Let me take you back to an incident that occurred last week.
R and I had been planning on taking a morning walk, but those plans died when we went outside.
We left our apartment and started walking down the breezeway. R was walking ahead of me, and paused to look the parking lot.
Oh no, I heard him mutter. That’s our car…
Wondering what in the world he could be talking about, I raced up next to him.
My car looked fine…wait, what was that on the ground next to it? I took a step back as my eyes traveled up to the gaping hole in my car’s window.
I blinked a few times, as though it were a dream. This wasn’t real.
“No!” I finally managed to squeak out, and I ran down the stairs, my heart beating a mile a minute. No was the only thing I could manage to keep saying.
I was gasping by the time I actually got to my car to survey the damage. I was pretty close to having an anxiety attack.
How could this happen?! I kept asking R.
Our car had been broken into. Or so we thought.
There was a flood of emotions running through me at that moment. Nothing of mine had ever been stolen or violated. I didn’t know what to think. We had left our car alone the night before, coming home from a grocery trip. We went on a walk afterward. Everything had been fine.
I was too upset to look around, so R hopped in the car on the passenger side and determined that nothing had been stolen.
Anger began to boil up inside of me.
You mean to tell me someone smashed my window in, for NO REASON? So now I’m left to pay for the damage they left behind? When I did absolutely nothing?
In my irrational moment, I kind of wished something had been stolen, so that there would at least be a reason for this random act.
I’ll mention here that I never leave anything out in plain sight in my car. There’s barely anything in my car. I always lock the doors. I am extremely paranoid about anything like this happening. We had an older GPS in the glove compartment, but again, it didn’t look like they even bothered with that. The doors were still locked.
Moving to a nice area was very high on our list of priorities, especially since I would be home alone the majority of the time. I didn’t want to worry about my safety.
We had so many questions, and no answers.
R made the call to the police while I called my parents, sobbing into the phone, wondering why this had happened. A few neighbors had started to gather around, wondering what the commotion was about.
Unfortunately, only one person could tell us anything. They claimed that they had just gotten home from grocery shopping at 11:10, and that they hadn’t noticed anything.
Which means someone broke into my car in broad daylight. My car was parked in front of an apartment. Who would do that?! (For no reason!)
That also means it happened within maybe 15 minutes of us getting out there. Wouldn’t someone have heard something? The only thing I had heard was a car honking, but that’s common here considering people fight for spots.
None of it added up, and the officer was unable to offer any insight. He said he hadn’t seen anything like it in a while. I guess everyone is going around trying to open locks, rather than smash windows?
After everything being inconclusive, I decided to search online. Apparently, there are many cases of glass spontaneously exploding, but seeing as most of the glass was on the inside of my car, I’m not sure if that’s what happened. I kept looking for answers hoping to have some sort of closure, but that wasn’t happening.
We classified this as an emergency. My car was not drivable, as you can see from the picture. We didn’t have a vacuum strong enough to clean that up, but thankfully the clubhouse lent us a broom. Since R’s car isn’t exactly reliable, we both felt uneasy about it.
No glass repair shop was able to come out (it was a Sunday). We called a place that had great reviews on Google+ (Mobile Pro Auto Glass, for anyone in the area!), and they gave us a quote of $150, and said they could come out the next day.
So we took turns going outside to look and make sure everything was still good. R had taped up a garbage bag to the side, but that wasn’t much of a deterrent.
How I Ultimately Overcame an Unexpected Expense
I am very thankful it only came to $160 with tax, but the kicker was that we had been planning on visiting my parents that weekend. We were also planning on leaving earlier, but I hadn’t felt well. I kept thinking “If only we had…”
I was talking to my dad, and I think he said it best. “Sometimes, sh!t just happens.” It’s hard to accept, but that’s all you can do.
In the following days, I made peace with it. I really don’t like touching our savings; it’s there for that reason, yes, but that doesn’t mean I like to use it! However, I’ve come to terms with the fact that life will always find a way to be uncooperative, and that’s what our emergency fund is for.
I know $160 is a drop in the bucket for most people, and again, I’m glad it wasn’t more (and that nothing was taken). The main point is coming to terms overall with using your emergency fund for its intended purpose, especially where truly unexpected expenses are concerned. I think it’s reasonable to expect your car to need repairs at some point, for example. But no one really expects their property to get damaged (unless you live in a bad area, I guess).
So I’m letting go, because it was something we had absolutely no control over. On the bright side, it happened in the beginning of the month, allowing us to move some things around in the budget. We still have all month to make sure we keep our spending in check. And we got a mechanic recommendation out of it.
R has been working overtime and I think this might be one of my best months for freelancing yet! And if you happen to be looking for a virtual assistant or a writer, let me know. =)
Have you ever experienced something like this? How did you cope with it? Do you regret having to spend on things out of your control, or do you not mind touching your emergency fund?