A strange, but happy victory

Some might not consider the following a victory, but to me it is. Over the holidays, I drove my elderly parents from Chicago to my home in Atlanta for a visit. (Oh, the stories I could tell about THAT!) I was driving a rental car, because my parents’ car was in for a repair. Long story/short. I damaged the rental car. It wasn’t due to a collision. In the dark, in the rain, on a very steep driveway, I damaged the fender/bumper on the driver’s side. Absolutely my fault, but totally cosmetic. No mechanical damage. I felt horrible, but realized a) this is why you have insurance, and b) I had more than $2,500 in my personal Emergency Fund, and $6,000 in my business Emergency Fund. (A portion of my income comes from my home-based business.)

That moment of abject terror when I saw the damage immediately changed to ‘I think I’ve got this! Thank you, Dave!’

After doing some research online I estimated that the damage could be between $500 and $2,000, if my assessment of the damage was correct. I was pretty sure I didn’t need to use my insurance to pay for the damage. Yesterday, I paid for the damage, $569. I shifted the money from my Emergency Fund and paid it promptly. I felt so empowered by this experience. Pre-Financial Peace, my only option would have been to pull those funds from my IRA. I’m happy to report that I haven’t tapped into my IRA since beginning FPU in April 2014.

Another victory in this. Again, perhaps strange, is that though my parents didn’t want me to pay the bill, I did. Even though I owned the mistake I made with the car, my mother wanted to pay for it. It was REALLY important to me to pay this myself. Mind you, I’m 54 years old. It was a bit ridiculous, but I had to trick my mother into giving me gave me all the invoice information. While I had her on the phone, I went online and paid for the damage. (She had written a check and was going to mail it to the car rental company. Internet trumps snail mail!) I announced to her ‘Ma, I just paid it. Cut up your check. I’ll send you a copy of the receipt in email.’

I felt so empowered by this experience, which would have been completely negative just 2 years ago. Not that I’m looking to have more accidents with cars!