Monday, February 01, 2010

A Narrow Escape

I don't know who remembers the enormous car repair bill I got around this time of year last year, but it hurt quite badly. In remembrance of that horrific event, my car decided that the "check engine" light needed to be lit, perhaps as a candlelight vigil of sorts.

When I saw the light, my heart sank. I REALLY want and need this car to last me a couple more years, at least. Perhaps even longer. And I don't want it to keep costing me $3000+ per year in repairs in maintenance, like it did last year! Yuck! The following options ran through my head, in case the bill ended up being painfully astronomical:

1. Push car off cliff; walk everywhere for two years, stick with Master Repayment Plan. *
2. Pay astronomical bill; keep driving the Skittle until the next giant repair comes along; proceed to option 1. Try to stick to Master Repayment Plan.
3. Sell car, (probably to local gang member who will trick it out and shoot people from it, no doubt they will keep the cool leopard print seat covers) lease CHEAPO car for two years, Try to stick to MRP, buy NICE new car at the end of the two year lease.
4. Sell car, (again, probably to local gang member), rewrite MRP to last about 4 years instead of just over 2 years, buy NICE new car now instead of waiting.

It was interesting to mull about these ideas for a few days until I could get the car looked at. I tell you, option 1 was sounding REALLY bad in light of the extra cold weather we've been having lately... trudge to and from the grocery store when it is 11 degrees out and super windy? No, thank you. I'd probably be wearing out friendships asking for rides to the grocery store. However, pushing the car off a cliff might be kind of fun!

Option 2 also felt bad to me... why would I plunk down thousands of dollars for a car that is probably going to start having repairs more and more frequently?

Option 3 was actually sounding pretty good. I was doing some cursory research and found that I could probably get a pretty cheap lease on a Civic for a couple of years... I definitely don't drive a lot of miles every year, and it would be very nice to spend the same amount of money on a NEW car that wouldn't be breaking down all the time, instead of continually fixing the old car. I might also be able to be frugal elsewhere and still stick to the MRP.

Option 4 was tempting. I mean, a shiny, newish new car sounds awfully nice. However, I have been working awfully hard on the MRP to throw it all away now.

Fortunately, I don't have to pick any of the above options. The repair will only be a few hundred dollars. I guess I will revisit the list the next time I need a repair. Cross your fingers for me!


*master repayment plan is the plan to get rid of all debt but main mortgage. The aggressive version has me finished in about 26 months.