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Oh Dear, We Hit a Deer


We hit a deer

We’re careful drivers and go slowly on our country roads at night. In the three years we’ve lived out in the sticks, we’ve never hit a deer. But last night we were unlucky. A deer darted out into the road so fast that we didn’t see it coming, so we smashed right into it. Thankfully we didn’t sustain any injuries, and it didn’t seem like the deer was hurt too badly because it kept on running. 

We were only two minutes away from home, but we pulled into the nearest driveway after we heard the loud thud, expecting our bumper to be toast. Luckily the body of the car didn’t seem to be damaged. Our headlight was smashed pretty badly though, and our car started making a squeaking noise during turns. We suspect it’s either a problem with the wheel assembly or the steering column, but we won’t know until we bring it to our preferred car mechanic, who can’t see us until tomorrow. 

Our neighbors came down the driveway to make sure we were ok. Apparently, the deer had been hanging out in their yard and got spooked by their pomeranian, which is why it darted out into the road so fast. This incident has really made me think twice about driving at night. We’ve had a few close calls with deer, but we’ve always had enough warning to hit the brakes and avoid an accident. This time the deer was running so fast that I didn’t even see it and thought we had hit something on the road itself. 

The Financial Side of the Accident

We don’t know exactly what’s wrong with the car yet, but I’m anticipating that the repairs will cost at least a couple hundred dollars. We have comprehensive insurance coverage, so filing a claim for this shouldn’t cause our insurance premiums to increase. However, the deductible is pretty steep at $500, so this is going to be an expensive trip to the mechanic even though we have coverage for deer accidents. 

Although the body of the car looks okay to the naked eye, I’m sure there may be damage we aren’t seeing. After all, we aren’t car experts. If the car is totaled, my understanding is that the insurance company will pay out the cash value of the car minus our deductible. However, our car is only worth about $4,000. Luckily we have around $14,000 in savings in our car replacement fund. We were able to pad this account a bit more thanks to some bonuses my partner got after my last car replacement fund update

You Never Know What’s Going to Happen

This accident has shown me that you never know what’s going to happen, so you have to be financially prepared for the unexpected. Even if you plan to drive your vehicle until the wheels fall off, you can hit a deer two miles from home and total your car. We’re lucky that we weren’t injured and we’re in a decent financial position to be able to replace this car if needed. But if this accident had happened a year or two ago when we didn’t have a solid car replacement fund saved up, we would’ve been in trouble. 

I’m definitely going to make savings more of a priority going forward. This accident has hit home the importance of liquidity. If most of your money is tied up in home equity or retirement accounts where you can’t access it in an emergency, you can easily go into debt or drain your emergency fund due to incidents like this one. 

Have you ever hit a deer? How did it impact your finances? 

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Bad Things Come in Threes


My late Grandmother used to be very superstitious. I remember as a child when something bad would happen she would warn us to be careful because “bad things come in threes!” Maybe Grandma was right because we’ve been hit with our fair share of bad luck with house-related repairs recently.

Three Recent (Unplanned) Home Repairs:

The first was an unexpected roof repair.

We’ve had some bad storms this summer and after one particularly rough one with high winds (there were downed trees all over our neighborhood to give an example of just how strong the winds were), we noticed some of the tiles from our roof had flown off! Luckily there wasn’t any major damage beneath (no leaks or anything), but we knew this was a repair that was needed ASAP! It was just last month and it cost $500 to replace a few tiles and do some additional repairs that were needed.

Next, we needed an emergency plumber.

The handle in our kids’ shower has been “sticking” for a while. The girls have complained about how difficult it is to turn the water on and off. I’ve just ignored it and done nothing about it (ooof!). Until……one night one of the girls was showering and all of a sudden the handle broke off and water started shooting out against the shower wall! There’s no shut-off just to the shower, so we had to turn the water off on the street and have an emergency plumber come out to fix the problem. Another $500 repair.

Last, an unexpected termite treatment.

The area where we live has heavy termite activity. So much so that newly built homes are proactively treated and come with a 5-year warranty. Our home just hit the 6-year mark. It’s out of warranty, but I wasn’t too concerned. We’ve had termite inspections annually and never had a problem. But this year when the inspector came out, he found evidence of termites in 5 different places! Due to the evidence of termites in multiple places, it was recommended that we re-treat the entire house (not just spot-treating the spots with tubes). Comprehensive treatment costs $1300.

All three of these things have happened within the past month. Nearly $2500 worth of unexpected home repairs! It makes me very grateful that we have a healthy emergency fund so this isn’t a bigger disaster than it might have been otherwise. This is yet another reason why I’ve decided to have our emergency fund be larger than Dave Ramsey’s recommended $1,000 “starter EF.” Sometimes emergencies come up in 3’s and cost two-and-a-half times that amount!

I’m knocking on wood that this is the last of it for a bit.

How much do you have in your Emergency Fund? What was the last major unexpected home repair you had to pay for?

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