Work Life

Snow Day

Hiking in Subzero Weather
Hiking in Subzero Weather

The warehouse called me off this afternoon because of the weather. It created an opportunity to work my long to-do list and that’s positive, even if I’ll miss the income.

While driving home across Mehaffey Bridge Road on Sunday the front end of my automobile started vibrating at speeds above 35 miles per hour. Slowing down, I made it home safely.

The two brothers at the auto shop in town agreed to check it out Monday morning. I dropped the car off and walked the three miles home in an ambient temperature around seven degrees below zero. The walk was invigorating and needed.

They found one of the brake calipers had gotten  stuck and was causing the vibration. It was a quick repair and I picked up the finished vehicle just as Monday’s snow started to fall.

I had to go to the county seat today, so I shoveled the driveway and ventured out. Between four and seven inches had fallen and the light, powdery snow made for quick removal.

After my meeting I picked up a few groceries, got a haircut, and headed home to weather the cold. The next warehouse shift is not until Friday, and as I mentioned, it’s an opportunity to get things done.

Between the warehouse, the car repair and the long walk home is another topic: consumer credit.

Because of the way we transitioned into a post-career life, we have credit. We have a line of credit against our home at a very low interest rate. We have credit cards to take the bumps out of monthly cash flow. Instead of creating immediate stress, the car repair went on the credit card and when income exceeds expenses, we’ll pay it down. These two financial tools make funding cash flow doable and to some extent, life easier.

Using credit is also a precarious thing to do.

There is the presumption of being able to pay it off, something not always possible. A lot depends upon getting the jobs and hours needed to generate income. Then there is the interest, an expense in its own right. Middle class people should get and use credit in a way that serves sustainability and nothing more. That’s what I try to do.

What else can working people do? What we always do. Keep working toward a life with a newer car, predictable income and less need for credit. However, if we get there, we will continue to take long walks on cold days.