Thursday, January 19, 2012

No more mamma llama car drama

I'm convinced I'm not meant to lead a stress free life.   God is probably sending me all this tests to test and teach me to deal with my stress and anxiety (as it is an issue for me).  If you follow my on youtube and watch my videos, or you're my friend in real life and heard me complain to you already, we found out yesterday that our Subaru was totalled.

In 2008 we were in a pretty bad car accident in it (you can see the back side of it and read about it here).  It took 6 long months of going back and forth with this bodyshop in Gainesville before we got it back fixed.  Over the last 3 years, the repairs they shop made have come apart, or other random things have gone wrong, like the back wiper for instance.  Having only a few car payments left, and knowing those repairs were supposedly "Guaranteed for life" we contacted State Farm Insurance, the insurance company of the at fault vehicle.  State Farm gladly (and quickly) set us up at an amazing collision shop here in Austin where they met with my husband, the owner, and the inspector one afternoon last week. Finally, the shop and inspector agreed with us without any fight at all that the repairs were done poorly. They put my husband in a rental and told us the car would be fixed properly in a few weeks at no cost to us.  We were elated.  With only 1 payment left on it, its low mileage, and the fact that my husband took amazing care of it, we were about to own it free and clear and have no more payments.  This freed us up financially to consider buying a nicer used car to replace my mazda, which is a '99 and becoming too small for our (hopefully soon) growing family.

Tuesday morning the inspector from State Farm called me to say that not only were they totaling the vehicle, but the repairs were done so poorly that we are very lucky to not have gotten in another accident in that car. The repairs were done so wrong (and cheaply) that the car was unsafe for us to drive.  Cue me, in shock and surprise and angry. Angry that we only had one payment, angry that I had been driving around my child and family in that car for 3 years.

Now here we are having to face the financial decision of what to do to replace this car, which brings me to the point of this post--I know took long enough right?

My husband and I were talking about what the easy choice and the right choice would be and what our needs were.  We know we need two cars, after sharing a car for the last 3 months we're pretty sure that's now for us.  We know we hate having to deal with expensive car maintenance, but we also hated having a huge car payment each month.  We know we need a bigger car with our family expectations and how we use our car.  We know acculating debt is not a direction we want to head in.

I admitted to my husband how it would be really nice to go buy a new family car and let me drive the nice car.  There are obvious reasons for this, newer cars are more reliable and safer, I do more driving then he does.  I have more passengers and cargo often than he does on his 10 minute commute to work.  But there are selfish reasons too.  Out of all of my peers, I by far have the cheapest crappiest car.  I know that this is so petty to even think of, but sometimes it does bother me.  Having a crappy car among the fleet of SUVs your friends have is like being the fat person. You pick on yourself first so others can't pick on you about being fat.  I make jokes about my car before anyone else can.  Even though I feel like a conceited (and ugly inside) person for admitting this, I want a nicer car.  I want to feel equal to my peers.

Now that I can admit I have those feelings, I can see how ridiculous it sounds.   A car is a car.  It gets you to point A to point B safely and comfortably.  Just by owning a car  (and yes I own mine), you are way ahead of most of the world's population period.   How shallow am I acting?  I should feel blessed for what I have, and stop putting artificial value on material possessions.  Does my friends judging my car really change the person I am? Does it change how good of a mother I am? Nope.

I'm reading this book right now that's really helping me face my "demons," by demons I mean this "keeping up with the Jones" feeling.  The need for excess.  It's called 7: An experimental mutiny against excess.  You can find it on amazon here .  It's a quick read, and I'm really enjoying it.

1 comment:

Meghann (Bringing up Bumble) said...

i get this. i don't think you need to talk yourself out of feeling that way. i went through this for pretty much my entire life with the whole "big house" ordeal. i grew up in a really small house, i was so embarrassed for friends to see where i lived and never wanted anyone to come over ... and swore up and down i'd have a kickass house someday. i focused on it throughout my entire adulthood, i wanted a house to be proud of. eventually i got there. so in a way, the keeping up with the joneses thing can totally be a drive to get you where you want to be in life. in the meantime, xanax is awesome. jk. sort of :P