Our refrigerator died today. I sat down to work on my planner but I first made myself a cup of coffee. I poured some milk into it and noticed that the milk was sour. I had just bought that milk. I checked the fridge and I immediately knew it was too warm and some things had already spoiled. So much for spending time working on my planner. I had to figure out what I was going to do about getting a new refrigerator.
It wasn't really a surprise as our refrigerator is 22 years old, but I had hoped that it would make it through until Christmas when we would have the money saved up. I should be thankful for great craftmanship as this old fridge never needed a repair and never gave us any trouble, until this morning.
We are kinda caught right now betwix and between with our finances. In other words, we are doing some creative financing.
We have to replace our roof this summer. We have signed a contract with a contractor, the shingles have been selected and are sitting in our driveway and the workers should arrive this week to get the job done. The price - $13,500. We do not have $13,500 in our savings account. So, we refinanced our house and took out an additional $13,000 to pay for the roof. We refinanced to pay the house off sooner than before even including the additional loan amount. How did this happen? A very low 3.75% fixed rate. I didn't want to borrow money, but it was necessary.
Now for the fridge. I was able to get a decent deal - 18.5 cubit foot fridge for $550 with a $50 rebate as it is an Energy Star appliance. It is strictly no frills. By no frills, it is a refrigerator without an ice maker or water dispenser and it is white. This is perfectly fine with me. I don't have the money right now to pay for it but will at the end of the month. This means I will be putting this purchase on a credit card and will pay it off at the end of the month and will therefore not have any interest to pay.
We paid off our car in July. The $300 that would have been used to pay for that car payment was going into savings, but will now go to pay for the fridge. The $250 balance will come from basic grocery shopping and eating from the freezer and pantry.
Once we weather this major purchase, we should be able to start to really put a good sum in savings each month. My husband's truck is paid off in October and that will add more money to savings.
So, what then? Buy some stuff that has been on my wish list? No, no, no. If anything, we have worked hard to pay off bills and I am not going to "reward myself" by going out and buying some stuff that will only bring temporary happiness. I want to see my bank account grow. That is what will bring me happiness.
For any of you who read my blog and are going through a financial crisis, you may read this and think "wow that is great, but that is a far off dream of mine to get a car paid off and put money into savings." Take heart. I was where you are a few years ago. It takes time, persistance and a lot of prayer along the way to make it happen.
So, tomorrow I will get back to my planning day and will post what I do to try to keep my life organized and in balance. Also, I will post more from Amy Dacyczyn's Tightwad Gazette III. You see Amy's advice isn't just for those who are going through tough times, it is for anyone who wants to stretch every penny, dime, dollar so that they can meet their financial goals.
If you are going through some tough financial times, don't look at my situation and envy where I am at, remember it hasn't always been like this for us. We have been through many tough financial times over the course of our 30 year marriage. I know what it is like to get so discouraged over not having enough money to pay the bills and having to put a major car repair on a credit card because we don't have the money. I know what it feels like to go to bed and not be able to sleep or worse yet wake up in the middle of the night with worry.
Nothing is hopeless, you can dig your way out, it is just that you may need a small miracle along the way. It can happen.