Since Friday we feel like we’re being tested to see how strong our resolve is to avoid debt…
On Friday we were given the news that husbands truck is on its last legs. We have two months before it’s MOT expires and it won’t pass again without a significant cash injection from us. The money we’d have to outlay would be more than we paid for it four years ago. This has been a bit of a blow as we were hoping both our cars would make it through this year. It’s also a bit of a pain as we’re both attached to the truck! It’s a rickety rust bucket that feels like it’s held together with one central nail but it’s ours and it’s done us well.
The other consideration is an agreement we made last year. We agreed that if husband didn’t buy a motorbike using a loan last year when we were still in debt, that he could buy one this year before we fully funded our emergency fund. This has been the principal we’ve been working on. The goal date was the start of May, this would be when he could buy a bike and he had a budget of everything minus £1000 in the joint account at that point. As we were looking at having to outlay a few grand for a new car then husband spent Friday night with the prospect of losing his beloved truck and also not being able to buy a bike for this summer. A double hit!
The ‘easy’ option would of course have been to get finance of some sort. Either a loan or to use a credit card to be able to get a new (to us) car. That is the absolute last thing that we wanted to do though. After having gone through last year we have become allergic to debt. I have a physical feeling in my stomach at the thought of using debt to buy anything ever again. We just don’t want to do it. That doesn’t mean that the temptation isn’t there. It would be a quick and easy way to solve the issue and we’ve got ourselves out of more debt before right?
We had thought that the next car we bought would be the newest car we’d owned. A car that would do us for a few years and was more expensive to buy but would last us for longer. The idea was that now that we’re debt free we could start on a cycle of trading up on the things we own because we can actually afford them. After this weekend we just had to discuss and change our mindset slightly. Instead of this being a long term car what we’re looking for is a car that will just see us through this next year or maybe two. That started us looking at little beaters again, something cheap but reliable enough.
Yesterday morning we found one as well. It seemed a great deal- £800 for a car with a full years MOT, good size so we can still transport things in it and low mileage for its age. We saw the car online at 930am, saw the car at 1015am and had it bought by 1030am! The most impromptu breakfast trip we’ve taken! So we went home pleased with our new car, we have also looked and we might get some money back to scrap husbands truck so it looked like we’d be pretty even for our funds.
I then left to take my car to work, got 10 minutes away from the house and my back wishbone snapped 😩. My car is now unable to be driven. We managed to go from having two working vehicles to two useless cars within the space of 36 hours- must be a record of some sort!
It is luckily fixable (I didn’t know that when I went round the corner and it snapped) but husband came to the rescue and he can fix it. The poor man has had the worst weekend, he hadn’t even had a chance to eat his breakfast yesterday before we’d bought a car and then he had to come and find me in my busted one!!
Overall it has felt like a test to see if we were financially mature enough to not just go back into debt at the first signs of trouble. I’m glad we’ve been able to avoid it. I feel super thankful and grateful as well for the baby steps. We went out yesterday and spent £800 and still had over £1000 in our emergency fund. It wasn’t an emergency anymore. The first time we’ve had that. It did turn an emergency into an inconvenience. It’s made us more determined to get our full emergency fund built. We have to think that there’s nothing that could impact us so badly once we have 10k sitting in our emergency fund. ❤️ come on completion of baby step three!!