I love the comments that readers post on my blog. Yesterday I wrote about paying for car repairs on my old clunker. I mentioned that I sold a 2000 Honda Civic with 36,000 miles for a 1994 Ninety-Eight Oldsmobile with 100,000 miles. An anonymous reader wrote, I don’t understand how it’s frugal to sell a low-mileage car with an excellent reputation and great gas mileage, like a civic, and get a giant gas-guzzling ready to fall apart unreliable monster that is going to cost you money.
Unfortunately most financial decisions in life involve more than just money. In the spring of 2005 I landed in the emergency room. Six months later the doctors still weren’t certain what was wrong with me, and after months of pain, uncertainty, and a whole lot of fear the doctors determined that I had a rare condition that would require surgery. My medical condition was certainly one of the factors that lead to the sale of my car. After all, if I was laid off of work $9500 would do me a lot more good in the bank, then a car would in the driveway. Under normal circumstances I would not have sold a reliable car with low mileage for an old clunker.
Also my Civic was extremely uncomfortable. The larger vehicle provides a lot more room, the seats are more cushioned and it is easier to get in and out of the vehicle.
Throughout my medical crisis I have ‘wasted’ money in ways I never would have expected. In an effort to alleviate pain I have tried expensive forms of alternative therapy that insurance simply would not cover. I’ve paid out of pocket to visit with physical therapists who are more familiar with my condition, then therapists covered under my insurance plan. I’ve paid alternative healers, like craniosacral therapists and acupuncturists. I’ve bought books on pain management techniques and all sorts of devices including heating pads, special pillows, and various massages. Similarly, I spend money on a PPO rather than an HMO. Of course, I know that an HMO is cheaper, but I simply cannot afford the time and hassle of doctor referrals. So why would a self-proclaimed frugal girl spend all of this money. Well the answer is obvious: the hope of living a day without pain. Unfortunately, in life, financial decisions are never just about money.