Friday, May 07, 2004

Price Adjustments and AAA-Emergencies

I followed one day of good and fun financial luck with a week that has left my wallet pleading for mercy.

Last Friday I discovered that the black linen dress I splurged on over a month ago (and still haven't worn) is now half price. After I finished feeling dumb for not waiting for it to go on sale I decided to take the dress, which is still in it's hanging bag and has the tags attached, to Ann Taylor and ask for a price adjustment. If they refused that I was going to return it and buy it again at the cheaper price. Fortunately for me the sales clerk decided to give me a price adjustment with only a mild admonishment for being outside the 14 day grace period. So I walked out of that store having bought earrings for Evie's birthday and STILL carrying a $42 credit on my store card. Yay.

Then I went into the sale section of Banana Republic and found a black velvet top with cream lace trim for a whopping $9.97. Leaving me up one birthday gift, one pretty frilly thing, and still $30 richer.

Matt and I then wandered around and decided how to spend the gift certificate our realtor gave us as a housewarming gift. We decided to use it for something we'd never splurge on with our own money: a good quality pepper grinder and sea-salt grinder. One came from Williams Sonoma, the other from Crate & Barrel, but it turns out they're made by the same company. The final decision on which ones to purchase came after traipsing back and forth a couple of times between the two stores to compare what they had. The gift certificate also covered a plate stand which will be used to hold up our wedding cake, and a box of Godiva for an extra treat.

The most fun shopping sprees are the ones where you walk home with an armload of goodies and are none the poorer.

Unfortunately, this week, to make up for last week's serendipitous money bonus, my car reared it's 12-year-old-84k-mileage status by snapping it's timing belt while I was going 65mph on the 52 West in rush hour...And had left my cell phone at work the night before. CHP rescued me by calling AAA on my behalf and I had them tow me to a repair place I know near work. It's possible my timing belt's decision to crap out saved me from a very expensive problem, one involving an exploding engine or busted head gasket, because I asked them to have a look at the coolant system while they were fixing the timing belt, and they discovered a nice big hole in the radiator and the complete absence of ANY coolant in the system. I knew it needed to be checked out, and had plans to do so...But might not have caught it before my car BLEW UP on me.

So I have a new timing belt, radiator and thermostat, and have been warned that my brake pads are at about 5-10% which means they need to be replaced in the next couple of weeks. My savings account is limping somewhat but it's all pretty routine stuff that any car of a similar age would need done. Pity it hit all at once, but my main feeling is one of having a lucky escape from more serious engine damage, and/or my brakes crapping out on me while driving.