In the last month or so, it seems like Murphy is camped on my front step.
- Computer – dead. Motherboard, presumably, is fried, based on research.
- Car inspection – over $500 more than expected in repairs.
- VCR – dead. Yes, I still had one. No I don’t have a DVR. I don’t have digital cable either.
- Wife’s TV – extremely unreliable, verging on death. Picture fades to black for long stretches.
- Three extra trips to the lab for wife’s newly diagnosed chronic condition (in addition to the chronic condition we both already have).
- Medicine for that condition.
- $600 in further repairs for same car in one month.
- Shocks are shot in the other car.
So what am I doing about this stuff?
- Car repairs – Paying for it, of course. No choice in the matter. The only thing I’m doing is putting off repairing the shocks, since I only use that car to get back and forth to work. One more repair and I’ll have no choice but to buy a new car, which is way outside of reality at the moment. These cars each have to last me another 5 years if I can help it.
- VCR – nothing. Wife has a VCR we can use in the meantime (though it’s virtually featureless, it has the benefit of working.)
- Medical stuff – again, paying for it. No choice. At least I can work out payment plans for much of it, though that mostly just extends the pain.
- Computer – trying desparately to save enough to buy a new(er) one that won’t be obsolete in a month and a half. Best price so far is $600 that I don’t have. Last time I saved that much discretionary cash it took me well over a year. The above problems aren’t helping.
What have I learned from this?
- It’s easy to blow through your emergency fund. Make it as large as possible.
- Preventative maintenance should always be considered (a tune-up a while ago might have saved me some of this latest car cost).
- The health care system is way too expensive.
- I can get away with not having my own computer for a couple months, but it takes a lot more organization, and access to the internet through some work computers (for online banking, email, and this blog mostly). If I couldn’t do that, I’d be sunk. I seriously miss Quicken, though. What I can’t do is empty the memory stick in my camera (which is also broken, btw – the camera, not the stick), or get the existing pictures off my old computer, or work on my musical hobbies.
I had an unexpected influx of cash recently, which is extremely helpful. Instead of helping to get me out of debt, though, as it was intended, it’s just keeping me from going farther into debt. Still good, though. Excellent timing in that regard.
(Btw, this post isn’t meant to be looking for pity; I understand I’m still in a way better situation that many folks. This is just a venting and reflection post.)
What curveballs has life thrown at you lately? What have you learned from it? If you’re comfortable doing so, please leave a comment.
[tags]personal finance, murphy’s law, life lessons[/tags]