Managing Debt

Debt Diva: Keeping on Budget When Chaos Hits

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I’m facing budget challenges in these times of the streamlined workforce. I have been working 10-12 hours a day, including weekends and taking work home. We are short on professional staff; a 5-day a week/8-hour day would not dent the work. Our executive level staff is new and I need to be available to respond to questions and develop new strategies and policy.

This lifestyle should be less expensive, but it is not. Being out of the house means grabbing prepared food at a restaurant or a grocery store. My budget is taking a hit.  My daughter and I went to Costco and the local organic supermarkets and bought fresh and frozen food Friday evening.  Saturday evening, we were hit with turbulent, life-threatening weather. We were spared the damage that families in this state and in other central states suffered.  We lost tree limbs and power, and we lost all refrigerated food.  We were angry; then we watched the people who lost homes and communities and we felt blessed. Because of careful expenditures in the past year, it was a blip for both my daughter and me.

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I need say again—I have no credit card debt! I have credit cards and a credit score.  I tease the cards every 30-45 days in order to increase/maintain my credit rating. I note charges in my checking register pay charges after shopping.

My credit score rocks.  If my roof, siding, windows, plumbing or furnace fails—I can get low interest financing. Additionally, I put every extra cent into emergency savings. A catastrophe with my home will not be a catastrophe with my finances. I can breathe for the first time in decades.

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After several months (since mid-December) following my daughter’s no-fault accident; our top tier insurance company finally refunded the $500 out-of-pocket I paid to get her car in a drivable condition. I had better service with a less than top tier company.  I will be looking for a company that wants to insure me, and that wants to provide top tier service. I will be removing my insurance policies from a close friend.  It took me a long time to realize that my finances are more important than giving a friend business.

We traded my daughter’s car which had been in my name. She drives a lot for her business and she found a used Prius with low mileage. Because of two no-fault accidents, the value of her car was lower, but with her mileage reimbursements, it was a good deal.  We paid the balance due to my father’s estate for the car she was driving, and she got a down payment for her ‘new-to-her’ car.

Life is good, but filled with complications.  I am planning to meet those challenges head-on!

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Image: Kevin Jaako, via Flickr

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