Last week, as I sat in my car waiting patiently with my fellow commuters for the light change, I listened to the soft grinding-rattling sound originating from beneath the hood. Every morning, commuting to work, heart racing at the thought of my car taking it's last breath, leaving me alongside the road. I knew what was wrong with it. Why hadn't I fixed it? Well, a lack of emergency fund. I've made many excuses as to why we live paycheck to paycheck, but none are excusable- previous car repairs, vandals, burglars, pay cuts, our rental home going into foreclosure... I know better, but as a society we've made it easy on each other to adopt this common lifestyle. I told myself I was doing the best I could, but I need to be honest with myself. If I had planned further ahead, those events wouldn't have been the emergencies they became. If I had been a better steward of my money, I wouldn't be in this hole.
Unfortunately, this epiphany occurred a little too late... as did my car repairs. A $400 repair became a $900 replacement- one that we couldn't fix with YouTube. I'd been planning to ride my bike for fitness and environmental reasons, but this economic reason seemed to be the one that kicked my in the seat. So, last Tuesday I rode the 22.5 mi round trip commute- and I liked it. Just when I thought I'd found a part-time fiscally responsive solution, I sprained my ankle in the yard. Barely weight-bearing, I've given up dreams of Tour de France, and picked up my car from the mechanic.
This fall, I embark on a new chapter in life with several new endeavors and goals.
- new budget, paying down debt and building an emergency fund
- beginning home school with our preschooler
- evolving toward a healthier, more natural diet and increased fitness routine
- decluttering our home, office workspace, calendar, and minds
- focusing on our family and kindling a stronger relationship with God