finding the balance between living and saving

When life knocks you over, then kicks you in the teeth

When life knocks you over, then kicks you in the teeth

I fell off the posting wagon because shit hit the fan at the end of March. We didn’t break our no-spend rules, but life sure conspired to break us. On the morning of the 29th, Chris was laid off. On the evening of the 29th, the water supply hose to the toilet failed, exploding off the throne, flooding my condo. And the condo below mine. And the condo below them. Thank goodness Chris was home, because I was on the other side of the continent at a conference. He managed to turn off the water, but not before some damage was done to three units and some common property.

Being that I wasn’t home, the only access I had to the details of my condo insurance plan was a summary of coverage my broker e-mailed me when I bought the place. I was mildly panicked because the email summary didn’t include “water escape,” leading me to believe I might be on the hook for the condo corporation’s $10k water escape deductible. Thank goodness that wasn’t actually the case, and I’m only liable for my $1000 deductible.

But wait, there’s MORE!

Fast forward to May 1st: I’m driving home happily from the garden centre with a car full of plants. I can’t wait to fill my planters and enjoy my slice of urban balcony splendor when SMASH! Soil everywhere. An uninsured driver in an unregistered vehicle ran a red light and crashed into the driver’s side of my car. I’m pretty sure I just laughed maniacally for a moment, in my now-immobile car, stranded in the middle of a busy intersection because: WHY, LIFE? WHYYYYY?



While I thank my lucky stars it was a pretty low-speed crash (I’m 100% okay), I also curse the all the human garbage driving around with invalid insurance. In order to pick up my car from the repair shop, I had to pay my $1000 deductible while the insurance company tries to chase down the at-fault driver. All-in-all a terrible situation that may end up in small-claims court. Adding insult to injury, this was the second driver to hit my vehicle in the last six months. The poor thing now has two accidents under her belt, and more money in body work than she’s now worth. This will complicate resale if I choose not to drive it into the ground.

Needless to say, these unpredictable, pain-in-the-ass situations are definitive proof of why it is  so important to have an emergency fund set aside. Two insurance deductibles and a layoff in the span of 33 days is pretty crummy, but it would have been disastrous if we didn’t have a cushion set aside to save our butts.


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