Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Budgeting Update: Reality Smackdown

Cars, as we know, cost us as soon as we drive them off the lot. My beloved car was driven off the lot 10 years ago. Over 120,000 miles ago. It's starting to get fun.

Ironically, just as my car hit 120k is about the same time that I went from commuting about 9 miles a day to about 60 miles a day. Timing; it's everything.

My check engine light came on. I made the mistake of trying to hope for the best instead of prepare for the worst. I'd hoped that my mechanic would find nothing wrong. Not the case. So I've had about 18 hours to figure out how to pay nearly a grand of unexpected costs.

This is one of those moments where it feels worse than it should. For the most part, I can get along just fine, better than fine, given our circumstances. But every so often, the circumstances win. The reality is that I started over 8 years ago, am raising two kids completely on my own, and have chosen to drive 50 miles out of my way to give them the best opportunities possible. That doesn't have its consequences.

The consequences are that I'm still living paycheck to paycheck, and there is no spare thousand lying around for these moments.

If I believed in regret, I could start kicking myself, but then, how far back do I go? I could say I shouldn't have bought the laptop...or for that matter, gotten married, or for that matter...no. There's no point in all that.

So I have to put more on the credit card. So I have to come up with a little creative financing. So I'll have to re-evaluate the budget again.

This is the life I've chosen for us. All things considered, I stand by those choices. Which includes, of course, paying for them.

Still, kinda sucks sometimes.


jenn said...

Stupid cars! I'm so afraid my car will just give up and die for good before I finish school (much less find a job and save some money).

Sorry about the car drama, but good for you for not regretting the past. I love your attitude about this. But I know it still sucks.

Missy June said...

Shoot. I hate car trouble and even more the fact that we can't live without them. It's not an option for most in our culture. Sorry yours fizzled for you this week.

My van is at 119,--- miles today. And I can't consider the purchase of a new one.

My recent dilemma was a tooth with major issues. Almost a year a go, at a normal checkup, I was told I needed a root canal and crown ... but I ignored it till last week when throbbing pain made ignoring it no longer an option. Even with insurance, $500 on the credit card. That really stinks - AND I keep thinking about Christmas looming ahead.

I guess I need a budget smackdown, too.

I love your no regrets philosophy, though! I need to adopt that in some situations today.

Mandy said...

Sorry to hear you're having to deal with this - a car isn't an optional extra, it's an essential. Hopefully when you get through this fix, it'll be good for a good while.