I mentioned earlier that there were some problems with my car’s taillights. My spouse took the car in yesterday morning to have the service station re-fix it since the fix the first time wasn’t adequate, and learned that the right taillight was unfixable because the part had been recalled by Saturn. Why they didn’t figure that out Monday, I don’t know, and we won’t be taking the car back to that place. I wish I knew how to find a good mechanic.
But, anyway. We made an appointment with the Saturn dealer to get the recall work done this morning. I was excited that the problem would be fixed for free since it is a recall. The top brake light and one of the taillights still worked, so my spouse felt comfortable driving the car home. But the car did not cooperate. As he was exiting the highway on his way home from work (about 2 miles from our house), the check engine light started flashing, the car made some weird noises, and then died at the end of the exit ramp. He coasted it to the side of the road, and called me.
The timing of this event was pretty fortuitous, all told. It could have happened on the way home on our 800 mile trip, or even on the way out on our trip. But still, it wasn’t the greatest timing, for it was 11 degrees out at the time and even though my spouse was close to home, he wasn’t close enough. I ended up calling him a cab to get home and a tow truck to the Saturn dealer for the car. More of that story is on my family blog, we’ll just call the cab fare (which was only $8 including tip) my spouse’s stupid tax for the day, since he had the keys to the shed (where the extra carseats for his car are stored) in his pocket so I couldn’t go get him with his car. But anyway.
So now, I wait. Obviously, the car has problems beyond the back taillights. The question is, how serious are the problems? I don’t know yet. Our emergency fund stood at $1263.80, the amount over $1000 was a small amount of interest plus the remainder of the November extra paycheck. That $263.80 has now been transferred into our checking account. We also have about $300 left in our checking account which is the carryover from December (more on that when I do the December wrapup post in the next few days). So basically I have about $550 immediately available, plus $1000 on standby and transferable at a moment’s notice. I am hoping that’ll be enough. Again, I have no idea how bad this is.
And we were so close to having the credit card paid off. In fact, that ~$263 was going to be transferred to our checking account today and as soon as my car was fixed (the recall work, I mean), I was going to pay off the credit card with it. Now of course, we’ll be waiting on that to see what happens. So close yet now so far.
I am very thankful for the emergency fund. Hopefully it is enough. If not, we’ll be discussing our backup plans. I’m not sure what those are but we do have options, depending on what we decide is the lesser of all evils and how bad the damage really is. And we’ll be reassessing our whole emergency fund strategy. We were planning on doing that anyway as soon as the credit card debt was paid off. Now, we’ll be doing it just a little bit earlier.
Hello Murphy. Not so nice to meet you, but it could be under a lot worse circumstances, all told.