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Let There Be Air!!!!

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Happy August!

The kids are officially back to school and we’ve finally got our air back on!!!

In all, we were without A/C in 110+ degree weather for nearly 2 weeks. Thankfully, we’ve got our air back on (running at full throttle! lol) and doing great!

A/C Repair Costs

The “adventure” wasn’t as costly as it could have been if we didn’t have warranties on the parts, but it still cost a pretty penny.

  • A/C repair: $1200 (this was the cash discount price)
  • 2 window A/C units: $250
  • Total: $1450

I didn’t include the two nights in a hotel because my mom ended up graciously paying to cover those nights away. It was a great staycation and chance for a “time out” before developing a longer term game plan (with input from you guys – thanks for the recommendations to get window units!) I have another friend whose A/C went out at the same time and required a full replacement. She got hers fixed in 2 days (versus 2 weeks!!!), but she ended up spending $10,000!!!! Do they finance that stuff? If we’d had to do a total replacement I honestly do not know where we’d get the money?! We don’t even have $10,000 of available credit on credit cards so it’d HAVE to be some type of financing situation, right?? Scary thought.

Surviving the Heat

To survive, we stayed out of the house for much of the days. The girls were in camp 3/week for the month of July (the month of June we had them home full-time). So we’d send them to camp and I’d go to work, or when they were home we’d all go to the library or the indoor mall play area, etc. etc. I tried to plan crock-pot meals, or I would cook first thing in the morning (while the house was still cooler) and then save everything in the fridge. At meal-times, I’d just re-heat in the microwave so I wouldn’t heat up the entire kitchen. Food quality wasn’t as great, but you do what you gotta do. It wasn’t fun, but we survived.

Financial Evaluation

This whole situation has really put our finances front-and-center in the minds’ eye. It’s crazy that a $1450 situation had to be such a crisis (I mean…the heat played a role in seeing it as a “crisis”, too). But only eighteen months ago, a $1450 problem would have only been an inconvenience, not a crisis. We really let things get away from us, financially speaking.

I’m spending some time today writing up a full August budget and figuring out ways to continue saving again. I’ve been putting savings on the back-burner in favor of paying more toward debt but what good is it when a crisis comes up and we have to use debt again to cover our butts because we have no cash on-hand??? It’s a vicious cycle we’ve got to escape from.

What do you use and/or recommend for an Emergency Fund? I think I’d like to shoot for at least a thousand dollars in a dedicated EF, but I’ve also done separate savings in the past for specific things (e.g., semi-annual bills, car repairs/maintenance, etc.) and I’d like to do that too….. so maybe $1,000 in EF + other specific savings categories?

 

 


Hope’s Debt Update – July, 2018

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You can see my June debt update here. My business continues to grow, which I am very grateful for.

Creditor
Balance

(as of 10/14/17)
Interest
Min. Payment
Student Loans$34,4852.88%$0 (income based deferment)
Car$6,4907.00%$308 (pay $92 extra every month)
Credit Card$3,78217.00%$36
Collections 3 (Ex-husband)$4,7076.25%$246
Collections 2 (Apartment)$499$0
Self Lender$19410.57%$97
Total$50,157$687

While my plan was to finish paying off my Self Lender account and then the credit card, I got ahead of myself and put all my extra towards the credit card. This month I’m committed to getting rid of the Self Lender payment. That will free up $97 per month.

School Starts

Not much else going on. School starts Thursday. I’m adding $80 to my budget each for Princess to purchase lunch at school. Gymnast’ school provides free breakfast and lunch to all students so I don’t have to worry about him. I told Princess when she runs out of money, she will have to pack a lunch. I felt this was a good compromise. (New budget coming soon.)

I’m ready for school to start. These last couple of week’s have been hard to handle with balancing all the in and out for Princess volleyball and work commitments. Having a regular schedule will really help.

Trip to Virginia

We will drive up to Virginia in a couple of weeks to bring Sea Cadet home from his summer camp job. We will get to spend a day with History Buff while we are there. I’m really excited. (And sorry if this is not new news, I cannot remember if I wrote about this plan.)

Sea Cadet at Summer Camp

Sea Cadet at Summer Camp

Gymnastics Update

Well, there is one big piece of news. I have compromised on Gymnast continuation in gymnastic’s training. He’s been out for 2 1/2 months now. And despite time to think about the free time he would have, trying another sport and so on, he is at committed as ever to returning to gymnastics.

I am committed to making better financial decisions. I will write more about this piece of news later.

Right now, I’m feeling good about my progress with my debt payoff for this month. It feels good.

Were you able to make it through the summer without blowing the budget? What changes do you make to your budget for the school year versus the summer?