Determined to be Grateful


Sometimes it’s really hard to be grateful for the things I have, rather than complain about the things I {now} don’t have.  For example… this morning I had $886 more than I do right now.  As you may have guessed from the image, car problems got me.  My speedometer and odometer both stopped working, and after taking it to a garage that specializes in car electronics {after taking it to Midas, who told me to take it to this garage}, I am told it is the instrument panel, and the whole thing has to be replaced.  $600 for that, plus $286 in labor fees… and now I’m out almost $900, just for the speedometer.

I think it probably goes without saying that this was not the highlight of my week.  I’ve been trying so hard to start saving money and to start putting away money for a condo, and BOOM… set back $900.  I wallowed in some serious self-pity for a while after I got the estimate, but then I asked myself… Do I have the money to pay for the repair?  Yes I do.  Will I have to eat Ramen 3 meals a day afterward?  No I will not.  I decided the answers to those two questions were worth some gratitude for the things I have.  I don’t WANT to spend all that money repairing a car {especially on a repair as dumb as the speedometer!}, but I HAVE the money to do it, and it has to be done, so I’m trying to look at it from a standpoint of thankfulness.

I’m also trying to look at it from a problem solving standpoint.  As in… it’s a problem that we now have $900 less, so how do I solve it?  There isn’t exactly a solution per se, but there are things I can do to mitigate it, and that’s almost as good.  The most obvious thing I can do to improve the situation is to pinch pennies a little harder than normal.  I started that today by grocery shopping {got a friend to give me a ride to the store}, and doing most of that shopping at Aldi.  I wrote down on my list exactly what we NEEDED for the week, and stuck to it.  I didn’t even look at anything else.  I went in, got what was on my list, and got out.

Obviously groceries aren’t the only place we’re going to need to make cuts.  Until we’ve replaced that $900, nothing that isn’t an absolute NEED is going to be purchased.  Fortunately we had kind of gotten ourselves out of the habit of buying much of anything other than food, so that shouldn’t be as hard as it could’ve been.

And, the biggest help of all, Hubs’ is having to work some overtime.  I feel bad that he’s having to work 6 days a week for a couple of weeks {or more}, but it is a really good time to get the extra income.  All the money that his paycheck is above and beyond what it normally is will go towards replacing the car repair money.  That should help us get it put back considerably faster.

In other good news, I got offered another contract for a fella I am already working for.  Each contract is only for 5 hours a week of writing time, but 10 hours a week will help build our condo fund!  Notice I said condo fund.  We’ve decided that whatever money I make with my side jobs will still go into the condo fund, like originally planned.  We will replace the car repair money out of Hubs’ income and the money we save pinching pennies.

So I could be sitting here feeling really depressed tonight.  $900 is no small amount of money to have to cough up, and it really put a hurting on what little we have saved up.  Instead, I’m grateful we have the money to pay for the repair, and that we have options to help get that money funneled back into savings.  Sure, I’m not thrilled about the repairs, but they are what they are and I’m just feeling really damned thankful we can cover them and get ourselves back on the road!

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