When it Rains, it Pours…

You ever have one of those days where one thing after another went wrong?

We had one of those weeks.

Flikr – Marcos Guevara
The Itinerary

During Super Bowl weekend, we planned an impromptu road trip to San Diego. My wife worked extra hours that week to so that she could get Friday off.

Friday – leave LA early in the morning to go to San Diego Zoo. Relax at the hotel afterwards
Saturday – Seaworld
Sunday – spend the day in Downtown San Diego and go home in time for the Super Bowl

When Things Don’t Go According to Plan
On our way to San Diego, my beloved used Honda CRV Handy died. We were 50 miles away from home on the freeway near Oceanside, and the car stopped accelerating. As I realized that my vehicle was losing power I was able to go to the shoulder. When we were on the side smoke started coming from the hood, and then came through the vents. My wife pulled the baby out of the car and got safely away from the vehicle on the side of the road.

Photo Oct 07, 11 24 15 PM

We called AAA and got picked up over a half hour later. Fortunately, the smoke subsided and we were able to wait in the car until the tow truck came.

Being away from home, we were at the mercy of the auto shops around the area. After Yelping a few places we decided to take it to a place that had good ratings and good reviews. We assumed that at worst we would delay our road trip for a few hours, get the car fixed and be on our way.

You know what happens when you assume things right?

We ended up spending ALL DAY Friday at the auto shop. One problem led to another. The radiator hose had a leak. It took a few hours to repair that. Once that was fixed the car wouldn’t start. By the end of the day Friday, the car was not done and we ended up renting a car to continue our trip.

That day Addie was great. She was on her best behavior. The owner’s grandkids were off from school that day so they spent the whole day playing. The day would have been awful had Addie been miserable.

Photo Feb 17, 11 49 26 PM
such a trooper!
The Rest of the Weekend
Even though we had a difficult Friday, we still made the most of the weekend. We went to Seaworld on Saturday with my wife’s family and The San Diego Zoo on Sunday. I got drenched by Shamoo and we saw so many animals. The SD Zoo is humongous! We didn’t even get to see the whole park. I felt so bad about Friday that I didn’t mind us missing part of the Super Bowl. Fortunately, the game wasn’t that good anyway 😉
File Feb 17, 11 54 29 PM

Another thing that happened during the weekend – my trusty iPhone 5s stopped charging. So I get to spend a couple hundred on a new phone!

When it rains, it pours.

Meanwhile, at the Auto Repair Shop
We ended up having to leave the car in Oceanside for a week while the auto shop worked on the car. Turns out our engine overheated and there was a whole domino effect in our engine. The radiator hose leaked which led to the gasket opening up, which led to coolant going into the cylinders. Etcetera, Etcetera. They had to take apart the whole engine to fix everything.

After the repair was done, the auto shop said that the engine had sustained significant damage. While they were able to get the car up and running, they didn’t recommend us driving the car that much longer.

Awesome! Who doesn’t like to buy an unplanned new vehicle?

Didn’t I just write about how I loved my old Honda CRV? I still stand by what I said – what happened with our car was a freak incident where one small thing created a whole mess of problems. Lesson learned Vic. Do a better job of maintaining your car and Handy would still be alive. While I do the scheduled maintenance and make sure the tires have air in them, I really should spend more time looking over the engine and the other parts of the vehicle.

We ended up buying a slightly used car, which we were able to pay for in cash, thanks to the awesomeness that is an emergency fund. Now, that HURT. To be discussed in a future post.

The Bright Side
That was definitely a tough week and weekend for our family. We wasted a whole day at the auto shop and didn’t get to fully enjoy our trip. If our car died somewhere closer to home that might have saved us a lot of money as well since we had to have a rental for a week and couldn’t take the car to our mechanic. There was even a moment before we left that I thought we should take our newer Hyundai, but ended up taking the Honda.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.

As a personal finance blogger, it’s easy to stay positive and give advice when things are going well. But not everyday is going to be sunshine and roses. Some days are gonna be shitty. It’s how we deal with these crappy days is what helps define us. There’s no sugar coating it – the week sucked. It costs us a lot of stress and money.

But you know what? Things could have been a lot worse.

If the car died under a different circumstance we could have gotten into an accident. I was fortunate to still be off of work to be free to pick up the car as well as spend time looking for a new car. Since we’re pretty frugal with our money we were not only able to afford to pay for the cost of the repairs, but were able to pay for a new (used) car in cash. While our emergency fund took a hit, we didn’t completely deplete it. There are still funds available in the event of any other emergency might come up.

So while this incident will set us back in our finances for awhile, it won’t destroy us. Like my layoff, we’ll get through it. The most important thing is that our family is safe and sound. We’re very fortunate.

In next week’s post I’ll talk about a brighter day 🙂

Photo Feb 07, 10 51 31 AM
Our faces when we realized we needed to buy a new car.

33 thoughts on “When it Rains, it Pours…

  1. Ohhhhh, Vic, so sorry to hear that it was both the car and the phone in one weekend. I’m glad you had an emergency fund. And I’m glad you still got to go to see the animals! Addie must have had a blast. It sounds like you and your wife are taking the best possible attitude in looking at this situation, which I really admire.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Look at pawn shops, eBay, or other resellers for used phones. Do you REALLY need a brand new phone? I bought a used iPhone 4 almost two years ago and it works great!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds like a tough time, and setbacks are always a challenge. It sounds like you came through it well and your positive attitude definitely helped through all of it. My CR-V went last year they’re great cars until they start to get troublesome, then it never seems to stop. Well done on buying a car with cash!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear about Handy, Vic! That does sound like it was quite the hefty weekend in terms of ‘when it rains it pours.’ What is incredible, is that your family was fortunate enough to have funds readily available to take care of the situation (with leftover cash)! I think it’s important to bring to light that you are right – it isn’t always sunshine & rainbows when it comes to personal finance. But! It sounds like you all made the most of the situation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alyssa!

      Yeah although the pain of losing all that money and time does suck, we did come out of the situation pretty unscathed.

      It’s a lesson learned for sure! I’m not much of a car guy and I just typically wait for the scheduled maintenance every 5,000 miles to check the car. With the cars we have I’ll be a little more diligent! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry for the car fail and the phone fail in the same week. But to me, this is a post that is all about how it’s SO much better to be prepared. Thank goodness you had AAA. Thank goodness you have an emergency fund. Something like this would have ruined plenty of people, but you were well prepared. That’s what an emergency fund is for, after all! So I hope, in spite of the frustration, you’re taking a moment to pat yourself on the back for good planning! 🙂


    1. Thanks!

      I bought the cheap AAA plan that only had 7 miles in towing. Had I gotten the premium version we might have just towed the car back home. That probably would have saved us a lot of money! Oh well – couldn’t really have foreseen that.

      I’m very thankful that we were prepared with our emergency fund. It’s just after all that time letting it sit, it’s tough to see a huge chunk of that disappear into a new car and maintenance on the old car. It’ll set us back for a little bit, but we’ll get that money back into our emergency fund pretty quickly! 🙂


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