Well, I have been out-of-pocket for a few days, doing some traveling with my work, and this is my first chance to check in. I have taken a good, long look at my present financial situation, and I am very pleased with everything except for my savings. I depleted MOST of my emergency fund in order to try to reach my debt re-payment goal. I am going to spend this month getting my emergency fund built back up to 2000 dollars or so, and then I am going to use November and December checks to finish my debt re-payment. I got so caught up in my desire to be debt free, that I have put myself in a precarious position. IF something were to go wrong, in the 500+ dollar range, I would be forced to borrow money. I cannot let this happen, so I am going to slow my debt re-payment for one month, pay just my minimums, and stick some cash in the bank. (Actually, if I had been faithful to Dave’s plan, I would never have allowed myself to get below 1000 in the bank, but I was really, really pushing for the deadline. I feel bad, and I feel as if I have left myself open for a potential financial bump-in-the-road. I am “regrouping” and “relaxing” a wee bit.)
Now that we have all 3 cars paid off, I have decided that routine maintenance is even more important than before. So, I purchased a set of “ramps” so that I can change the oil in my cars, a tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure weekly, and brand new wiper blades for all cars. (I have used sand-paper in the past to “re-sharpen” the edges of the wiper blades, but they were all AT LEAST 4+ years old. Time for some new blades!) installing the blades was super easy, and I replaced all three sets in less than 20 minutes. I purchased 6 dollar blades for my truck and the Accord, and 8 dollar blades for my wife’s van. (The van uses 3 different size blades, 2 front blades and a rear-window blade, all in different sizes.) In fact, it took longer to find out what SIZE blades to buy than it did to install them. The ramps I bought are “plastic” and can hold up to 8000 pounds. They should do just fine for the size autos I have. They cost 25 bucks or so. The pressure gauge cost a dollar at Kroger. I find that I am learning more and more about my autos and taking care of them actually brings me some sort of strange pride.