I have been filled with anxiety a lot lately. The cost of gas, the shortages of food around the world, the economy's in the shitter... and then my car started to die.
I loved my 2002 Pontiac Sunfire GT.
It was stick, had a sunroof, and it was tough. But it also had over 136,000 miles. Just before I left for vacation, it decided to konk out on me and I needed to have it towed to the auto shop. A tune up, new catalytic converter and almost $1000 later, I knew it was time for a new car.
I hated the whole process of car hunting. I hated negotiating. I hated feeling that I was being taken advantage of. But what I hated most was the thought of having car payments again. For 3 1/2 years I was free of car payments. I was able to put money into savings and build my 'rainy day' money.
Now all that is changed. I bought a new car, a blue Scion TC.
But now I have to stick to a very tight budget just to keep from going into debt. Mortgage payments, insurance, loans, food, utilities. I've had to cut the amount of money I transfer to Savings by half. And now I think student loans will start with the repayments.
I see random, spontaneous vacations slipping away. I see shopping binges slipping away. I see more brown-bagging lunch. Every purchase will need to be thought out, "do I really need this?" And what's worse is that I don't see it getting better any time soon.
I'm not living paycheck to paycheck, but its getting close. This is what keeps me up at night.