I feel like I’m trying to dance into the next room, back and forth, never reaching my destination. We’ve had all sorts of things break down on us within a two week period. We’d no sooner get one working again when something else would go out.
When you live on a fixed income it becomes a source of creeping stress. Can I afford to replace my fridge or can I wait a couple more months? How much will it cost to fix the car? We’ve both got teeth cleaning scheduled and one cavity to refill–things no longer covered by insurance so we have to pay cash. Do I reschedule the appointments, or bite the bullet so to speak?
Much like freelancers, who can’t always rely on a given income with certainty, you learn to pace yourself. We don’t use credit cards unless we absolutely know we can pay it off at the end of the month. It doesn’t matter if it’s $5 or $5,000. If we can’t pay it off, we don’t take that road.
So here I am dancing. Get one thing fixed, two more pop up needing attention.
I did decide to put off the fridge replacement. With any luck, there should be another appliance sale around July 4th. (There are always sales around the holidays.) The fridge part of my refrigerator still works great. I keep all my frozen food in our big freezers, but it’s a pain to traipse through a hot garage and try to find stuff. I really need to clean and inventory my freezers but I’ll wait until winter when it’s cooler. This way I don’t have to worry about stuff defrosting while I’m inventorying and sorting out where everything should go.
So far my laundry list includes:
• my car stranded us (twice!) Greg deduced that it was something the dealer fixed two years ago because of a recall. We didn’t know if they’d still honor that recall since they’d supposedly fixed it. Thankfully they did. They replaced a lot of stuff all for free. Yay!
• my push mower kept stalling. Despite the fact that Greg took the engine apart and cleaned every part, it refused to run longer than a few seconds. Out of frustration, we took it to a repair shop. He kept it for a week, testing it intermittently, and it worked every time. We think the car ride there must’ve dislodged something that had plugged it. It only cost us $20. Inconvenient and frustrating, but at least it wasn’t expensive.
• our riding mower stopped working. Oy! This is one machine we can’t do without. Fortunately, all it needed was a new battery.
• power inverter for the solar panels. This one hurt big time and it’s still not settled. This power inverter is a very expensive piece of equipment that converts solar energy into electricity. It overloaded and died. We sent it back to the manufacturer ($150 for shipping!). When we got it back, it worked–sort of. The fan that keeps it from overheating doesn’t run. Greg’s contacted them again, but still no response.
• teeth. My teeth. His teeth. Nana’s teeth. All three of us are due for teeth cleaning and some minor dental work. Estimated cost:$600-$700
• fridge. We did our research and finally settled on one. Estimated cost: $3000, but that’s not all. Since it’s significantly smaller than our old Sub-Zero, Greg will have to build a narrow side cabinet that matches the rest of my cabinetry. The refrigerator has already cost us nearly $400 just getting an assessment. All it did was confirm it’s cheaper to buy a new fridge than fix the old one.
There are some cosmetic things I want to do with the house, but none of them have high priority. I really want to refinish the wood floors. I know we can do them ourselves for a fraction of the cost of a professional. (I consider myself semi-pro when it comes to refinishing.) But deep in my heart, I know it’s an exercise in futility.
The reason the floors need refinishing is because of the dogs. Their pads sand the floor to bare wood. Our other option is tearing out the wood floor and replacing it with ceramic tile. A professional will probably charge us about $15k. We can possibly do it ourselves for half that. I can handle the cost (begrudgingly) but the job itself will be labor intensive and long. This is not your everyday wood planks. It’s solid wood. The builders built that floor to last.
When it comes to the floor, I think it’s a no-win scenario. All I know is that I want a nice house. I’m sick and tired of fixing a house to like new condition because I’m selling it. This time I want that ‘new look’ for myself. I’ve earned it.
All these expenses are for the most part nonnegotiable. I don’t have to do them all at once, but I would like them off my to do list within the year. As long as nothing else drops out of the sky, I can handle stretching out the purchases.
Just once I’d like money to fall from the sky instead of bills.
Does it happen that way for you too?
About the only thing I wish would die is my washing machine. I have a Whirlpool Cabrio. Worst. Washer. Ever.
Never buy the Cabrio. I deliberately chose a machine without a lot of “extras” but no use. It’s the electronics that are glitchy. It washes clothes great. No complaints. But I never know if it’s going to decide not to wash a load that day. It usually involves me turning it on and off, pleading with it, cursing it, sacrificing a goat, and then calling Greg.
We discovered it usually requires ten minutes to reset itself. Pain in the keester! When it dies, I swear I will dance around its corpse.
What appliance ever gave you grief? Did you replace it or is it still in your life tormenting you?