As we have worked our debt snowball over the last 44 months we have managed to pay off over $90k worth of debt. Over that time Murphy did show up a few times to try to knock us off track. If unfamiliar with Murphy or Murphy’s Law let me explain it to you. Murphy’s Law states: anything that can go wrong – will go wrong. The origin of Murphy’s Law is open to debate, but many agree that it was named after Edward A. Murphy, Jr. an aerospace engineer who coined the phrase during a failed test in the 1950s. I’m sure you have experienced some Murphy at some point in your life. There is really never a good time to have Murphy stop by, but that is usually the case with an uninvited guest.
Here’s some of the Murphy we have experienced over the past three and a half years:
Serpentine belt – If not familiar with this belt, it’s basically the belt that drives multiple peripheral devices in an automotive engine, such as an alternator, power steering pump, water pump, A/C compressor, air pump, etc. Mine broke on my drive into work one AM back in the fall of 2010.
Car Accident – My wife was rear-ended on her way to work in February 2012. Fixable damage to our car after deductible, the big issue was my wife was injured. Neck and back issues that after months of treatment required surgery. She is now on the mend and feeling better, not like her old self, but better than post-accident.
Dental Work – My wife has run into recent issues. We let some proactive checkups slip and even with insurance we are looking at a sizable bill.
Dish Washer – It simply just died after about 5 years.
Just this past Friday I went to swap cars in the driveway so I could take mine to work and my wives van started idling strangely, so it’s off to our local mechanic for a checkup. We are picking it up today, and it looks to be a $500 fix.
There is really no way that I’m aware of to avoid Murphy, life happens and some things are unavoidable. There are a few ways you can prepare yourself for when Murphy does come knocking. The entire Murphy I listed involved spending money, unexpectedly. In years past we would have just used credit cards to cover these expenses, but we are smarter now. We have a plan in a form of a budget, and a small emergency fund that covered the car, dishwasher, and dental work. The challenge for us was the car accident. This was totally unexpected. Our main concern was my wive’s health. Once we knew we had a plan for her recovery, we focused on the financial impact of it. There was a loss of income, and increase expenses. Without the plan, budget and emergency fund Murphy would have gotten the best of us in this case, but with some reworking of our plan, tightening of the budget and security of the emergency fund we were able to prevail pretty much stress-free.
Do you have a plan for Murphy? What’s the worst case of Murphy you’ve experienced?