Our Holiday Murphies and How Much They Cost Us
Our Holiday Murphies and How Much They Cost Us
Have you heard of the Murphy’s Law? It’s an adage that means: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.
These past holidays were interesting to say the least. There were full of fun and also full of murphies.
The 10-day road trip
Our 1.5-year-old daughter is very friendly at daycare and is friends with not just her classmates, but also the older kids and all the teachers in the school.
She’s also friendly with strangers, she has no problem going up to them and striking a conversation (baby talk) 😊.
But for some reason, she had become very anti-social around family members and friends. When they would visit, she would get very territorial and not want to talk or play with them.
The last straw was when we had friends and their 2.5-year-old boy visit us; and Baby99to1percent spend the whole time being very territorial, taunting the boy and making him cry at some point in time.
We then decided to go on a 10-day road trip to visit family and friends in 3 different cities. During the trip we really had a lot of fun, and the kiddo had a chance to reconnect with a lot of friends and family members, got to really know them and feel comfortable around them.
But a few murphies did also happen before, during and after the road trip. Here are some of them:
Murphy 1: The $150 taxi ride
To make sure I wouldn’t be disturbed during the road trip, I did as much as I could at work. And the Friday before the trip, I thought I would leave work early (or should I say on time) at 5pm and start getting ready for the trip.
But just when I was leaving, the boss’s boss’s boss decided to ask me for some report and I ended up leaving work late at 11pm and missed the last train.
I ended up taking a $150 cab ride ☹. When it was time to pay, my company credit card declined and since I was too exhausted to call in, I decided to pay using my own personal credit card which is against company policy.
Will I get reimbursed? I don’t know yet. I haven’t submitted the expense yet.
Murphy 2: The loss of $500 Christmas gifts
We start getting ready for the road trip on Saturday and we spend a good time in the morning gift wrapping.
We finally leave the house and go to the store to buy some snacks for the trip. Once done, we start our road trip.
But when we were about to enter the highway, hubby remembered that he had left some of the gifts on top of the car. Apparently while loading the kiddo, the luggage and the gifts, he decided to put some of the gifts on top of the car, while loading the rest.
So we pull over, and check the top the car and inside the car, and the gifts were no where to be found. We drive back to the house hoping to see where they might have fallen off to pick them up, but nadda.
We enter the garage and the house and search all over, but we find nothing. We drive back to the store where we had bought the snacks, and we see nothing on the road, or parking lot.
We give up and head over to the mall and buy some replacement gifts. At least, we were glad it’s not the baby he decided to put on the top of the car! 😊
Murphy 3: The $400 car repairs
At the end of the 10-day trip, when we were about to come back home, our car wouldn’t start. It was very cold and snowy. Our car and other people’s cars wouldn’t start except for one car that was a 2010.
All older cars including our 2006 car wouldn’t start. Is this a sign we finally need to upgrade? Well, maybe in a couple of years, once our mortgage is paid off.
Ok back to the story. Apparently, the reason why so many cars wouldn’t start was because it was too cold. It was the coldest day ever in the past 6 decades!
Hubby tried to start the car many times, and it wouldn’t start and our battery ended up dying. we then called CAA (a roadside assistance company) to come and boost us. They said there were getting too many calls, and that it would take 24 hours for them to arrive.
We call our credit card company since they offer free roadside assistance, and they send us within an hour the same CAA that was apparently not available.
Once the CAA guy arrived, he gave us some good and bad news. The good news was that he was able to get our car started. The bad news was that our engine was flooded due to trying to start the car too many times in the snow.
We drive back home and the engine sign was on the whole time. We took the car to the mechanic the next day and it costs us $400 to have it fixed. Multiple issues had piled on!
Murphy 4: The $100 parking ticket
The week continued to be very cold, and sometimes the car doors wouldn’t open and/or the car wouldn’t start, and we had to wait a little bit to get it going. On one of those days, it made me arrive at the train station a little late and couldn’t find any available parking spot.
The parking fills up very quickly. If you are not there by 7:40am, you might not find a spot. It’s very frustrating considering we pay about $400/month to use the train, but they don’t provide us with enough parking spot! It’s really bad customer service but that’s another story for another time.
Because I couldn’t find a parking spot, I ended up parking somewhere on the side in a no parking zone. When I got back, I had a $100 ticket on the windshield. Talk about being very frustrated.
So, all in all, these murphies cost us about $1,150 and we are happy we can cash flow them.
Preparing for murphies
According to bankrate, only 39% of people are ready for a $1,000 emergency. And the rest of the people would have to put it on a credit card and pay if off over time; borrow from friends and family; take out a personal loan; …
Here’s a nice chart they have put together.
So how should you prepare for a murphy? By making sure you have an adequate emergency fund. Ask yourself these 4cquestions about your emergency fund:
- Is it enough to cover 1 or 2 expensive murphies?
- Is it enough to cover a 3-6-month job loss?
- Will it be able to hopefully help you come out of the next recession unscathed?
- Does it help you sleep well at night?
If you have answered Yes to all the 4 questions, then you are ready. If you have answered No, Maybe, Not Sure,… to any of these questions, then it’s time to beef up your emergency fund.
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The cab ride stuck out to me!
We’ve found ourselves in circumstances – usually caused by me 🙂 – that required us to either stay overnight somewhere or find another way to get home.
Those extended fares + mandatory tips for certain times and distances can really, really add up.
Yes, they can add up. I missed the train last week again, but this time I decided to take the bus instead of the cab. Saved me a lot of $$$.
Ugh. Sorry to hear all this happened in such a short span of time. I guess you can’t win them all. I also drive a 2006 vehicle. It’s needed some one-off repairs but still runs well and thankfully we have not had the cold weather that you have.
Oh and work should definitely reimburse you for the taxi. I’d fight that one if they don’t. After working until 11, it’s the least they can do.
Yes, planning to drive the sucka for another 5 years at least 🙂 We love the car. Our other car is en older. It’s a 2004, is still shinny and still running ok, no major issues.
Whoa, that sucks. These murphies seem to come in bunches, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s best to just huddle at home for a few days so you can dodge the rest of them.
Our EF is 3 months in cash. We have a lot in bond funds as backup, though.
hahaha, I wish I could. Too busy at work, and I got no backup 🙁
Ah, the old leave-something-on-the-roof-of-the-car mistake. I think everybody has done this or will do this at least once. My brother once left his iPad on the roof of his car!
hahahaha. My sister left the baby’s milk on the roof of the car 2x.
That’s a frustrating amount of Murphies for your family to experience all at once and around the holidays. Glad you are all safe! Being stranded with a car that won’t start is sooo frustrating!
We have a modest emergency fund that could carry us through about 4 months of a job loss or a slew of Murphies all at once.
I love your blog by the way!
Thanks Teri. Glad to hear you like our blog. Glad to also hear you have a 4 month emergency fund! Keep up the good work.
Bad things come in threes if your superstitious. But in all serious sorry to hear about the string of bad luck. Stuff happens so it’s good to be prepared.
Yes, $hit happens 🙂
Oh wow, sorry to hear about these occurrences in short time span. Funny thing is when crazy stuff happens, it’s always comes in bunches like a domino effect.
Leaving stuff on top of the car happens a lot. We left groceries on top of the car a couple of times when we put the baby in his car seat.
hahahaha. I once left groceries in the trunk of a cab 🙂
doh! gotta slow down and take a breath. get your head in the game y’all. hope you paid the ticket right away. those multiply like bunnies if left unchecked.
So true.Forgot about that. Hadn’t gotten a ticket for years. Thanks for the reminder
$150 taxi ride? This is why Uber and other ride hailing apps are making a killing.
Be careful around those Murphies! Great work as always!
There are cabs always parked in front of our building, but yeah an Uber would have been cheaper 🙂
I was thinking of the movie “Raising Arizona” with Nicolas Cage and praying you didn’t leave the baby!
You ran into a bit of bad luck but I hope you get reimbursed for the taxi. I would have taken one too if it was sitting in front of my building. At that point using Uber would have been work.
Just googled the scene, it almost gave me a heart attach 🙂 Thanks Jesus it was the gifts we left on the car!!!!
Sorry about this, Ms99to1, but Murphy #2 made me chuckle. When I was in college, way back in the early 80s, we loaded up our friend’s car and headed back to Long Island for Christmas break. Anyway, after a few blocks or so, my friend asked where his boom-back was (that’s what we called big radios back in the day). No one knew. Then our friend, the owner and driver of the car, glanced up at the sun roof and saw the boom-box sitting on the car’s roof. It was a Festivus Miracle. Four idiot 19-year-olds got into a car, drove a few blocks, and didn’t manage to send an unsecured boom-box sitting on the car’s roof crashing to the pavement. Thanks for sharing your Murphy story, Ms99to1. It’s a good reminder that that irritant is always lurking and you best be prepared for him. Cheers.
hahahaha, that’s hilarious. Apparently it does happen to everyone eventually. But hopefully this was the first and last time for us.
Great post! We have had a whole lot of Murphies lately as well – squirrels in our attic, frozen pipes, and broken heater! The key is being prepared and taking them in stride.
This winter has been too harsh 🙁