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Posts tagged with: cash

When You are Desperate for Cash…


As soon as my husband and I received our paychecks a week ago, I wrote a check for $1,000 to Toyota. If I don’t pay this chunk immediately, I miraculously find ways to spend it on anything other than debt reduction.

The VERY NEXT DAY, the electrical went out in our garage. My husband said he was more than willing to prolong repairing it but couldn’t because he thought it was ‘potentially life threatening’ blah, blah, blah.

I offered to avoid the garage area, the open electrical box, and the live wires near the light switch but for some reason, he didn’t trust me to remember not to touch the switch while hungrily running to the garage freezer for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s – plus, there was some mention of a ‘potential fire hazard’.

The cost of the repairs? $150.

The amount of cash in our account? $162.

The amount of food in our fridge? None.

Our grocery budget funded the repairs.

It’s times like these, we are supposed to dive into our emergency fund. Electrical/housing/safety problem definitely qualifies as an EMERGENCY but for some reason, I can’t touch that cash without feeling uneasy.

Instead, I looked around my house for something to sell.

My eyes fell on a lamp, still in the box with a receipt taped to the top, which I purchased 2 weeks ago. The lamp in our living room broke and all we have is a fixture with a bare bulb. I bought a $40 floor lamp from Target to replace it but felt uneasy about spending money so I left it in the box while I debated it.

While I stood in the returns line to get back some cold hard cash for groceries, my sister called. When she asked what I was doing, I told her I was returning a lamp for grocery money.

You know you’ve reached a certain consistent level of crazy when your sister doesn’t hiccup over the above statement and simply says, “Cool. Anyway, are you coming to mom and dad’s today?”

Losing Income…


One of our roommates is moving out on September 1st. We set aside money to cover the loss of rent for the month so we’re still on schedule. I was looking forward to having a quiet month with some alone time with my husband but it looks like I’ll be serenaded by the sounds of hammers and saws. We are using this time to tear down an interior wall between our bedroom and the guest bedroom to add insulation and soundproofing before the new roommate moves in at the end of September. If I want alone time with my man, I’ll have to throw on a hard hat, a ratty t-shirt, and an old pair of jeans. You can count me in whenever sledge hammers are involved.

I’m fortunate to be married to a hardworking construction genius who can do the work himself (plus, my husband looks irresistible in safety goggles). We only have to pay for the materials which should run about $100.

Why are we insulating? Our house was built in the 1950’s and no insulation was used on any interior or exterior walls. Our heating and cooling bills are much higher than they need to be. The initial expense of the upgrade will be quickly paid for in lower electric bills plus, it’s better for the environment. And… our new roommates are newlyweds – that’s reason enough in itself.

It always seems like when we have an opportunity to get ahead, the necessities of life burn through the cash. Between tuition costs, new dog vet bills, and the two weddings, we have had to pony up more than $3,000 in the last two months.

These expenses would have buried us in the past, but careful planning and frugal spending have kept our heads above water.