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Car troubles and emergency fund

March 21st, 2016 at 05:00 pm

I'm back after a crazy couple of weeks.

The good news: My emergency fund topped $1,000. I've been adding $100/month to it for a while, but every time it got up to $500+, something would inevitably happen to drag it back down. It's now $1,031, and I have no intent of dipping into it. Next goal: $2,000 by the end of the year!

I'm keeping my hands off of it, despite the bad news I got about my car. It's a 2005 with 135,000 miles. I put a bit of money into it last year, hoping that it would keep going for a while. I took it in for an oil change last week, and they said that there is a problem with the engine. Not a "die on the side of the road on my way home" type of problem, but very definitely a "it's going to die sooner rather than later so start planning" type of a problem. A new engine would be way too expensive for such an old car, so we'll need to start planning for a new one.

My hope is that we can keep it at least through the end of the summer, and preferably through the end of the year when I get my bonus from work. Hubby normally drives this car and he works from home, so he puts on low mileage and all local driving. Fingers crossed.

Downside is that DS will be getting his permit in November. DD learned to drive on this car, and I hate the thought of DS practicing on a brand-spanking new one. It's nerve-wracking enough to watch them learn in a junker!

And by the way, does anyone ever go in for "just an oil change" and NOT come out with a big bill?

6 Responses to “Car troubles and emergency fund”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    It does seem there are add ons more often than not doesn't it when it comes to cars. I think it can depend on where you go. Congrats on keeping $1K in your EF. I hope it lasts long enough to get to $2K.

  2. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Yes usually not much more than oil change. But as cars get older you can drive it and just tell.

  3. Jenn Says:

    You never know - the car may last a good long while. But moments like that are good reminders that you should be planning for the car replacement now so you don't incur any debt when the time does arrive to buy something new-to-you.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    Yeah, i agree with jenn that while the news wasn't good, at least you got a heads up so you can start budgeting for a new vehicle. Depending on the kind of car you have, 135K may or may not be a whole lot of mileage.

    Once you have built up your emergency fund, you will have a greater buffer against the inevitable unexpected expenses.

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    2005 doesn't seem like that old of a car! Our 1997 Honda Civic is still going with 250k miles. I'm going to have to shoot it to kill it.

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That isn't good news - hope you are able to keep it going as long as you need to.

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