Debt #3 Down. 1 More to Go!

Happy New Year!Image

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy March!

Now that I’ve caught up with you, let me fill you in on what’s been happening with the Belle family.

Debt # 3 has been Absolutely conquered. The car is ours. We are yet to receive our Bill of Sale (a certificate of transfer of personal property) in the mail. When we do, it will be official!

Are we excited? Yes we are.

Why? Because we are one debt closer to achieving other financial goals.

Did this happen overnight? No.

Did it require a lot of hard work? Yes.

Did it require a lot of sacrifice? Becoming debt free comes with a price.

Will it be worth it in the long run? Oh yes it will.

Lesson Learnt: Being debt free unlocks the door to financial possibilities.

Everyday Finance

It Pays to Have Insurance

On October 30th, I was on my way to an investment seminar. Seeing that I am in the financial field,  I always seek out opportunities to learn more.

I was close to town when it happened. I heard a loud BOOM! I thought I had ran over a juice box, because I remembered that’s the noise that was made when the boys in my class stepped on one of those.

I looked at the engine temperature gauge and saw it steadily rising. I was like no this cannot be happening!  Not again. The joys of maintaining an aging car.

Thankfully I was near a car park and pulled right in. As soon I drove in, the car could not function anymore. It was basically done. I got out of the car, popped the hood and saw coolant everywhere.

I proceeded to call my husband and let him know what happened. He was not happy and could not leave his work to come to the rescue. I was a little annoyed. Remember, I was late for my investment forum. I always like to be on time.

But wisdom prevailed. He said, call the rescue team, their number should be on the windshield. I said, yes that made sense, because when you run into any issues, your insurance company encourages you to contact their road assistance team.

I called the number and the gentleman answered promptly. Thankfully he was five minutes away. He soon pulled in and sprang into action.

He popped the hood and pointed out to me what had really happened. Here I’ll show you.

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There was a crack in the radiator.

So you know what that meant..Repairs! He asked for our insurance information. I gave him the booklet. He then called a tow truck to collect our car.

Sigh, I thought had to pay this guy now.

My husband told him where our mechanic was located and things were organised pretty swiftly. The tow guy finally arrived and motioned for me to sign. I asked him how much will it cost. He looked at me all surprised. He indicated I didn’t need to pay. I was so relieved. Our budget would have been definitely strained.

The nice guy dropped me to my seminar after that eventful episode. I thanked him for his help. I was really impressed with his service. Hi Brook!

Lesson Learnt: Be prepared for anything. Ensure your insurance is paid in full.

Everyday Finance

Two Down, Two to Go

Yesterday, I went to a financial institution to clear another debt.

countdownI had $350 ($175 USD) in my purse to make the payment. I couldn’t remember the amount at that time. I gave my id to the teller and he politely asked me how could he be of assistance.

I just handed the money to him without saying a word. I completely forgot state my intentions. I guess I was pretty excited!

I told him I would like to pay the remaining balance on my loan. He told me the balance was $327.24 ($163.62 USD). I wanted to take the change from my transaction, but then it occurred to me, save it. I told him to place it on my account.

So another debt has been brought to the slaughter. Hip Hip Horaayy!

Onto the next one.

Lesson Learnt: It is possible to develop the habit of saving while your paying your debts.

Everyday Finance

 

Debt #1 Down!

First of all. I am sorry. It’s been such a long while since I have been blogging.

To make up for blogs lost, I have good news. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

You would remember my family and I had committed to paying off our debts.

Well, as of recent, we made a trip to the bank and paid off the first loan we were repaying for the past five years.

The teller told me after I completed that transaction, you are free as a bird.

You don’t know the relief I felt as we walked out of the bank.

Do you know what this means?!

We are one step closer to accomplish our financial plan. The sooner we are rid of debt, the faster we can tend to our other goals.

I hope this brightens your day!

P.S: I have switched from a credit card to a debit card. It is just as effective as a credit card and better. I pay no interest.

Lesson Learnt: It takes work and patience to pay off debts.

Everyday Finance

Valentine’s Night

In my last blog, I shared how we dealt with a surprise on Valentine’s Day. (https://moneymatterswithmelinda.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/valentines-surprise/)

I bet you’re a bit curious about how we spent Valentine’s Night. Well I’ll share with you.valentine's

Our church’s marriage ministry had a night planned for all married persons. It was entitled, “The Things We do for Love”. That night we did not have our car, because we had to leave it at the mechanic overnight. So one of our friends picked us up and took us there. (Thank you Coswin!)

My husband was the DJ for the night so we had to be there. That was not the only reason to be there, but you get where I am coming from.

The moment we walked it was absolutely Breathtaking.  The lights were dimmed. They were tables suitable for standing and eating only and there was room for the dance floor.

Man it was an Awesome night. Some persons won instant prizes. A couple won a prize for being bold enough to show some moves on the dance floor and oh the food was Fantastic! Let’s not forget the music. Great job Honey!

My husband and I connected of course. It was really a grand time!

Guess how much money we spent that night?

Zero.

Lesson Learnt: Celebrations need not be costly!

Everyday Finance

 

Valentine’s Surprise!

On Thursday I had to go to the supermarket. My husband reversed, parked the car and waited for me outside. I returned and he turned on the ignition…well tried.

It was the strangest thing. The car was still in reverse. I thought to myself, but didn’t you leave it in park.

My husband called the mechanic and he concluded that the cable connected to the transmission had deteriorated.  We had to call the wrecker and thankfully we didn’t have to tow the car. The wrecker guy simply asked us to pop the hood and manipulated the car to drive.

To make a long story short, we made it to the mechanic and left the car for repair overnight. He said the job might cost us $400 BBD ($200 USD), but to our surprise, he called us the next day and said it cost $225 BBD (112.50 USD).

Fortunate thing for us, we had set up an emergency fund. It did not take a big bite out of our budget.

Lesson Learnt: Always save for a rainy day! 

Everyday Finance

Communication is Key

If you plan to be married in the near future or you are already married, you will learn or will have learned that communication is key. It is one of the many ingredients to a successful marriage. It is definitely one of ours.

In our earlier years together, discussions about money often led to misunderstandings. We did employ budgeting to manage our money effectively, but we did not communicate regularly about the status of our budget.

I often assumed that he knew where we stood. I expected he, like me, would be checking and updating our budget on a regular basis.

I later learned that being detailed was not one of his strengths, so I took on full responsibility for communicating such. It was definitely my strength.

On Tuesday, my husband went to the bank to deposit and withdraw money. He wanted to know how much he could take to put gas in the car. I dutifully updated our budget and let him know where we stood. He withdrew the money and did what he had to do.

Lesson Learnt: Communication is the antidote for misunderstandings!

Everyday Finance