10 May 2020


Life is ever-changing. From the economic shutdown of most of the world to the shifting concerns of everyone around me. Sometimes the best-laid plans have to be rethought due to changing priorities, scheduling conflicts, or money matters. I am all too familiar with the need for flexibility, alternative schemes, resource adjustments, and the reallocation of desires. Sometimes, eliminating those desires (in part or in total) are necessary. I am presented with such chaos - simply seeking some refuge is a desire I have to shove away right now.

GoFundMe Changes

I am still running my campaign, but have to totally change the allocation of what funds are going for. This is because the living situation I am currently enjoying will be gone in a few weeks. I blame myself for letting the relative comfort lull me into a more passive state. I'm not going to say that this happened without some predication or anxiety (a panic attack at work is no fun). I should have been more prepared. Instead of sticking religiously to my stipulated time-line, I should have padded it with more pliancy.

I will not be pushing to buy the MacBook now as I need to get a vehicle first. This is a huge must-have NOW! A MacBook I can buy later - I won't be taking art or graphics classes until next year. A vehicle I need immediately. With mobility, I can leave North Carolina, visit family along the east coast, and get to Wesleyan College in time for classes. So I will be mobile during this summer - what an adventure!

Priority Shift

Right now, the hunt for a viable mode of transportation is taking up most of my time and energy. Scouring over Facebook, OfferUp, and other for-sale-by-owner apps and sites show me that anything within my immediate price range is a fixer-upper... which essentially puts it out of my price range! The money I have right now will be buying a vehicle, buying insurance for a year (6 months minimum prepay), and making it road-worthy for this long-summer road-trips I will be doing between the southeastern coastal states.

And a vehicle has to be got, before the end of May.
I have to leave.
There is no recourse on this action. 

These are my immediate requirements for a vehicle:

  1. Must be drivable
    • Meaning the car must start, and move on its own, with minimal fixing
  2. Must not be a salvage title
    • I cannot afford the insurance for a rebuilt or salvage title
  3. Must be able to fit all my stuff
    • I am purging again, so this will be even less than before
I prefer to buy through a dealership. At least then I know the title is clear and clean, and the car functions properly and is inspected. Taxes, title, tags, and insurance are all dealt with directly through the dealership, which helps lower the stress of me having to wait for an appointment at the North Carolina DMV - which right now looks to have a weeks-long waiting list. I could go wait on the street for a walk-in-visit. Judging from what people have told me, this is an even worse idea than waiting for an appointment; not to mention the inherent risks of standing around with a multitude of other people during this pandemic.

Buying through dealerships raises the budget, even on the back-lots and "buy-here-pay-here" guys. The lowest I have found at these places is about $1800, plus tax/tags/title and insurance. And I did actually find the perfect vehicle! I talked that dealer down to $3000 from $4000 - but I just don't have that kind of money - barely half of that right now. I could probably talk them a tiny bit lower, but I will be short for other things (like eating, gas, and insurance). 

Looking at cars sold by their owners is even more challenging. Most people are not mechanics, so they list their cars with...
  • Makes weird knocking sound (most likely expensive engine problems like a blown gasket, busted piston, or worse)
  • Does not start (engine, starter, fuel, or electrical issue)
  • Won't shift (manual: clutch issues; automatic: possible need new transmission)
I will not even contact people who list cars like this. If I had time, I would entertain a fixer-upper as I do like to work on cars. But the time and funds just isn't there. A seller may list the vehicle at $500 to $800, but the car will most likely need another $500 to $800 in work, plus I would still have to pay taxes, register, get insurance, and pay for tags as well as inspections. If I did the work myself, finding the parts (even at a salvage yard) takes time and money. Most of these cars have been sitting for months, so complete fluid changes as well as the possibility of buying new tires... it's just too much. 

People do post cars that are not broken, but they are asking for $2000 or more. I could probably negotiate them down to $1200, then there is the issue of registration, insurance, and making the vehicle road-trip-worthy. Plus, regular people tend to oversell their vehicle - I've come across this many times through the Facebook Marketplace. Again, with time I could weed them out - but competition is fierce for a well-priced vehicle in this area.

So yes, I prefer to go through a dealership. At least if I wind up with a lemon I have some legal recourse. Dealerships don't like lawsuits, so they tend to be more honest with what they are selling. I still check out a car thoroughly, and I know enough about mechanics (thanks Dad & Uncle Tad!) that I can sniff out a snow-job pretty well.

This is a list of "what I desire" in a vehicle:

  1. Manual transmission/4-cylinder
    • I will take an automatic, but I seriously do prefer a stick shift
    • I know a 6-cylinder will probably last me longer and be better on the freeways, but a 4-banger is more economical and if treated well, can last forever
    • I had driven a Mazda (4-banger) across the country, up and down the east coast, and all over the southeast, so I have experience with this much
  2. Mini-SUV or a Sport
    • It is roomy enough to act as a "storage unit on wheels" 
    • Don't have to bend too far getting in or out of the vehicle 
    • I can do a pickup truck, would be nice if it has a bed cover/cap
    • The size of the vehicle will determine exactly how much I need to purge
  3. Anti-theft system
    • Makes for lower insurance premiums on most models
  4. 2005 or newer
    • Although I seriously prefer older model/pre-computer cars, newer models are more economical on gas
    • Easier to diagnose issues with newer tech and apps for DIY issues
The "desirables" are just that, things I desire. I will take a 2007 automatic pickup for $1200 that works before taking a 2013 mini-SUV for $800 with transmission issues. I have to look at the cost of making sure the car is...
  • Registerable and inspected
  • Insurable within reason
  • Driveable for long distances
If anyone is willing to help, you can throw money at my GoFundMe campaign - or contact me directly. Obviously, with the GFM money takes some time to get to be (sometimes a full week). If you believe you can help me quicker, please shoot me an email, or contact me via Facebook.

This is not Easy

I do not easily ask for help. It is against my nature. I am usually the one helping others - being on the receiving side of the equation is something I am not used to and I find it increasingly uncomfortable. I know a lot of what I am posting in my blog recently has to do with some form of "begging for money" - and I hate it.  I would much rather be posting more creative writings, art, photos, and projects. To be blunt, I haven't the time nor the energy for them. I have a crochet project I cannot even pick up for as soon as I start counting rows, my mind screams I should be packing. I try to do some digital artistry on my crappy little laptop, yet my fingers key up another auto site to scour over car listings I already went over. I pick up a pen to practice my kanji, and I cannot focus because of the constant buzz of pending homelessness that breaks my concentration. 

However, ask I must, to avert a much larger waste of finances already invested in attending Wesleyan College, and for the long-term goals of settling in Georgia, re-entering my career, and creating that niche of comfort that I will call "home" once again as I become a leader in publishing.

I must assume that if you read thus far, you may be inclined to help me.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your generosity.

Thank you.