Sometimes unexpected things happen in life. We call those setbacks.

Last month, we had a big setback. The check engine light in our car came on and the heat simultaneously went out. So, like responsible adults, we took it to our mechanic. He looked into it and we found the cause: we needed a new engine.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had to replace the engine in your car (you’re lucky if you haven’t), but it is one of the most expensive things to replace. Our bill was $4,718 after it was said and done (and that was a used engine). YIKES.

We had planned to pay off a chunk of our debt in March and so instead of doing that, we saved that $1,132 to put towards our bill, but we were still short. That month, we received some cash from generous friends and got a significant tax return. We were able to pay the bill without having to dip into our emergency fund.  It seemed that the crisis had passed.

We then had the check engine light go on in our OTHER car this week, about 4 weeks after our little engine fiasco. We took it to the mechanic (who feels like a member of the family, it seems like we see him so often) and found out we needed a new transmission. Now, transmissions aren’t as expensive as engines, but it still felt like a setback. The cost to replace the transmission and another piece that was broken (which made the gas light go on all the time) was $2,004.

This normally would have caused us to freak out. Almost $7,000 in car repairs in the span of 4 weeks is significant, and usually people would probably go into debt. However, we had some financial surprises waiting for us. These last two months have brought in unexpected income from a few different source. $14,500 to be exact.

So although it felt sad to put almost half of this amount towards car repair rather than paying down debt, we were glad that we had that income to pay for these repairs, which could have set us back really far and might have even caused us to go into debt.

So that’s where we’re at right now. We’re grateful for the unexpected income, not too phased by the unexpected expenses, and are looking forward to the day when we can pay off my student loan. We’re both working hard and are continuing to make strides towards being debt-free.

Photo 2015-04-17, 12 54 40 PMAfter we paid off the line of credit in October, we had 2 remaining debts – my U.S. student loan and Fred’s Canadian student loan. Since November, we have paid off  $6,060.60 on my U.S. loan, even with the horrendous exchange rate (we lose 30 cents on the dollar when we transfer money to make a payment).

We anticipate paying the remaining $7,638.18 by June, and we are grateful that even with a $6,722 setback, we had a $14,500 catapult. Sometimes life can surprise you that way. We are blessed.

Ways to get involved with the blog: 

  • Leave a comment below to keep the conversation going!
  • Tweet me (@classyfrugality) to share your thoughts. 
  • Follow me on Instagram (@classyfrugality) to see glimpses into my everyday life. 

Also, make sure to subscribe to my e-newsletter to make sure you never miss a post!