Trouble only comes in huge piles

Posted Jul 18, 2006 in Family, Making Ends Meet, Personal.

Many of my readers will know that we are trying to get our house ready for selling in early 2008. We had a choice of either selling it as is (and getting peanuts for it), or spending a huge amount of money making it absolutely smashing (so that we could get a much larger bag of peanuts, possibly honey-roasted). We chose to borrow massive bags of money from the bank to turn our place into a palace.

Everything was going swimmingly until last year, when we started having to pay out lots of money to keep our dog going. Christmas came along, and we had to fork out for a new computer (which we are going to be paying off for a while). In the spring, our dog died (despite our efforts) and so we spent all our savings replacing many of the crappy old doors that various pets had mistreated. Then things went pear-shaped.

Our dishwasher broke down, and began pissing water all over everywhere. We bought one with our Sears card. Then the freezer decided to behave less like a freezer, and more like a poor refrigerator. We had to replace the freezer (more Sears card), and several hundred dollars worth of frozen food. Troubles with our air conditioner forced us to buy a window unit to take up the slack. Next up was my wife's car. It needed a whole new engine - $6,000, plus the cost of renting something else for a week.

Now all of that was bad enough, but we could just about manage by moving money around and being careful with the credit cards; however, fate is being cruel to us:

  • The aging oil-fired water heater started leaking oil yesterday, and plumbers are installing a new one as I write - $2,400.
  • Both of our cars need to have new transmissions. My Ford Focus is also in need of a new alternator.
  • The refrigerator has started leaking badly.
  • We still have about $60,000-worth of work to do to finish the house, but we have run out of borrowing capacity.
  • The final nail in the coffin came a couple of weeks ago, when the school I worked for decided it didn't need me to teach a semester of PHP. The extra money would have been very welcome.

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