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Let There Be Air!!!!


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?



Ways to Pay for Emergency Expenses


Most of us will have a sudden expense at some point. For example, the car or air conditioner may break down. We may be hit with a huge medical bill. Dealing with an unexpected expense can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways that you can deal with unexpected expenses.

Use Your Emergency Fund

It is always a good idea to have extra money put away for unexpected expenses. If you have a savings account then you should use it to pay for a sudden expense. An emergency fund can make it a lot easier to deal with an unplanned event.

Personal Loan

If you do not have enough in your savings account to pay for the expense, then you may want to take out a personal loan. The requirements for getting a personal loan can vary from lender to lender. While a checking account and a source of income are usually enough to look for fast installment loans online with success, banks will want to see an excellent credit history and high credit score on top of these other qualifiers.

Credit Card

If you have a credit card, then you can use it to cover your expense. However, you should make sure that you pay off the credit card as soon as possible. Many credit card companies charge high interest rates.

Sell or Pawn Your Belongings

If you have things in your home that you no longer need, then you can make money by getting rid of them. You can sell them or pawn them. If you take your items to the pawn shop, then you will be able to get your items back if you pay the pawn shop back.

Sell Plasma

Selling plasma allows you to make money and save lives at the same time. You can make anywhere from $25 to $75 by donating plasma. You can donate twice a week. It can take up to two hours for you to donate plasma. You will have to fill out a lot of paperwork and undergo a physical exam in order to sell plasma.

Dog Walking or Pet Sitting

If you love animals, then you can make money by pet sitting or dog walking. There are a number of websites that will let you set up a profile as well as guides to dog walking to help get started. People who are looking for a dog sitter or dog walking will look through the profiles.

You can start working shortly after you are approved. You will likely be able to start earning money within one or two weeks of setting up your profile.

Borrow Money From Family Members and Friends

This should be a last resort. It can be humiliating to have to ask for money. However, it may be your only option. Make sure that you let the person know that it will be a one-time thing. You should also let them know that you will pay them back. Most people will not mind lending money if they can trust you to pay it back.

Additionally, you can offer to do a favor for them in exchange for money. For example, you can watch their children, clean up their house or do yard work for them.