Paying Off Debt

Ouch

May 14, 2012

It’s amazing how a routine Tuesday night can suddenly and dramatically become unroutine. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

The accident happened about a mile from my house, as I was coming home from a meeting.

Both the other driver and I thought we had green lights.

Since the police couldn’t locate any witnesses (kind of amazing, really, as it’s a busy intersection) they turned to the cameras that the city has installed there.

The footage showed that I did in fact have a green arrow. You cannot know how relieved I was.

The financial upside of what the cameras showed is that the other insurance company is accepting liability, so we won’t have a deductible to pay and our insurance record won’t take a hit.

Our debt reduction progress will, though.

We bought this van new 7 1/2 years ago. It has long been paid off and the plan was to drive it at least a few more years. When the insurance company totaled it we had to come up with a plan and fast.

We weighed different options, but quickly settled on the one that worked so well for us before: to buy something new, with good financing terms, and drive it for many years and miles after it’s paid off.

A mid-size SUV this time. My minivan days are behind me, I guess.

I’m a little surprised at how sad I was to see the van go. It has been a complete workhorse for us, hauling people and groceries and flats of flowers and tailgating tents and whatever else we needed it to haul.

It has moved this pretty girl back and forth to college twice.

Move-in day, Fall 2012

And my husband and I and two estate sale workers were once able to get this 8 foot couch in the van and completely close the hatch for the ride home.

But, it’s just a car, and in the end I’m grateful.

Grateful that cars today have airbags and that they work.

Grateful that everyone involved was wearing a seat belt.

Grateful that the only injuries were minor and came from those same airbags and seat belts.

Grateful that we had paid off so much debt that there was financial room in our lives for this hiccup.

Just grateful.
















  1. Ouch is right! I’m sorry you’re having to replace your van, but like you, I’m thankful no one was injured. I’m glad the security cameras were available, those have saved me (and my insurance) a time or two in the past as well.

  2. Glad to hear no one was hurt. I had my first car stolen when it had only 2 payments left on it. I was so looking forward to keeping it until it wouldn’t start anymore and living payment free for several years. It was recovered by the police but trashed beyond recognition and totaled by my insurance company. That incident definitely changed my saving habits for the better and made me realize that I should have been better prepared for any future unexpected expenses. Good luck with the new vehicle!

  3. I am glad everyone is OK and that it wasn’t your fault. They do call them accidents for a reason. Hopefully the other driver is financially responsible so it doesn’t hurt them too bad financially either.

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