Yeah, that’s a bite. And yeah, it’s going to hurt a bit.
We could buy a new one, I suppose, but one of Andrew’s endearingly eccentric traits is that he prefers old cars, and in fact in the 15 years I have known him has never had a new car. An ancient Jeep, a practically classic Bronco, a series of old VW Rabbits, a collection of vintage trucks, and now the 12 year old Golf he currently drives.
We live in the country and we need two vehicles, and either way, we pay: Either payments on a new vehicle or repairs on an old. In the end, we come out more or less at the same place. The difference is that with a new car the payments are more or less scheduled, whereas with the old car they hit you with unpredictable vigour.
I admit, the news was enough to make me a bit glum. I’m a
Of course, when it comes to the car, there’s little choice. So when faced with having to pay out money I’m not anticipating, I have a bit of an anxiety attack, then I take out my excel budget and retool it so see how to replace the money I have to spend and how quickly I can do this.
Then I start to throw crazy ideas around. Like We’ll stop having Pizza Hut on Friday nights, and We’ll cancel the cleaning lady, and (craziest of all) We’ll stop drinking wine. And Andrew ignores me because he knows I’m all talk – none of those things are actually going to happen.
Finally I realize (as any sane person would have right from the start) that it’s not in fact the end of the world. So we have to spend money on the car….at least we have a car. So we have to take some money out of the savings account…but we do actually have a savings account. In a period of economic uncertainty we have rewarding jobs and good incomes. When 800,000 families are forced to use foodbanks, we eat like kings every day and have two freezers stocked with every kind of food imaginable.
I started off feeling sorry for myself. That has evaporated now. We may not be rich, but we're doing okay. I am off to the grocery store tonight to pick up a week’s worth of groceries in canned and dry goods, and I’m going to take them to the local foodbank. I’m sorting out a bunch of kids’ snowsuits and boots for the Salvation Army. We’re going to put together some Christmas Boxes. And perhaps best of all, I’m going to take the opportunity to count my blessings.