I had been mentally congratulating myself for keeping well within my budget in February. I’d had several high-expense months — I was still fixing up my new place, see, and it was the Christmas and summer holidays, so definitely a time to enjoy things.
But I’d more or less gotten everything I needed, so I resolved to get back into my usual budget. I was also panicking a little bit inside, thinking I was now a spend-a-holic and would no longer be able to get back into (my relative) frugality.
I had just gotten home from work drinks this past Friday night, and was on the way to dinner, a mere 2 KM away.
I started up my car.
A few grinding noises. Then nothing.
Incredulous, I tried it again.
I’d last used my car 2 weeks before. It had started as usual. I drove as usual. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I was positive I’d turned all lights off (I’m usually obsessive about that kind of thing.) I quickly messaged my friend I couldn’t make it. After the initial hysterical panic calling/texting about what I was supposed to do next, there was only one option: sign up for a certain roadside assistance program and request for a new battery ASAP.
As a friend advised, if the battery was really dead (and that seemed like the probable case, since I hadn’t changed it in years), jump starting the battery would fix it temporarily, but then I’d have to take it to a mechanic ASAP otherwise take the risk of getting stranded somewhere. Since I had an appointment early next morning, which would cost me $110 to miss, I didn’t want to take the risk of not finding a mechanic in time.
Total cost? $508.
$211 for the battery.
$109 for the roadside assist program.
$55 for the joining fee.
$133 for the immediate assistance fee.
Sigh. There goes my budget.
But then I try to think about it in a more reasonable manner. The $211 is for a product which will last me several years. The joining fee and roadside assist program fees were inevitable, because I’d already decided that I needed to get my car fixed before morning. Plus, it would give me additional peace of mind for the next year. The annoying thing was the immediate assistance fee — if I could’ve waited 48 hours, I wouldn’t need it — but then I reasoned that if I had missed my appointment, I would’ve had to forfeit $110 anyway. And if I took public transportation, I would to allocate around an hour each way. And having a busy day ahead of me, I didn’t want the trouble.
So yeah. That took a little bit of the sting off.
But still! $508! Argh! Haha. I’m a little bit annoyed because during my last car checkup, around 6 months ago, they said my battery was still OK. It’s probably because of me moving, and not using my car as much. Sigh.
Also reminded me — sometimes life really throws you unexpected curveballs, eh? Just when you’re mentally patting yourself on the back for keeping within your budget — bam. Bye, bye, $508. Well, I hope life has better curveballs for me this March. (And can you believe it’s already March?!)