed for $2,800 but didn’t get many bites at that price so the seller dropped her down to $1,800. We offered $1,500 and met in the middle at $1,650. We did a bit of digging and found some similar ones selling for WAY more (one was $6,500 without an engine). Betty is running and only three small fixes from passing inspection so she’s practically road legal. We also did a quick assessment of her parts and condition of her body and calculated that if by some reason, she didn’t pan out, we stand a good chance at making back our money on her by parting her out or even just for her body alone. That sounds so morbid. However, there is a slim chance that will EVER happen and we mostly did it to make ourselves feel better about the unplanned purchase.
But purely in Erinland where no budgets live, we have hit the freaking jackpot. I had been itching for a project and had been actually looking at old 12-16 foot campers to gut and fix up to tow behind Mitch’s new Subaru but hadn’t been finding anything to fit what I was dreaming up.
And then along came Betty the Bus…and my slice of heaven—a perfect project to get me through a New Hampshire winter and the best kind of budget-breaker. I have many things planned for Betty’s future. Her exterior will be restored as authentically as possible while her interior will be transformed into a multi-purpose space. I have big dreams for this little lady and I am of course documenting the whole thing using #SavingBetty. So make sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for the steps in between posts!
I can’t wait to get started.