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Hit a Snag!

July 24th, 2013 at 03:12 pm

Why is it that when I start to get back on track and save money, something awful happens? D and I went on our trip out of town. We had a good trip, we were frugal, and I was motivated to keep working on continuing to save. However, the trip did not end well.

We had rented a car for the trip. On our way back, on a sharp curve on a narrow highway, a largish rock had rolled over onto the road and we scraped the side of the car with it. It could not have been avoided unless I had swerved the car into the opposing lane of traffic or had been going at a much, much lower speed. I took the car to an auto body shop for an estimate - the scratches are only cosmetic, but are on both doors on the passenger side, and the estimate came to about $2000. My insurance has a deductible of $1000, so I will have to pay the full $1000! The one accident I get into in over 7 years has to happen with a rental car! I would not have minded so much if it was my own car - I can deal with scrapes on it.

I understand why I need an emergency fund. It would have been helpful to have one. And I am trying to have one. But, it is very frustrating that when I start to try to scrimp and save in order to avoid debt, something like this happens and I end up deeper in debt. We had paid for this rental using our debit card (stupidly), and so there isn't even the extra coverage that a credit car might offer to a rental car. D and I will both pitch in to pay this amount, but I will be paying the major share.

I can't explain how sad I am about the whole thing. I almost want to give up. I won't, but I want to!

8 Responses to “Hit a Snag!”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Has the rental company charged you for the damages? Definitely hold your cash until you know there will be charges or not.

  2. IndianGal Says:

    They have not charged me yet. But, there is no way they will not charge me since the scratches are very very visible. The person at the front desk when we returned the car yesterday said that they will get back to me in the next few days. I feel so angry with myself. If only I had paid with a credit card! If only I had been going slower and so on! But I have to remind myself that neither of us were hurt, no one else was hurt, and that it is only money and that can be paid off. But it still upsets me nonetheless!

  3. Petunia 100 Says:

    Yes, I'd be upset too. The damage and pending repair bill is a bummer.

    But, they call them "accidents" for a reason. Smile I'm glad to hear no one was hurt.

  4. ceejay74 Says:

    I hear you. I suffered some big setbacks early on in my journey, and it made my efforts seem so futile. But, I'm happy to report that once you get to a better place, setbacks seem less scary/frustrating because you do have the budget surplus, you do have the EF, and you know it's not going to knock you off balance for long. I'm staring at thousands of dollars in medical costs and I'm not gonna lie, it still stings and depresses me a bit, but it's nothing like the gutwrenching feeling when I still had SO far to go and every little setback hurt so bad.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Good advice from ceejay. It doesn't hurt to check with your bank to see if there is any insurance with the debit card, unlikely, but it doesn't hurt to look at this from all angles. Sorry about the set back, but you have the right attitude!!

  6. Kiki Says:

    Is you debit card visa or MasterCard? There are some protections that still come through them if they are. Contact bank for the number of the visa or mc and call to ask. You might save some money doing that!

  7. CB in the City Says:

    I was really bummed earlier this year about an accident that pierced my gas tank, but the mechanic kept reminding me, "But we still have YOU!"

  8. IndianGal Says:

    Thanks for all your support and advice.

    I did call the bank - they said that the debit card does not cover any damage to the rental car. I will call Visa and see if I can get anything from them. It has been an expensive lesson, but at least we will know better next time. Also a small silver lining is that since I have been accident free and with my insurance for 5+ years, I have large accident forgiveness, and so my premium won't go up. Whew!

    I am going to work triple hard to get an EF going! Thanks all!

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