FUNDING strategies

My plumber has come and gone, once again my house is fully heated, and I’m $190 poorer. I have $50 in my checking account, but I get paid tomorrow and it’s not a mortgage week, so, with a little luck and restraint, I’ll still be in the black two weeks from now.

My Mac desktop turns 5 in December, and, well, you know what that means. I insist on a Mac, and this time I will likely insist on a laptop as well, so I won’t be chained to my desk. I will buy it reconditioned if I can’t get a good discount. It will need expensive software – not because I make money off of it, as I used to do when I freelanced and could take a tax deduction – but because I have two friends for whom I do a little work for free, and because I like to keep my hand in it.

The engine on my car is slowly dying. When I asked my mechanic when it would give out, his response was, “At the worst possible time – probably when it’s snowing and 10 below zero.” So, after the first of the year, I’ll be shopping for a used car.

This summer I insulated my house, and even though the gas company paid for a good chunk of it, I still spent thousands of dollars. It should pay for itself – in seven or eight years.

Still, I have a beautiful little house that’s worth more than I owe on it. It’s in a nice neighborhood and – as I discovered tonight – has an $800 toilet in the downstairs bathroom (it came with the house – who knew?). I have a good, if sometimes frustrating, job that allowed me to buy the house, and with some help from credit will eventually pay for my new used car and my new used computer.

I have a closet full of clothes that are quite nice, and it doesn’t bother me that 90 percent of them were once owned by someone else.

I have a pretty comfortable existence, and I recognize that I’m way better off than a whole lot of other folks. I save where I can, I spend where I think it’s important, and I try to keep the bills paid. I hope that my paltry home equity line will compensate for the anemic balance in my savings account. And I pray that disaster doesn’t strike. Which of us isn’t just an illness or a layoff away from financial calamity?

I’m a lucky woman. Fingers crossed that I stay that way.


About Mindy

I am divorced, no kids, working full-time in corporate communications. There are never enough hours in my day, mostly because I insist on hygiene, food, exercise and clean dishes. Really, how do women with kids do it?!?
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