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As With Many Things in Life, There’s the Good News and Then the Bad News…


When you are focused on debt reduction, anything that involves or may involve spending non-budgeted money can really can bring you down. It hurts your progress and it does ding your morale.

We had something happen this weekend, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed out a little. But as I’m sitting here writing about it, I thought about actually listing what was good about what happened and what is bad. It couldn’t hurt.

But first I’ll tell you what happened. We were driving home from shopping, and our oil light went on around a turn and then went off again. We drove just a few blocks to a gas station and checked the oil. It was low so we put oil in and started back on our way home.

About halfway there, the oil light came on again and was flickering. We drove a little bit and we stopped at a gas station again. My husband checked the oil again and it was fine and also looked for leaks. Everything seemed ok.

So we left again. A little bit later, the light stopped flickering and stayed on and we could hear a tinking sound from the engine. We immediately pulled over and said that was that. We weren’t making it home by driving our car.

Now, here’s the good news:

1.) Where we pulled over had a huge shoulder free of snow to pull over onto (not the case with the entire road).

2.) The weather was unseasonably warm for this time of year and it was a beautiful day.

3.) Someone was nice enough to let a stranger in their home to use their phone to call for help.

4.) I renewed my AAA membership back in September (I was wondering back in September if we should renew it, but I did!) We saved money on the towing fees! Whew!

5.) A friend we called to see if he could pick us up was available and came out to give us a ride home. He told us that he almost didn’t have his cell phone with him when we called. Double whew!

6.) My son had the chance to see a tow truck in action close-up (he loved it and said he wants to be a tow truck driver when he grows up :)).

7.) Our car had an appointment this week for the mechanic already (ironically for an oil change as well as an alignment), so we know he has the time to at least look at it soon.

8.) When no one was looking I wrote “TOW ME” on our dirty trunk while waiting for the tow truck. It felt good to make a little bit of fun at the situation.

Now, for the bad news:

1.) I don’t have a clue how much the repair will cost for this problem.

2.) It’s our only car.

As you can see, something went wrong, but many things did go right. I feel better after doing this, and appreciating the things that did go right in this situation. Perhaps when life throws you a curveball you can give this a try and really sit and think about the good things. There may be more good than bad.


  • Reply D |

    Hopefully, it is something small! My fingers are crossed, I knocked on wood and am saying a pray for you.

  • Reply NCN |

    Hey BAD,
    I hope it’s nothing big…
    have a trusted mechanic check the drain plug at the bottom of your oil tank… sometimes, when you change your oil, it will strip and over time fall out or leak… also, the seal around the oil filter.. these should be 5 to 10 dollar fixes! Either way, good luck and have a blessed Christmas,

  • Reply Ginger DItmore |

    Whenever something like that happens I always feel blessed that nobody was hurt and thank the Lord!

  • Reply Ryann |

    Oooh, I hate car repairs! They are by far the worst. We had a couple of doosies this year. When we had to rent because we were without our car, we used zipcar.com. Much more reasonable rates than most rental companies.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Thanks everyone….I’m really trying not to think about the repair (and how bad it could be) too much. I should add up there that I am thankful that one of us works at home and the other lives about a mile from work so walking is an option. We also do not live very far from most of the places we would have to go. I’m still thinking of more “good” things 🙂

  • Reply Matt |

    My car has been acting funny too, the airbag light has been going on every once in a while when the car feels like it. I haven’t taken it to the shop just in case its something expensive that HAS to be done.

    Hopefully the car won’t cost too much and I have to say great approach to looking at the problem, don’t dwell on the bad if you can help it.

  • Reply Kevin |

    I’m guessing it’s a faulty oil pump, because the oil light is supposed to go on when oil pressure goes down. Since your car’s oil level was fine the 2nd time your husband checked it, it’s possible the pump is not producing enough pressure or is borderline.

    I have no idea what that costs to fix. Good luck.

  • Reply Mollysbrother |

    Wow. The fact that you could find eight great things about the day and only two bad things really shows the world the kind of person you are. Your son should be proud to have a mom like you.

  • Reply Wayne |

    I’m with Kevin… oil pump. Best thing you could have done, you stopped before you caused real damage (hopefully). Too many people would have just driven on. That one decision could have saved you a new engine… ergo a new car.

    Add that to your good thing list!

  • Reply Jason |

    Found you through debtfree4ever. I’ve really enjoyed the site so far and I look forward to your updates. Terrible news about the car…I know just how you feel about bad news bumming you out in the middle of a debt reduction plan. Hang in there – maybe it won’t be as bad as anticipated.


So, what do you think ?