Friday, November 12, 2010

Financial Friday

I know, I know.  I promised we'd be talking about my time management skills this week.  But something else has been tugging on my heart.  Actually it's tugging on my wallet. 

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. 



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...


Stacy said...

I pretty much argue with my husband every time one of the cars has to go in for an oil change because it's never JUST an oil change! My husband is a teacher & I am a stay at home mom, so we are learning (forever learning) to balance our budget. After bills, we put money away every month for summer (he only gets paid 10 months a year) and money into an account for our son (college fund). To be honest, I have no clue how we manage, but am so thankful for God's provision!

Mama said...

Hope you were satisfied with the financial result. It may be another Christmas present.

Momma Bug said...

Ok i you know me and my sentra were roll dogs, especially after the new transmission, brakes, tires, fuel pump, water pump replacing 2 of the 3 belts, and distributor TWICE! AAA does free diagnostic on your car as well and they come to you. I know you dont wanna get cheated by taking you car to just any one but thats when the mom and pop shops come in handy sometime, you get warranty's you buy the parts from auto zone and then you pay them labor and sometimes a case of bear and it still comes out to a fraction of the cost that the dealer would charge you, often times the person doing the work on your car worked at a dealer and decided to go into business for themselves. and if you buy parts from auto zone it stays under your phone number and most parts have a return policy where if the part was broken of defective you get another free. Helped me out and saved me a bundle with my sentra. Even helped with my mini mag now, when that belt broke a couple weeks ago dealer would have charged me 100 for diagnostic when i could see the belt that was broken, 50 for parts and 200 for labor...when the belt itself was 16$ and i gave a guy a case of beer and a pack of cigs for putting it back on in 20 minutes. So i guess what my novel is saying, is resources help me save.