We have a budget! This budget gets the bills paid, get money saved, gives us some indulgences (like sewing & ceramics) and gets the job done. We budget for vacations, mission trips, grandbabies (!), etc.
The savings account from that budgeted savings money is about to get a huge workout ~ this is where the curveball comes in ~ over the holidays we had, what we considered some pretty major car repairs on 3 vehicles ~ water pump, brakes, wheel spindle thingie, alternator, 2 batteries ~ so Greg tells folks he got me an alternator and battery for Christmas. To which I just have to tell them about his brand new water pump.
Last week, while in St. Louis, the day before we were heading back home, came the curveball that will stretch the budget ~ the transmission went out on my van. It wasn't a slow death ~ it was a sudden, irreversible, non repairable hit. In technical terms, that thing is TOAST. It did stop short of just falling out of the car!
We had to rent a car to get home. Greg is driving Wills car, so that I can have his car to get around. It should be fixed sometime next week. Then we have to get it back home.
Here are the options ~ Greg could fly up there, get the car and drive back, we could get a rental car & drive up there, turn it in and drive our van back, or we could drive Wills car up there, rent a tow dolly & tow it back home. We are leaning toward the first option. The cost for 1 plane ticket & the cost for a one way rental car are close to the same price and would knock off 8 hours of driving.
This situation also involves some thankfulness ~ I am thankful the transmission died where it did, in a populated area and not on the bridge going over the Mississippi in St. Louis or one of the long, desolate stretches of nothingness in Missouri or Arkansas. I am thankful for the AAA guy coming to get the van (and Greg & Bryant) and taking it to a garage he uses. I am thankful for the rental car that got us home. I am thankful for a savings account that will pay for this repair and not leave us "robbing Peter to pay Paul" to get the thing fixed.