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Be Prepared Financially and in Life

Another historical piece from when the economy was in the crapper (2008), and I was unemployed (not a high time in my life).

The Boy Scouts motto is very topical for this week in my life, you should always be prepared (or as prepared as you can be) for the “knuckleballs” that life may throw at you.

Click, Click, buzz….

This was the noise that my wife’s van made on Wednesday when I went out to start it. It kept making those noises even after I had taken the key out of the ignition, which really freaked me out. Luckily I called my mechanic who said it sounded like one of the cells in my battery had gone and my 12 Volt battery was now a 4 Volt battery. The little I know about electrical components in cars (especially a lot of the computer based stuff) this is NOT a good thing, and a bad battery can cause damage to a lot of VERY expensive components, so I was very worried what might come of this.

The nice man from the CAA showed up at my house, asked what year my car was and what the problem was. He was confident it was the battery, because he told me that any time he rolls up and it is an ’01 or ’02 year car that won’t start, if it still has it’s original battery, it is the battery! Luckily we were able to jump start the van and it stayed running. 

I was able to drive the Van to my mechanic who did a quick diagnostic on it, to make sure nothing in the control systems had been fried, replaced the battery and $250 later, I had a functioning van and a new battery.

Given I am living on my severance, this was not an expense I needed or wanted, but unfortunately it needed to be repaired. 

This Week in Personal Finances

My wife and I sat down and mapped out what to do with the lump of money we have so far from my severance (another block appears on January 1), the following financial actions were taken:

  • All bills for this month were paid (can’t hide from those). Pay things that cause heat to be turned off, lights to be turned off and water to be turned off (i.e. The Rule of No Turn Off Bills)
  • All short term debt vehicles were paid off (credit cards, and an unsecured line of credit), thus leaving only the Mortgage as a debt that must be serviced. This was a decision that may or may not be correct, simply servicing the short term debt and holding onto more money now, may be the right decision, but remember Debt Makes Me Sick, which is the reason this decision was made.
  • Remaining moneys were dispersed to a Short Term savings vehicle (money market fund), a Higher Interest Savings account (shorter term savings) and an amount was left in the chequing account (you remember the one that has already had money defrauded out of it).

We have a plan, but the plan is missing one or two important parts:

  • What does an unemployed Christmas look like? We are talking about it, we just don’t know right now, what it will be like and what we are going to do (all suggestions apreciated).
  • The TFSA is going to be where money will go on January 1st, since that seems an obvious place to put a block of money for short or longer term saving.
  • Have we planned enough, and is our plan sound? This one we will only know about in about six months.

Job hunting continues at a frustrating pace, but a Major Economic downturn is not the best time to be looking for a job either. I remain optimistic, but if anyone is looking for a VoIP Network Architect, Product Manager, IP Video Expert, a Telecomm Systems Analyst or Senior Network Analyst, please drop me a line as well. No I have not figured out how to make this Blog big enough to live on yet either.

Enjoy the Autumn folks and have a great weekend.

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