I knew it.
I just knew my car was in bad shape. I’ve talked about it before, and I knew it was going to happen. One of our cars, the one that the whole family can fit into comfortably, is going to need a new transmission.
It’s not yet at the point where we need to replace the transmission tomorrow, but we need to start thinking about what to do. The mechanic delivered the bad news last Wednesday.
“Just for laughs,” I said. “Tell me how much it will cost to replace the transmission.”
He fiddled with the computer for a few minutes. Meanwhile I was setting limits in my head. “If it’s â‚¬1,000, that’s OK. We have that much in the emergency fund. If it’s â‚¬1,500, then we’ll need to scrimp and put it off for a few months until we have that saved too. But we can do it.”
He looked up. “â‚¬2,500.”
“For the part,” he continued. “It will take about eight or nine hours to do, and with labor, you’re looking at about â‚¬4,000.”
We don’t have â‚¬4,000. Not only that, but we won’t get approved for a loan, because my income has dropped so drastically now that I’m in school. If we need to lay out that sum of money, it’s going to have to be through tapping the open line of credit at a gazillion percent interest. I can’t tell you how NOT thrilled I am at the prospect of doing that. It feels like we’ve been making lots of progress since we paid that bill off, and borrowing money would only be taking us back in the wrong direction.
The thing is that we need to have two cars. Even though we don’t drive them far, we do need them for my husband to get to work and for transporting the kids back and forth to school and the nanny’s. And, as good as public transportation is in France, for those two locations it is unfortunately not an option.
For the moment we’re sitting tight. We still haven’t decided whether or not to repair it, or if we should bite the bullet and buy a new (to us) car. There are pros and cons for both, and the decision certainly isn’t easy.
What do you think? What would you do?