Oh . . . karma. But with a surprise happy ending!

So remember that one time when I talked about how yay and happy I was on account of we just paid off my student loan and how I'm fer shure going to get us living off one income and maybe the Obama administration should call me to get my budgeting advice because I'm Just. That. Awesome at it?


As my dear superstitious GH would say, it's like you're just giving karma the chance to come after you.

Our first month of just-living-on-one-paycheck-except-for-the-part-where-we-treated-ourselves-to-an-anniversary-getaway also turned out to be the month where:

#1. Our electric bill went from $40 to $100, thanks to the freaking A/C that we probably don't even NEED because the pioneers didn't have it and they were fine.

#2. I went over on our cell phone minutes for the first time in EVER, resulting in a bill that was $50 higher than normal. Awesome.

#3. The annual Tivo bill arrived. (See "things we don't need because the pioneers don't have them." Note how I only use this argument on the things I don't care about.)

#4. We drove a whole lot, doubling our gas expenses.

#5. GH's car broke.

This last one was the best. The power window on GH's 1992 Honda Accord has been on the blink a while, causing the window to work its way down until we could force it back up. It decided last week to break down completely, leaving the window stuck in a half-opened position, just begging the many car thieves and smash & grabbers in our area to come take a look.

(Before I continue this story, I have pretty much decided that power windows are of the Devil and are just an excuse to put one more thing into your car that can break and have to be expensively fixed. Cuz really, it's not like much could go wrong with the manual kind. And when you inevitably roll off the road and land in a river and are supposed to swim out through the window because you can't get the door open, are you really sure those power windows are going to work underwater? Yeah. Thanks for letting me just drown there with my hypothetical babies, power windows.)

So we take the car to our usual place and they say the necessary part will need to be ordered and should cost between $110 and $130. And then the labor will cost about $150. Great. Perfect. Except that night GH caught me online while I was at work to have this conversation with me:

GH: pep boys just called, they say that because it's an american car they can only find the piece they need from the dealer and that because of that the total is going to be 600 dollars!!!
me: blink. blink blink.

And that's when my brain completely imploded. This, for a car that is maybe worth $1500.

He asked if he should call them back and tell them to go ahead and I said NONONOnonononono, wait until we could talk about it. Two hours later, he got back online for this conversation

GH: you there?
me: Yep, what's up?
GH: hey I think I just found the part i needed on ebay for forty dollars.
me: Are you for sure serious?
GH: I called the website and he said it was what I needed... then I called pepboys to see if they'd install it if I brought the part in and they say yeah... there just wouldn't be a warranty.
me: Wow. When I get home, [very specific promise that I won't repeat here].

So yeah. He totally found the right part. It arrived in a few days, we drove it over, they installed it, it works, and the peasants rejoiced. And we paid about $100 less than we would have if they'd just found the part initially for the price they first gave us. (Big note to self: Always try this online thing it is awesome.) And now I'm not even so upset about the way our budget went all to crap this month since we dodged such a huge bullet.

I've been telling everyone who will listen about the genius I married. Then GH confessed to me that the only reason he even thought to look online was because he desperately did not want to experience what I would be like if we actually had to dump $600 into his car over a window.

I think that is what is called Being a Good Team.


Jonathon said... [reply]

Pep Boys said that your Honda is an American car? And anyway, that doesn't even make sense. I frequently buy parts for my American cars from non-dealer sources. I think that's a sign that the guys at Pep Boys are on crack.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Jonathon, the Honda was American-built rather than Japanese-built. Good times, good times.

Cicada said... [reply]

Suckas. I married a man who bought a tivo that doesn't need to renew! Hahaha! So we pay $0 annually. It's pretty much heaven.

He has begged me, however, to fix the same bum window on my 92 accord, and to fix the heat/air controls (that have to be adjusted with needle nose pliers) and I will not give in!

Jonathon said... [reply]

Nemesis: I just browsed Autzone's website a bit, and it looks like some parts for American-made Accords are indeed special-order, while they have parts for the Japanese-made Accords in stock. Weird. I hereby withdraw my crack-smoking comments.

Cicada: Oh yeah? Well, my wife married a man who can fix her car. Boo-yah! (And of course I mean no disrespect to Murray, who has other abilities like being able to paint portraits of you. And free Tivo.)

daltongirl said... [reply]

We totally have that kind of a Good Team. Only I play the GH part and daltonboy plays the part of the crazy person who freaks out over spending 50 cents. But still. It works.

goddessdivine said... [reply]

Shoot. I don't have anyone to save me $ like that, so I get to pay the big bucks for my car. It's ok, because I'm resourceful in my own ways (like coupons and discounts and bargain shopping.....)

Nem, you don't have to drown if your car hypothetically falls into a lake with you in it. There's a trick: Take anything long and rounded (i.e. screwdriver) and tap the window. It's supposed to shatter. If you don't have anything long and rounded, get a screwdriver and put it in your car.....where you can get at it quickly. (Now you can sleep better at night.)

emandtrev said... [reply]

That IS good teamwork. Yay for that! I hear you on the whole budgeting gone awry due to unplanned expenses. We got a doctor's bill for nearly $400 in late June from my second baby's delivery last October, which I thought was all paid off oh, months ago (at the time of said delivery). BOO to that.

Did you say you use/love mint.com? I use and love it myself, except when the budget line for any given line item jumps into the red "exceeded budget" category!

FoxyJ said... [reply]

Yeah, we keep having stuff like that happen to us. Our car got a little ding from a rock that suddenly turned into a crack across the entire windshield. I was driving along watching it happen and thinking "oh crap, just stop already!" Our car is only a year old and we have a warranty, but sadly it doesn't cover windshields. And then there was the nearly 100 dollars for doctor co-pays and antibiotics for an unexpected ear infection a few weeks later. Grr. It's always something...

Jenny said... [reply]

Okay, so what if the pioneers didn't have internet, either?

chosha said... [reply]

Yah for teamwork! :)

Now stop tempting Fate. It's always listening...

JB said... [reply]

This ebay thing sounds like it worked out really well! That's great to know.

A heads up should you be in a similar position in the future (Science forbid, of course), but for whatever reason can't find a part online.

You can also find car parts in wreck yards. They've got cars that don't work for one reason or another, but still have good working parts in them. There are two kinds of wreck yards: the kind where you take the parts off the car yourself and the kind where they will find the part for you. You get the part that came with the car (the same part the dealer would have given you) and you get a great deal because it's used.

Audra said... [reply]

I had never been raised to not know how to find a deal. Levi on the other hand is a great deal finder! And the internet makes it so easy! So, yes, I know the joy that comes from a frugal husband!

Rynell said... [reply]

Go team!

It seems like when I'm totally psyched about staying on budget, saving lots of dinero or some such thing crap starts falling from the sky. Crap that costs money. And after I whine a little, I think it's a pretty good thing that I was on or close to budget and this ugly bill/repair/whatever won't kill us financially.

Anonymous said... [reply]

never go to pep boys. not the best mechanics nor the brightest folks on the block. it is worth asking around for good mechanic who will work with you to save $$$$. it will pay off big time in the long run

Kristy said... [reply]

Mythbusters just did an episode where they proved that power windows will still work for about four minutes. I'm just saying.

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