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Thursday, April 16, 2015

When Money is Tight - Part 1

Last August 2014 when I returned home from vacation, I had a huge budget hit.

In my cleaning business, I have 2 customers who make up more then 50% of my income. One of those customers had to quit because they were having some financial problems. They quit when I returned from a vacation costing several thousand dollars. Not only quitting, her check bounced from the last cleaning I did. 

Not only was that bad, the other customer told me that they were getting a divorce. 

Within a week, I found out that I was going to lose more then 50% of my income. 

I started working hard on getting more customers added to my business, to replace the 1st customer who quit. I also have been looking at other ways to earn money.

I still had several months until the other customers divorce was final.

That first month was a huge struggle. 

To be able to pay each bill I had to buckle down and make a very detailed budget and I had to watch ever cent that left my purse. 

I looked at all of my debt and tried to figure out how I could pay it off with the situation I was in.

I was really struggling and was sad that I wasn't working harder on becoming debt free before then. 

Over the years I've started and quit several budgeting programs. I haven't done terrible. 

In the past few years I've:
 Purchase 2 cars with cash
Helped Brady with college - Brady is a junior now and we've only borrowed $2000 in student loans
Furnished Brady's apartment
I went on a great vacation to Puerto Vallarta, first vacation in years and first time using a passport
Bought a new Kitchen table
New patio furniture
Helped my children out financially when needed
All done with cash

My debt has gone down 50% during this time, but it isn't down enough to make me feel comfortable to lose 50% of my income.

I found 2 new customers, but lost another one because she went into a nursing home. I'm not where I was in August financially, but I'm doing OK.

I have really cut back on as much as possible. I've eaten off of food storage. I checked around on my car insurance and was able to reduce it from $217 a month to $133.50 with the same coverage. I was able to reduce my health insurance going to Obama Care instead of a private insurance. I've cut where I could.

Since August, I've reduced my debt another 50%. I've paid off 3 debts and only have 2 left. I am putting everything I can toward paying off those 2 credit cards before my other customers divorce is final. 

I'm hoping to have those completely gone in a couple of months and have no debt besides my house.

My goal was to be debt free before I lose the customer getting a divorce and they sell their home and part ways. I may have longer then I thought - hopefully until this fall. Anyway, I'm praying for that. 

I'm still trying to build my business, but if I don't I'm in a better position to being able to make it.
At least I won't be financially ruined, which is a great thing.

Part 2 here

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