I wish no punches were ever thrown.
The good news is that because of YNAB, we had $5,100 to pay cash for repairs on three different used vehicles THIS MONTH. (Good lord, why does it all happen in the same month?). The bad news is obvious, right? I am MAD about spending it on #$%@#@ vehicles. One of them is a Honda CR-V against which I hold no grudge because that car has been reliable and low cost. But the American trucks, not so much - especially the Ford F-350 dually that is built for long drives and towing and usually breaks down far from home with a load of horses. It did it again (no horses, yay) to the tune of $3,000 and an 8-hour round trip to go pick it up from the shop we left it at. I think we might sell it and try to save for something more reliable.
I remember that Rolling with the Punches is a rule. But I actually hate that rule, I want nothing to go wrong on my savings / paying off debt journey. This is just such a fervent wish of mine, that nothing in life would go wrong...
I think we have paid down about $12,000 in debt since we started using YNAB in February and cash for car repairs for about $8,000 (including this last episode) so it is working like it is supposed to. I just feel so much safer when there is a pile of cash in the account and seeing $5100 leave in one month is unnerving. But it was there - and I didn’t even have to dip into the treasured New Puppy category.
As my dad would say, "what mankind makes breaks". He was in maintenance for many years. I feel like I have a good car when the repairs average out to about $1,000 a year per car. That's not all our cars, we've had duds. My car just needed some work for $600, and that's all its needed this year, so I'm happy. My daughters car needed about $1,500 this year, we'll see how it does next year.
The “I get sad when there’s not a big pile o money there” is a good financial instinct. Don’t let it rule you into senseless things like taking on debt when you could pay cash for something, but on the other hand, don’t feel guilty about it. Many people in deep debt are there because the instinct to have money sitting around doing nothing is insufficiently honed. Great work!
Purple Admiral said:
This is what we designated it for
It's often easy to lose sight of this. We accumulate money to allow us to do/have stuff -- it's a means to an end. As long as that's the stuff that's important to us, all is well.
Yay, a thread where I can selfishly share my own punch and stay somewhat on-topic :). 11 months ago, while my husband was away, my nearly 15 yr old dog collapsed and couldn't get up. I rushed him all over and ended at an amazing veterinary neurology hospital, who correctly diagnosed a ruptured disc in his neck, repaired it, and 9 days and $8,000 later, he was good as new. Yep, savings for a whole year invested in that old dog.
Annnnd 2 days ago, husband away, dog suddenly can't climb the deck steps and craps out on the kitchen floor. Off to neurology again for another MRI. Yay for no surgery this time, but an inflammation in his spine requiring steroids and only one night in the hospital instead of nine! He's back home walking again, just $3,000 later. I didn't know how much to keep in my Vet category, and still don't. I decided on $1000 this year, so I covered the bill from that, obviously. And then about $800 I miraculously had in holding from this month that I was HOPING to send to next month since this month's income was low. And then rounded out the last $1,200 from a general unexpected expense category.
Putting $1000 back into Vet in November, but my average monthly vet expense is $937! Am I supposed to save $10,000 in there??? This dog is gonna be 16 in 2 months, and is rickety but happy and healthy. Yes, thank GOD I could at least cover this punch yet again with reserves, and Christmas will probably not be as ugly as last year. But ugh, this dog!!!
This is such a good reminder to pump up the true category before aggressively tackling debt. Dave Ramsey’s $1000 emergency fund doesn’t really cut it.
From the many books I’ve read these past months on finances, the best advice is Japanese cars /trucks 2-3 years old. That’s if they make them heavy duty enough for pulling horses. :)
Purple Foal said:
This is such a good reminder to pump up the true category before aggressively tackling debt.
This is not a universally held opinion. Personally, I would see the interest saved as a victory, since the end state of debt is identical (IF the emergency, in fact, does occur).
(Yes, I am assuming continued availability of credit.)