I Crashed My Car and I Didn’t Cry

I Crashed My Car and Didn't Cry | BudgetingBefore I tell you what happened on Monday, let me just tell you a bit about myself and how I have dealt with money and financial crises over the past 30 years.

I have always had very unhealthy emotional issues when money was involved. I know the issue runs deeper than this, but usually it starts with “I never had any.”

I have been known to cry my eyes out while talking with credit card companies, my bank, car dealerships, and utilities companies when my bill was $10 higher than I expected it to be or there was an extra charge I wasn’t counting on for the month.

I always ran my budget pretty much to the penny so these unexpected expenses threw off my entire plan, and often resulted in me having to spend time and energy frantically transferring money from one account to another before I overdrafted my account.

And this has been going on since I was a teenager…and this is not an exaggeration. In fact, I may be downplaying it a bit from embarrassment as I am not 100% ready yet to share what a financial mess I have been for pretty much my entire life.

So for the past 20 years, anytime I get sick, injured, lose anything, or break something…like my car, I would cry. Not because it hurt or I was sad, but because I was scared. Scared because I didn’t have the money to fix or replace it, scared that I would have to get another job and work more hours to make up for all the money this was going to cost me. Scared that I would be struggling and stressed out about money my entire life and that this financial roller coaster I was on would never ever ever end.

10 years ago I started working on my issues with money by reading books, attending seminars, and tapping. I didn’t notice any big changes but I kept going.

6 years ago I attended Dave Ramsey’s FPU and learned a little more. I kept reading, tapping, and working on other issues in my life to make me a better me. I still didn’t notice any big changes but I kept going.

2 years ago my husband and I started getting serious with our financial plan. I was still reading and learning and listening to Dave Ramsey’s podcast every single day. I still didn’t notice any big changes but I kept going.

1 year ago we decided to make a push and get out of debt. We did it! We paid off over $30k in 15 months and in October 2015 we were debt free other than our house. I didn’t feel any different. I still felt stressed and overwhelmed with money and still got frustrated and scared (and still cried) when faced with a financial crisis. Ugh! Seriously? When will it end? But I kept listening to the podcasts and working on our plan to build our emergency fund.

Initially it took us about 6 years to have a solid $1,000 emergency fund (Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Step One”), so to build up $15k per the Dave Ramsey plan seemed so daunting. But we stuck with it, baby steps, and every chance I could make a little money here and there, I would. And every chance I could save a little money here and there, I would. I thought it would take at least 15 months to build it up, but with no debt, it’s building faster than I had hoped and I am sure we will have it done by the end of the year!

So what does this have to do with crashing my car Monday?

Well Monday I slipped on ice and drove my car into a ditch. On Tuesday the shop said it would be about $5k to get fixed. At the time I didn’t even think about insurance, I just thought CRAP! Where the hell am I going to get $5k? And I wanted to cry.

Like I seriously sat there expecting to get that sick feeling and for tears to start rolling down my cheeks. But I didn’t. I took a deep breath and thought “I’ll talk to Rick tonight to see if we should spend the $5k to fix it or use it to buy a beater car while saving for a nicer one.” I mean I wasn’t happy, because either way we would be cleaning out our emergency fund, but we had it in our emergency fund!!!

Plus…we bought a $2,500 total beater truck from a friend a few months ago, so I could drive that until we decided what to do, and could save even more money for a new car over the next couple months driving that thing. OMG! I am so grateful! My life rocks right now!

On Wednesday I had to go by the repair shop to grab my swim stuff and Pure Romance stuff out of my car, so I set off in our truck with the windows that roll down with a handle and the doors that lock with my finger. On the way there I passed the place my car slid off the road 2 days before and a thought occurred to me…insurance! What? I can’t believe of didn’t even think about that!!!

So I called my insurance agent, talked to the claims dept, and am now just waiting for the adjuster to call me with the plan. And since my deductible is $1,000, that is all I have to come up with for this entire accident!! And I actually have that in my emergency fund!!! And I’ll have some left over to continue building up to my fully funded e-fund. And who knows, I may even still get it fully funded by the end of the year like I had originally planned…even with this minor inconvenience!!!

And no tears! Yay!!

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  1. Oh my gosh, that’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing this Kirsten! So glad you didn’t get hurt in the accident… This really encouraged me to get back on the Dave Ramsey plan! Thank you! Sara M.

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