Friday, June 16, 2017

Complaining about car repairs and not being poor

Yesterday I got the estimate for minivan repairs to the tune of $3500.

This isn't a repair for just one thing. We have a leak in our evaporator, which requires getting to it from inside the car. And they recommend replacing the heater core, too. My front brakes need replacing. The rack and pinion needs replacing.

Even if I said don't do the two cheapest things on the list of like six things that are part of this repair, it would shave off maybe $200.

And when the temperature is 90 degrees with humidity making it feel like 105, AND I have 3 kids in the vehicle, I really don't have the option of not fixing the AC.
Somehow not fixing the brakes seems irresponsible, too, as does allowing my steering to go out.

We have the money in the bank to fix it.
I hate to spend that money on fixing the car because I rather like to just have money sitting in the bank doing nothing, but it is there and as my mother likes to remind me, the reason a person saves money is to pay for such unexpected things like six minivan repairs that all happen at once.

Since getting this estimate, however, what I have been thinking a lot about are the people who don't have the money sitting in the bank.
All those who have jobs and don't have an emergency fund because it takes 98% of their pay to cover rent, food, utilities, and prescriptions or doctor visits.
All the people who are regularly subjected to unexpected things who have to worry that in paying for a repair, they have to figure out how to feed their children.

I don't have that worry.
My family will be fed even with this huge-ass expense.
We can pay our utilities even with this huge-ass expense.
We can pay for N's field hockey team fee in July even with this expense.
We can still go on our beach vacation even with this expense.

So it angers me to spend money on the money-pit of vehicle ownership, but it also depresses me because I think about those who don't have, and I worry what could be for us.
I think to myself, "What would it take to bring us to that point?"

I cannot live in the illusion that that could never happen to us.
While it might not be likely, it is possible.
I don't know if this is anxiety or the realistic view that a devastating medical condition could potentially financially cripple us.

I think because my brain "goes there" whenever an unexpected happens that I cannot always just live in my little bubble of upper middle classness.

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