Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grace vs. Car (And the Car Wins!)

The problem with living close to the financial edge is that it doesn't take much to push one right over the financial cliff!

OK, so it's not like I have a pending foreclosure or I've lost my job or anything truly horrible.

It's my 1999 Dodge Caravan with a mere 162,000 + miles under its belt. Or, to be more specific, it's the minivan's water pump which leaks and must be replaced. Don't ask me--all I know is that the temperature gauge whammed up to HOT, stayed there, and caused the alarm to keep buzzing. Not daring to look under the hood, I immediately took it to the mechanics.

The mechanics assure me that it is nothing that $512 can't fix.

I do have to have a vehicle. And I can't purchase anything else in adequate condition for the $512 it will take to make the repairs.

BUT--according to Kelly Blue Book, the whole dang car is only worth $1650! Can I just have a moment to rant about how much I DO NOT want to pay $512 for a car that is already worth so little?

Then there's the issue of my currently non-existant emergency fund. IF I had that $1000 that both Dave Ramsey and I believe I should have, no problem. Unfortunately, said emergency has been depleted by EMERGENCIES over the past couple of months and has exactly $137 in it!

SO, onto my Firestone Card goes the charge--I'll apply the emergency fund to the balance and hope to pay off the card in full by the payment due date.

But I will NOT be happy about it!

9 comments:

Florence said...

Dear Grace, I know you love you children and grandchildren and want to help them but you will not be able to get your finances under control until you make your own budget and stick to it. IMHO

Grace. said...

I agree with you. Actually, I've stuck to my July budget so far, but Le Minivan was NOT in the budget for anything other than gas!

I do get your general point that I need to spend less on the family and get more into my emergency fund.

Living Almost Large said...

Ouch. Hope things work out. Don't you have any taxable investment savings? Even in stocks? Is it all in retirement account?

thriftylittleblog said...

These kinds of things always happen at the worst times! I know that you can pull it off if you put your mind to it!

Sharon said...

Grace,
So sorry to hear that. Funny, literally hours before we leave for the lake, my car decides it needs new transmission fluid and new front brakes...to the tune of $500.00. Ugh. I feel your pain. Even though we have it in our emergency fund, it does not make me happy either!

Hope you can pay it off sooner rather than later....

Miss M said...

I hate car trouble, I'm sorry yours struck at such a bad time. Definitely sounds like you need a bigger e-fund since it keeps getting wiped out. Any way to juggle the budget?

Did it MY way said...

Grace;

Car repairs always need to be included in the budget. Even $10 or $20 a week adds up. Just my 2 worth.

Bouncing Back said...

Ugh, I feel your pain. I had the transmission replaced on my old car and it cost more than the car was worth, but at the time I really had no other option...

Retired Syd said...

I look at the whole car value vs. repair situation a little differently. Like you, I have a car with over 150k miles on it. Every time it needs a repair, it's a big chunk of change--and yes, the car is declining in value quickly (and it frequently needs repairs.)

But even though the car may only be worth whatever it's worth, what it's worth TO ME is not having to buy a new one for 10 times that amount. So I see my present car as being way more valuable than it's actual market value and figure financially, it's better to do the repairs until it simply cannot be taped together any longer . . .