The deed is done. The car is fixed, it is currently sitting in our garage, and a extremely large portion of what we had available in cash funds only a few days ago has been electronically zapped over to our local Saturn dealer.
We paid the dealer $2781.94. We put $800.00 on the 90 days same as cash credit offer from the dealership. Saturn Corporation has declined to accept any responsibility for the poor craftsmanship of their vehicle, so they paid nothing.
On the one hand, I’m fine. More than fine. We did it! We managed a crisis in a responsible manner and we will be more than okay. It feels accomplished. We had an emergency fund, and it did what it was supposed to do.
On the other hand, I’m overwhelmed. We just spent more than I could imagine spending on anything, in cash, on this car repair, and took on more debt besides. In a way, it feels like we just wiped out our progress. I know that we did not – we have made much more progress than this in the past year – but this is still sending shockwaves through me. I’ll adjust eventually. Maybe tomorrow.
We used to have a safety net, and we do still, but it is very very small. Since the car wasn’t ready until my spouse got paid after all, I left $300 in our emergency savings account and took that amount out of my spouse’s paycheck instead to get to $2781.94 paid. If all goes well for the next two weeks, we should be okay with that, but we still have that $300 if we need it, because I am cutting that *extremely* close to the wire. This avoids us having to pay a low balance fee on our savings account this month unless we end up using it. I wouldn’t have been comfortable sending that last $300 from the paycheck to Saturn anyhow, because if *anything* unexpected happened, and I mean anything, even a sick visit for a kid to the doctor or gas prices going up $0.10 a gallon, we’d be in trouble for the next two weeks, and with no emergency fund, we can’t afford trouble. This way, we have a little bit of wiggle room, it is just working for us a wee bit instead of sitting in our checking account, and hopefully ends up the seed money for our new emergency fund.
As for emergency funds – I have a lot of thoughts about that, but they are still forming in my brain. Until we’re back to $1000, there isn’t pressure to formally decide if we’ll save more than $1000 at this time, so I have some space to think about it. But it is percolating.
Out priorities? Leave the $300 in the emergency fund. Pay off the $800 that remains of the repair bill. Pay the last $175.17 of the credit card. Get the emergency fund back to $1000. Then consider possible next steps, and move forward. On to debt freedom.