//Lesson #1: Take care of your shit
Photo: My 2007 Ford Escape XLT from behind, looking at the passenger side

Lesson #1: Take care of your shit

The vehicle pictured above is my baby.  I haven’t named it or anything.  But it’s my preferred mode of transport no doubt.  And trust me, I have been on foot and on the bus many times over the past few years.

I have done so much damage to my whip and driven it so many miles, it’s amazing it’s still rolling.  Nevertheless, it is still running.

I have learned a lot of hard lessons over the years. One mistake I have kept repeating and refuse to repeat again is not taking care of my shit.

Recently, I had to pay over a stack to get my car fixed after months of neglect.  My car was making a loud springy noise when I turned, the ride was totally bumpy, and to top it all of, my muffler was so loud, you could hear me coming from two miles away.  Since I didn’t make taking care of my car a priority, I let all these things pile up.  When it came time to register my car, I could not afford to 1) pay my taxes, 2) make the needed repairs to pass an inspection (which also costs), and 3) get it tagged up right.  Since I didn’t get it tagged up right and was riding around on expired, and YES, ILLEGAL tags, I was pulled over by the police and got a ticket ($72.50).  It really starts piling up.  Don’t wait until things get so out of control you can’t handle them anymore. Take care of your shit.

Let me help you understand this lesson with another example from recent history:

An oil change can run you as little as $19.99 (if you visit my new friends at Midas).  In January, I got my car back after almost three months of it just setting in my driveway because I couldn’t afford to fix it – it needed a new motor.  A new motor is not cheap, no matter where you go.  I won’t tell you exactly how much it cost (I hope you never learn, either, because you learned from my example), let’s just say it was more than two stacks.

If I had bothered to 1) check my oil, 2) ask one of my male relatives or friends to check my oil, and/or gotten an oil change before my motor locked up while I was exiting I-70 at the Fairfax exit, I would’ve saved a lot of money, rides on the bus, lifts from my friends, shame and embarrassment, and who knows what else…

So there you have it, lesson #1: Take care of your shit.

I plan to set up reminders in Inbox to help me remember to 1) check my oil and 2) get my oil changed.  If you have to put up $10 a month to make sure you get it done when three months passes by, do that.  If you don’t know how to check your oil, ask one of your friends to show you.

 

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Related topics coming soon:

  • How to check your oil
  • When to use your OG vs when to go to a professional
  • Budgeting and financing for repairs

Reppin’ #KC, aspiring local celebrity. I listen to a lot of southern and bay area rap. My passion is where social justice and technology meet. I recently completed my Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management.