Car Drama

I’m house and puppy sitting for my parents this week. As I’m living in their home, they’ve given me use of their vehicle.

This is wonderful as ML and I share a vehicle and managing 2 households with 1 car would have been problematic. However, it would have been possible.

I found this out when their vehicle coughed and died in an out of town gas station. We had no idea what the problem could be so we mapped out a plan.

Luckily, it was a dead battery so I’m now  enjoying my own car and the joys of a newer vehicle.

My parents, much to my mortification, were kind enough to leave me money to cover gas and any expenses(food was what they were thinking). While I appreciate the gesture, a part of me was incredulous.

I’m not about to let my parents pay for pizza because I didn’t want to cook.

There was a lot of conversation in December about giving and receiving gifts graciously. I’m struggling with this. Paying for gas and getting my own groceries won’t impact my budget at all. Therefore, I don’t want to accept the money. Even the battery cost is fine as it will come out of my savings line for the car.

I’m leaving the money in its spot for now but will need to think of how to handle the inevitable conversation when they realize I haven’t taken anything.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

All I can think is we’re a family of too proud people. No one wants to take advantage (me regarding things I can afford) or a hand out (me with groceries; them with the car).

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7 thoughts on “Car Drama

  1. rachallene

    I get where you’re coming from- it’s so hard to graciously accept gifts. Having said that, I think this situation is a little different. You are going out of your way to take care of their home while they’re away. Doing this is saving them money for another house-sitter and saving them from the worse possibility of an empty-house break-in. Their leaving you money is not a gift, in my mind, but payment for a service performed.

    I do realize it can be a tough pill to swallow, accepting money when you don’t feel you need it, but don’t short change yourself. Why not accept a portion of the money? You can use it to reimburse yourself the expense of gas on any extra mileage you normally wouldn’t have needed to drive and groceries you normally wouldn’t have needed to duplicate. For example: if you drink almond milk, you have to buy extra so there is some at home for the family and some where you’re staying for you.

    Leave whatever remains with a note explaining that you used what was needful and appreciated the tremendous fun you had driving their car around like it was your own.

    You’re helping them swallow their pride while swallowing your own. I think it’s a win-win. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great way of thinking about it. I think my hang up is that they’re bringing me back treats from their trip and getting me a gift. It feels like overkill.
      You’re right though, I’ll take the gas money as the vehicle they’ve lent me takes double the amount of gas that my car does.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. rachallene

        Gotcha! I totally understand. I house sat for a friend of mine and she stocked the fridge and pantry for me, left money for gas AND paid me brought me a gift home. That was a strange haggle, trying undersell what I had done for her so she wouldn’t overspend on my services! ‘:D

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lauralynne

    Hmmm…I consider pet sitting to be job and even though I ask an acquaintance to perform this service, I definitely pay her for it. She doesn’t stay at our place because she has pets of her own, which means she is driving here each day and then hassling with our cats that require meds.

    I imagine this is also wrapped up in familial expectations about money and independence, too, which always complicates things. But would you pay someone to perform this service for you, in reverse?

    Like

    1. Usually, when I do it for friends I’m not living in their home and they give me a token or take me to breakfast. For strangers, I would definitely expect to be paid.
      In turn, when my neighbor looks after Bunny I always get her a gift from wherever we went.
      I suppose that is why I feel that leaving me grocery and gas money is overkill. Especially the grocery money, since I would be eating no matter where I live 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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