Last week was a tough week.
My wife’s car gave up the ghost. Its mechanical problems have stacked up enough that the car isn’t really usable even for short trips — and repairing them would cost more than the car is worth. We’d rather put that money towards replacing the vehicle. I was hoping we could limp her car along for another few months, but the universe just didn’t seem to want to cooperate on that one.
We haven’t actually sold the car yet, and probably won’t until sometime after tax season. That gives us some time to do a little research and find out the best way to sell the car so we can get the most value out of it. I’m not expecting to get much out of it, though.
In the meantime, we’ll be using my car for everything. We consolidated our car insurance shortly after we got married, so that’s already out of the way. In the morning, Crystal takes my car to work. She’ll come home at lunch time, and I’ll take her back to work so I can have the car in the afternoons for any errands I need to run. We do need to get a second key made, which I’ll probably do this afternoon, but that’s mostly just for convenience.
Of course, she works just a couple of miles from the house, so if I really needed the car during the day, I could walk up there and get it or ask her to take a short break from work to come bring me the car.
What comes next
Replacing the car is a stressful thing. While we have the funds to replace the car outright, doing so will take a sizeable chunk from our savings. Although we still have a little more than six months expenses saved up, we chip away at it a little more every month. When we do replace the car, we’d like to buy something that’s a little newer (although whatever we buy will probably still be 8-10 years old) — we could spend a grand or two on an old clunker, but I think that would just put us right back where we are right now.
I’ve had little luck finding paying work — something that has started to become a point of quarrel between Crystal and I. We rarely ever argue, so that’s painful and feels like an incredible wrongness.
It’s hard not to feel trapped by it all.
I did get some paid writing work last week, though, and a small gig with a local magazine that should be published in January, so that’s good. Maybe I can find some more of that kind of work to at least bring some small amount of income in.
On Saturday, Crystal and I went to a local plasma donation center. Crystal was able to donate — for which she was paid $50. My pulse was too high, so I was told to come back another day, which just seemed like another slap in the face — my wife brings in the vast majority of our income, and when I do get an opportunity to help out, I’m told I can’t. I need to start walking again and get myself healthier.
I guess we’re just in a sort of limbo right now. At some point it will start getting better — and if you look at things from a broader perspective, our situation has steadily improved since we’ve been together. I don’t doubt that it will continue to improve. I just wish I could find a way to make it improve a little faster.
Photo by davidd.