Car Damage, Roof Repairs, and Lending Money to Family

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As you probably remember from my last post, we hit a deer one night and our car suffered some damage. The headlight was broken and we were afraid there may be additional issues with the bumper or body of the car that we couldn’t see. Luckily the headlight was the only part of the car that got damaged.

Our mechanic couldn’t believe it. He said that the cost of repairs when you hit a deer is usually in the thousands, so we were incredibly fortunate to just have a busted headlight, which was only a $250 repair. We’re also very grateful that we weren’t injured.

Although my partner and I were careful drivers before the collision, we’ve definitely stepped it up a notch. We’re avoiding driving at night and only going 20 or 30 mph on the backroads leading up to our house. We don’t want to take any chances, because we know we won’t get that lucky again.

Our Mechanic Found A Different Vehicle Issue

Thankfully our car wasn’t totaled in this accident, so we don’t have to replace it yet. But our mechanic did mention that our Fiesta is getting up there in mileage and something bigger could fail in the near future. He recommended scrapping the car when it needs a major repair in the $3,000 range. He found an issue with the suspension that was unrelated to the accident and will cost about $800 to fix. It’s a bit of a hit to the wallet, but on the upside, it’s less than the cost of the average deer collision.

Even though we don’t have to replace the car yet, we’re still going to prioritize cash savings. Although we have enough money saved up to buy a decent used car in cash, we need to start building up our next car replacement fund. My partner drives around 30k miles per year, so cars only last us for a few years before they need to be replaced. I also want to beef up the sinking fund we have for car and home repairs.

Beefing Up Savings

I used to think $3,000 or $4,000 was enough to keep stashed away in this account. But after seeing how expensive random emergencies like deer collisions can get, I don’t feel comfortable with that figure anymore. I think we need around $10,000 just to be safe, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on that. I don’t want to be forced to dip into our job loss/emergency fund if we run into a bigger car or home repair. When it rains it pours, so you never know if you’re going to have a string of expensive home repairs and lose your job right after. Growing up my parents had to delay home repairs like fixing a leaking sink during periods of unemployment, so I don’t want to be in that position if possible.

Struggling to Find Reliable Contractors

Speaking of home repairs, we’ve struggled to find reliable contractors in our rural area, so we’ve had to take on some more complex repairs ourselves. Our ceiling in the living room developed a small, faint ring from condensation around one of the recessed lights. It was clear there was a moisture issue emanating from the roof above, so we tried to find a roofing company to come out and take a look.

We called every roofing company in the area and had zero luck. The company that installed our metal roof wouldn’t even help us because they switched to working on shingle roofs only. To my chagrin, my partner got up on a giant ladder and decided to scout out the issue and handle the repair.

It seemed like the problem was a severely bent washer that was located right by the ring on the ceiling. The moisture ring hasn’t gotten any worse since we replaced the washer, so we think the problem is fixed. If not, we’re going to have to doggedly follow up with these roofing companies and beg somebody to come out.

Do any of you live in a rural area with a contractor shortage? What do you do to convince overscheduled contractors to come out for a short job? I think roofers are particularly hard to track down because they’re usually going after bigger projects like full roof replacements, not small piecemeal work like addressing slow leaks.

Lending Money to Family

Another thing I’d love some input on is lending money to family members. From time to time, my sister or my parents will ask for some money to hold them over until the next payday. It’s usually only a couple hundred dollars here or there and they return it promptly.

However, my parents needed to borrow a bit more money this time in the four-figure range. This gave me pause because I’ve seen firsthand how money can tear families apart. I always want to help them as much as I can because that’s what family does. I can afford to give them a couple hundred dollars as a gift if they can’t pay me back (which for the record, I’ve never had to do). But I wouldn’t be able to forgive a loan of a couple thousand dollars. So if they couldn’t return the money for some reason, it would probably cause tension in our relationship, which is the last thing I want.

How do you handle it when family members ask for cash? Do you lend them money if they’ve proven themselves to be reliable, or is it not worth the risk? Do you set any kind of limits on how much they’re allowed to borrow? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Read More 

Oh Dear, We Hit a Deer

More Home Repairs – The Hits Keep Coming!

Another Expense for September – Car Repair

The post Car Damage, Roof Repairs, and Lending Money to Family appeared first on Blogging Away Debt.

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