Yesterday morning we had a car emergency. The trusty beast had been starting for us well, had one time about 3 weeks ago had a problem starting but I thought it was the battery we know has been having a hard time staying charged. This time she didn't start with a jump.
Luckily, it was just a loose wire that they ended up charging us $56 to replace and secure. Add the towing of $75, came out to a $131 repair. Since I was careful not to use some extra money we had in the account, we just paid the bill. It feels great to just be able to do that.
This solidified our plans to get a second beater, paid with cash, just in case for when this happens again (and it will, all cars die out, especially ones at 192K miles that you can start without a key...It's a bug, not a feature). Once we have $3K in the emergency fund, I plan on purchasing a fuel-efficient hatchback with 80K miles or less for under $1500 (seen on Craigslist that it can be done), then having license plates, oil change, tune-up, and anything else taken care of right away for under $500.