November 23, 2017

How My Car Accident Reminded Me of an Important Financial Principle


I’ve addressed the Dreaded “B” word many times before. From the basics of budgeting,and to understanding the importance of Giving Every dollar a job, I’ve talked about it in some form.

For most of us, the dreaded “B” word of budgeting shares similar feeling with housekeeping, ironing or quite possibly, finger nails on the chalkboard.

We know saving money is important. We understand that learning strategies on how to improve our budget is crucial. Conceptually, we know living within our means is a necessary part of everyday life, yet we may not always get to it, let alone enjoy it.

Yes, my mantra has come through before, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Whether it’s failing to plan in the food and meal plan department  or just in the every day of life, this Type “Z” personality knows that wisely planning where our dollars go is critical to financial freedom.

I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan and one of the main thing he stresses is having a fully funded emergency fund for things such as, well, accidents.

Do you remember my post, “It doesn’t matter what you think?” and our old hunk ‘o junk? Well, I was so wishing I had been driving that vehicle last night because I was in an accident with all our kids. An accident that could have been incredibly bad and for that my gratitude abounds, yet one that was unfortunately my fault, none the less.

I was turning onto a one way, two lane road (a turn I’ve never made before), and assumed it was a double turn lane like many others downtown. Unfortunately, it wasn’t and the officer assured me I was not the first to do the same thing, but that didn’t make me feel much better.

This was my first accident ever and it happened four days before I am traveling, and I NEED that van.

 Even though it doesn’t look that bad, it runs the entire front, and the underside of the van rubs against the tire. Unfortunately, it can’t be fixed on short notice.

One of the ways we do save money on our car insurance is to have a very high deductible in the slight chance that an accident is our fault. Since neither my husband or I have had accidents, it’s a wise choice long term,  but it’s a lot of money out of our pocket now.  I am just sick at the huge waste, and so frustrated over a situation that could have been avoided, but gratitude stream through when I think how blessed we were to be spared injury.

While I vent to you, I am reminded though of why I embrace the importance and critical nature of developing a fully funded emergency fund. After coming off our year of unemployment, this would have been a disaster. We would not have been prepared for this, but because we know first hand the importance of actually living off our emergency fund during seasons of unemployment, the first things we did after my husband found a job was to build that back up.

Now instead of canceling a fun event that I have been planning with the kids, we have the capability of renting a van for a few days. (Any suggestions for frugal options on this? Must fit LARGE teenage boys).

Again, this hurts to flush money like this, but not only will our emergency fun cover the accident, the entertainment portion of our budget will cover the van. We won’t be able to put that towards other things this summer like originally planned, but it’s all about choices.

If you are struggling with determining a budget that works for you, read through some of my past posts on the subject and download this FREE 20 page budgeting guide by Dave Ramsey. It will give you some hope that it is possible to be financially free and I will be your biggest cheerleader as you do the hard stuff. Yep, it’s  definitely hard stuff, but so worth it in the end.

31days beauty budget wide Fail to Plan = $$: My Menu Plan Fail


  1. susan b says:

    You probably would’ve had to rent a car while this one was being fixed, so if you can get it fixed while you are renting the car, you will come out about right. Also, think of all the miles and wear and tear that you are saving on your car. Sorry to hear about the accident.


  2. My suggestion would be to rent a van for your trip. So thankful you are all okay.


  3. Sorry about the wreck! But, I am thankful you and your family are all right…and for the emergency fund!

    Susan is right…if you were going to have to rent a car while yours was being fixed anyway at least you can save the wear and tear on your car from the trip. At least there might be a little silver lining :-).


  4. Yuck. And double yuck … on the accident! Thankful y’all are safe!


  5. mary needham says:

    Rent thru costco’s website. We found that to be the best deal available!


  6. Renee Strange says:

    Does your policy not cover the rental of a vehicle in the event of an accident? If so, you could pay the difference to upgrade to a van for the duration. If not, it doesn’t cost much to add future rentals to your policy.


  7. Vanessa says:

    Sorry about your accident and so glad you are all alright! My mom just rented a van to move my brother back home for the summer and discovered it was considerably less to rent the van for an entire week (which was five days) even though they only needed it for four. Also it was considerably less to have the rental dates start and end on weekdays. She also was able to sign up for a random promotion (that will charge you if you don’t cancel it right away) but saved $70 more by doing that. Happy bargain hunting!


    Jen Reply:

    That’s a great thing to look into. Thanks 🙂


  8. Search around for the best van rental deal for sure. I’m so glad you are still able to take your trip. Road trips in a van are some of my best childhood memories.


  9. taleena says:

    I recently read that renting a car from an airport rental service is cheaper than the standard rental car places in town. It’s worth a shot if you live near an airport. Good Luck!


  10. We just reserved a van through Enterprise for our trip to Orlando in June. We found it advertised online for $299 for the week with unlimited miles, and then our travel agent (through AAA) was able to get it for something like $219. For a whole week which is an amazing price. She said Enterprise is crushing the others with their rates right now, so you might start with them (and if you have AAA, definitely see if you can get that discount). Good luck!


    Jen Reply:

    WOW!! That is AMAZING!!! It’s almost worth it to rent one for any kind of longer mileage trips.


  11. So sorry! Wrecks are the worst. 🙁 Glad you’re ok!


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