Personal Finances and Technology

5 Reasons to use Cash instead of Credit in an Emergency

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to use CA$H in an emergency instead of a credit card? Do you have butterflies every time something unexpected comes up, as you reach for your credit card?

There are many reasons to have cash built up:

  1.   loss of a job
  2.   major car repair
  3.   major home repair
  4.   sickness
  5.   travel for funeral etc.

Those are REAL emergencies and there are many more that we can’t always think of.

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What is a ‘Thumb drive’?

There are many names for thumb drive, including usb key, pocket drive, memory stick, data stick, pen drive, jump drive, and maybe some others. This device can be thought of just like a file cabinet. It’s a place to store digital files of any kind. It can be accessed by any device that has a usb port. These are both usb ports on a computer. The blue one is a ‘super speed’.

A thumb drive is like having a file cabinet in your pocket. You can put any type of file that you want to save and/or transport on it. As you can see, there are many different thumb drives. They either have a cover over the usb end, or they swing out from inside. In the first picture they are ‘closed, in the second picture they are opened, ready to insert into your computer, or any other device with a usb port.

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Credit Cards – Uncommon sense

How many credit cards do you have in your wallet?

We have been conditioned (brainwashed) into thinking credit cards are a good idea. “Oh I only use it for emergencies,” is a common expression. Isn’t an emergency the worst time to go into debt? If you’re using a credit card in an emergency, that means you don’t have the cash, which means you’ll go into debt for this emergency. This is a downward spiral for many people. 38% of people with credit cards carry a balance from month to month, incurring hundreds or thousands of dollars of interest.

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Is my password ‘out there?”

Don’t be alarmed if you get an email with the subject “your-email: password” (insert YOUR email and YOUR password). It may be your email and you may recognize the password. “Don’t be alarmed??” you exclaim! In all likelihood, it’s a VERY old password. It may still linger on some websites that you don’t use any longer. THESE ARE WELL KNOWN ’email scare tactics’. But even if you haven’t changed passwords in years, this is not real. Well … let me explain.

At times there have been huge security leaks. Think “Adobe’, ‘PayPal’, ‘Ebay‘, ‘Yahoo’, ‘Linked In’, ‘MySpace’. There are actual databases (files of information) with email addresses, passwords and other personal information that was gleaned from the leaks mentioned above. Spammers access these ‘publicly available’ files to spam and scare the heck out of us.

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Your Financial House 

Before you do anything, make sure these areas are taken care of:  Food, Utilities, Mortgage/Rent, Transportation. If you are behind on any of these, then don’t pay ANYTHING else until these BASIC NECESSITIES are current. Here is an outline of a very first, very basic budget, or spending plan:

  • Income
    • Paycheck(s)
    • Other income
  • Expenses
    • Food
    • Electric
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Mortgage/Rent
    • Car payment
    • Car insurance
    • Car fuel
    • Phone

If you have money left over, hurray, you can start your journey. If there is no money left over, you may want to ditch an expensive car, try to lower your car insurance, move, get a better job or another job. YOU MUST DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THIS, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!! (a saying by DR to drill home the severity of your problem). If you are behind in some of these areas also, negotiate a repayment plan. Other creditors will not be happy, but they can wait. They will threaten you, send nasty letters and whine a lot, but you HAVE to eat, have a dwelling, lights, heat, hot water, and a way to get to a job.

There is hope if you start being mindful and don’t stay stuck. Write down everything you spend money on and you may find something that you forgot about that you don’t need. You have to be brutal and realistic. Most important is that you cannot ignore it and go on being broke. You might want to look for a better or another job. Is there something you can do in your neighborhood to earn extra money? Maybe there is some stuff in your house that you can sell. Is your rent or mortgage more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay? That IS a problem. How much is your car payment? Maybe your car is ‘eating your lunch’, literally.

The point here is to get in the game and DO SOMETHING. You can do THIS!

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