Murphy Strikes Again: Another Gotcha Expense

Murphy's Law drives me crazy!

08 Aug Murphy Strikes Again: Another Gotcha Expense


Murphy's Law drives me crazy!

It’s no secret that since I left the world of full-time employment 18 months ago and went full time into self-employment, our budget has been pretty tight. We’ve been able to make ends meet while the businesses grow but there certainly hasn’t been much extra money for wants. But hey, that comes with being self employed and we knew that going into this.

What we weren’t expecting, however, was the full-fledged attack from Murphy. You know Murphy, don’t you? He’s either a lawyer or congressman because he has his own law named after him (Murphy’s Law). Either way, I really don’t like this guy because he got the law passed that says anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Then sometime in the past few years he got the powers that be to pass an amendment to the law, which requires all those things that go wrong to happen when you have the least financial readiness.

Seriously, though – how come unexpected expenses always strike when you have the least money available? Granted, we’re prepared for emergencies. We’ve got no debt and we have a fully funded emergency fund of more than 6 months in household expenses saved up. But at a time when our income dropped significantly compared to my former career as an engineer, we don’t exactly have a lot of wiggle room in the budget to replenish the emergency fund once we draw from it to handle financial emergencies.

So, in accordance with the law, Mr. Murphy has attacked our personal finances in full force this year. Over the last 12 months, give or take, he has given us multiple car repairs on each of two different vehicles. He caused our water heater to burst, damaging the basement walls and carpet. He caused our washer to break. We figured bad things happen in threes, so we were out of the woods.

But then my glasses broke. I’ve been getting by on an older pair with an outdated prescription. Then our lawnmower’s self-propelled feature malfunctioned. I was ok with that last one because I could mow without the power assist, but then this weekend the mower refused to run properly. It kept stalling in the middle of the job. These are just a few of the little ankle-biter expenses that have been popping up right and left to derail our best efforts at staying on track with our budget and longer-term financial plan.

Talk about frustrating! Just when we think we’re turning the corner on all these unexpected expenses, Murphy comes and slaps us with another one. I know we’re not the only ones, and it feels good to be prepared for these events (praise the Lord we haven’t gone back into debt) but this is getting a little old.

I want to hear from our readers on this one: Has Murphy ever gotten you when you actually had everything going for you, or has he only visited at the most inopportune times?

7 Comments
  • Marie at FamilyMoneyValues
    Posted at 21:09h, 09 August

    There is never an opportune time for Murphy to visit! The AC WILL go out on the hottest day of the year, the lawnmower will quit during the height of the grass growing season, the car will break down when you have to use it to be somewhere vital!

    Sometimes you can get things to stagger if you can limp along with repairs – so that all appliances aren’t the same age.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 21:15h, 09 August

      That’s a good point about staggering. It then becomes a matter of Murphy coming back every few months or hitting you all at once. Not sure which I prefer.

  • Alex Humphrey
    Posted at 10:47h, 10 August

    By the grace of God, Murphy hasn’t struck us too harshly, but we have had a few random blow-outs.

    The main one is my wife’s car’s air conditioning (aka, the car I am now driving). The A/C went out about a month ago.

    Did I mention I live in Dallas, TX right in the middle of one of the worst heat waves in 30 years?

    So, driving has turned into a lot of fun for me…lol

    But we get by without much trouble. If I ever have an important meeting or something I take the car with A/C or when we are both home and I’ll only be out a little bit I take that car, but it’s been a struggle. It makes me think twice sometimes before going out!

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 10:52h, 10 August

      Wow, that’s a brutal place to lose a/c. We used to live in southern Oklahoma, so I know what the heat is like. That was one of the multiple repairs we had (chose) to make on the vehicles last year – a/c makes life much more tolerable when you’re toting kids around in the summer.

  • Shawanda @ You Have More Than You Think
    Posted at 07:47h, 12 August

    Over the last few months or so, I’m sure I’ve been hit with some fairly large expenses that would’ve been financially devastating if I didn’t have money saved and lived well below my means.

    When you’re prepared, large monetary expenses function more as a minor inconvenience. Never the less, we still hate them. One night, I visited a DC restaurant, paid about $100 for my bill and then walked outside to find my car towed. When I found my car it had a $100 parking ticket on it. After I factored in the cost of the tow, I’d racked up $200 in tickets in one night. Add that to the restaurant bill and I was at $300. That really pissed me off. I think I might have cried a little bit. But it was comforting to know I had the money to pay the tickets.

    For a decent pair of very affordable eyeglasses, try ZenniOptical.com. I bought a pair (including lenses), that cost me a little over $12 after shipping. I’ve probably had them a year now, and they’re still going strong.

    • Matt Wegner
      Posted at 08:21h, 12 August

      wow, thanks for the tip on the eyeglasses!

  • Frugal Confessions
    Posted at 03:03h, 15 August

    […] in Financial Excellence: Murphy Strikes Again: Another Gotch Expense – It’s no secret that since I left the world of full-time employment 18 months ago and went full […]