The truth is that most of us are in some sort of a financial crisis. Or, if we are not in a crisis we are making some severe budget cuts in order to obtain the things that we find important in our lives (weddings, our first homes, etc.). Please don't misunderstand me, this isn't a rant. This isn't a finger-pointing blog. This is an entry all about me trying to return to what is important.
My mind gets away from me sometimes and all of a sudden I find myself looking at $200 boots here. Other days I'm sitting on my iTunes account, and I talk myself out of a $10-$12 purchase for new music. Most days, I am simply talking myself out of buying lunch or stopping at Starbucks for a latte.
You see, about a year ago I placed myself on a pretty strict budget. Sometimes it's too strict and I have a wee bit of a breakdown. Other times, I do just fine and I can move around within my budget.
So then, this week my car's battery light comes on. I immediately called my mom. She immediately told me that my dad will help me with this later. We are not car women. We have never pretended to be. I can't blame her for deflecting to my dad.
Well I decided that I needed to put on my big girl panties and pull them up high. No more crying to daddy when my car is broken. I am a college educated woman. I am independent. I'm no slouch.
Then I called the dealership. $99.50 for diagnostics.
WHAT?!? ONE HUNDRED BUCKS FOR YOU TO TELL ME WHY THE LIGHT IS ON?!?
That's when my pride went out the door and I called Big Mike.
I explained to him that the light was on but the car was still starting and running perfectly fine. I was just going to drive around forever and ever with this light on. That was my decision. The end.
I'm pretty sure my hypothetical hands were on my hypothetical hips.
"Yah, except if it's your alternator. Then you're going to be driving one day and your car is just going to stop running."
Well I hadn't thougt about that.
So then I sucked it up and drove to my local Auto Zone. Just a tip, Auto Zone performs a free diagnostic battery and alternator test. It was quick. It was free. My battery was fine. My alternator was not.
The guy at Auto Zone asked me, "So do you want to go in and see if we have one?" and as I obliged I asked how long the installation would take.
They don't do that there.
So it was back to the Ford service place I went. To flush more money down the drain. New tires in spring. New brakes in summer. New alternator in fall. I hope I get winter off...
I know I'm not the only one that is constantly worried about money, I read about it on Airing My Dirty Laundry's blog and even more specifically about driving around in an older car because it's paid for on Hiking the Stacks blog.
So as I'm hitting my cash reserves pretty hard to pay for this nearly $500 expense, I ask you all:
What do you do to save for a rainy day?
- Is it a savings account?
- Is it a jar under your bed?
- Is it something else that I need to know about?
I consider myself a financially savvy woman, I have a retirement account, savings accounts, savings bonds, etc. But for some reason I still come to tears when I have to part with this much money (especially this close to Christmas).
I kindly explained to my parents that I'm accepting donations.
I pray they will be generous enough to oblige...