June 12, 2011

What If? - Case No. 7 - Unplanned Expenses all at Once

After your children go to bed on a Saturday evening, you and your husband sit down at the dining room table to go over all of your finances.  You have no money in savings and you carry quite a bit of credit card debt along with car loans.  You have both decided that no matter what it takes, you must get out of debt and get money into savings for an emergency fund.  You are concerned about the future and want to make sure you are prepared if either of you should lose your job. 

Money is tight, but you know that if you cut out all of the extras such as eating out, stop all recreation shopping and make up a meal plan you will be able to pay down debt and put money into savings.  You have a plan and are determined to "work the plan."  That was Saturday. 

Sunday morning you wake up to hear a hissing noise coming from the basement followed by a loud bang.  The bottom of your water heater has rusted through and water is leaking everywhere.  You have no choice to replace it.  But how will you pay for it?

Monday morning you go to fill up your car with gasoline and you realize that gas has now gone up 10 cents a gallon and is almost $4.00 a gallon.

On Wednesday your 15 year old son calls you at work after he gets home from school.  The family pet dog got loose and was hit by a car.  A neighbor has taken the dog to the family vet.  The dog will need surgery if he is to survive. 

As you drive to the Vet clinic you start to cry not only because of the dog but also because of the cost of the gas and the cost to replace the hot water heater.  "What's the use?" you tell yourself.  As you pull in front of the Vet's office, you lean your head against the steering wheel and wonder how you are going to get out of debt and put money into savings when you have just taken three steps backward.

What do you do?


Julie said...

my first priority would be to deal with the vet bill. the dog would be more important to me than having to water. only after that, i'd start thinking about how to deal with the other dramas. but that's just me.

The Headstrong Housewife! said...

boy you sound like me! We haven't had oil for two weeks, and it looks like another week will go by before we are able to get any. It seems no matter what we do we get further and further behind.

Sharon said...

Hmmmm, I think I would first take a couple of Vitamin V's (V=valium). That is some scenario you painted here...YIKES!

This can be very discouraging, and actually I've been in this situation before. (Well, not exactly the same, but similar). I ended up using cc's to get me through, and then I would set up a plan to get it paid down as quickly as possible. The key is small, baby steps.