I came home last night from hanging out at my parents' while Ron was at his grad class. I opened the garage door (everything seemed fine), and as I did Ron opened the door between the garage and the mudroom to greet us. The garage door opener (on the ceiling of the garage), apparently had had enough. Two little plastic screws that held something in place finally broke after 22 years. This caused something to come loose, and as Ron was reaching for it to see why it was hanging all goofy, it smashed onto the logic board. Looking up from the driver's seat (I was still in the car), I saw a bright flash and a shower of sparks, along with a loud pop sound. Hence our garage door opener no longer works. Ron called the manufacturer (Chamberlain) and reported the problem and not surprisingly, the model is discontinued and no parts could be purchased. So, at 9:30 PM Ron ran out and bought a new garage door opener, to be installed later today.
I know the rule - plan on something unexpectedly breaking or needing replacement and have a stash of money for just such an occasion. It's not a matter of "if", but "when" something will get fried or start leaking or fall apart. Or as Dave Ramsey calls it, have a "rainy day fund". Well, we try to always be in a position to manage these little catastrophes, but honestly it's easier said than done. Luckily we had an in-store credit from Menard's (from a coupon they honored after we purchased a slider), but we weren't really planning on spending $120 on something so random. Because of plastic screws.