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So Close, Yet So Far

May 14th, 2013 at 08:54 pm

We are so, so close to our credit card debt payoff. Only $1482 more to go! (Not counting the new fridge, as discussed). Our expected payoff date is June 7th but the closer we get, the more things that seem to be creeping up. Frown Our printer has stopped working, and our router is acting up and has to be restarted multiple times a day. We have 3 medical bills that came in at once and only enough money in the HSA for 2 of them (even after setting up payment plans). Our family car's air conditioner seems to need recharging. We have a plumbing issue with the water line to our new fridge. And to top it all off, we just found out our home has moderately high levels (6.2 pCi/L) of radon gas (common in this area) and that we need to install a mitigation system, which is going to run about $1600. We have $1000 in our emergency fund.

Hubby is chomping at the bit for the new lap top he's been promised when our last credit card is taken care of. And it would really help him with the side job he does that has helped pay down this debt faster. I don't think he's going to take no for an answer again if we have to push that last payment off a bit longer. But I really don't want to add anything else to credit. We need to take care of the new fridge still as it is.

I'm trying to decide what we can put off, and what we must do. I never pay bills late, so I think I will have an anxiety attack if I don't take care of the dental bill. Though I am going to call tomorrow and beg for a later due date (sad). As long as we don't start hitting 90's constantly it seems like we should be able to squeak by on the car's air conditioner for another month or so. My 2 year old boys sure looked hot back there today though. They were so flushed I was worried about over heating.

If hubby is going to demand the lap top then maybe he will have to wait on the fridge water line instead. We managed to get water from the sink for the last how many years. Shouldn't kill us to go a little longer. Hopefully we can figure out what's wrong with the printer and as long as the router doesn't completely die, we can deal with restarting it constantly a month or so longer. The radon mitigation system is the one that has me stuck though.

My daughter's bedroom is in the basement where the concentration is the highest. If she hadn't just gotten home for the summer from college then I think we would definitely put this off a few months. But she is home, and she sleeps down there (well, when she's not at her boyfriend's at least.) Long term exposure to radon increases your chances of lung cancer. 3 months isn't really that long of exposure (though this must have been a problem before too). To be honest, her risk of getting colon cancer from not eating any fruits and vegetables is probably higher, but I just don't feel good about it. Whether or not we take care of that right away though will probably be the difference between finishing the debt payoff in June or not.

Need to have a discussion with hubby I think. Hopefully one that entails more problem solving than whining.

7 Responses to “So Close, Yet So Far”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    I'd take care of that radon gas problem, pronto.

    It is a bummer to be so close and have several expenses pop up at once. Even so, you're making great progress. Smile

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    I was also just going to say too that the radon gas should be #1 priority. Forget the laptop for now; it worries me when you say hubby may not take no for an answer and is "demanding" a laptop and "whining." You both need to be on the same page. Seems like you're in the unfortunate position of having to play the bad guy and telling him he can't have his toys. He needs to understand that there are multiple competing needs in the house and that maybe the laptop is not the most important. I think doing everything you can to ensure your daughter's s long-term health is, again, far more important than a laptop.

    Great progress on the debt!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    I would look get other estimates for radon mitigation. Hopefully, you can find a less expensive option. Use your EF, plus credit if necessary to get this taken care of.

    I would definitely put off the fridge plumbing issue. Sounds like just a convenience issue.

    Used laptop? Something improved over what you have now, but something that might tide you over until you can upgrade. Although, I think another month or two would be worth the wait.

    Wait on the A/C...maybe even for the full summer. Spend as little time in the car as possible. Always have water with you and maybe buy the kids a battery operated fan for a few dollars.

    The medical debt...just keep making small payments (even $10) and communicate them to the billing office, until you can get to a place where you can pay in full.

  4. ohsuzannah Says:

    Try freecycle for the printer and/or router. People give away perfectly good items on there all the time.

  5. annereese76 Says:

    Met with someone on Wed. to get a radon mitigation system estimate. Have another person coming in a week and a half. We'll probably end up using the emergency fund for most of it and adding about $500 to a no interest credit offer for the rest that we'll pay off in July. Our current final credit card is accumulating interest right now, so think I we need to pay that off first still. Three more weeks and we should be done!

    As for hubby, yes, he is a reluctant but compliant participant. He makes most all the money and I keep track of it and tell him how I think we should spend it. He grumbles because he feels he never has enough fun money, but he usually goes along with my desires because he knows I'm right to be planning for our future. I do wish I could feel more like we're on the same team. And it's not like we haven't had that discussion a number of times before. But alas, he finds frugality more difficult than I do and I cannot change him. I think it will get easier for him once we are building up instead of digging out. But as long as he generally accepts my financial plans, I chose not to let this difference between us be too much of an issue. Though I do like using this blog to vent sometimes. Wink

  6. annereese76 Says:

    Also, hubby seems to have gotten the router working again and the dental office changed my due date to July 5th. Now we just need to get the printer sorted out. Some cooler weather is coming up in the forecast for the next week or so too so we shouldn't be too miserable without AC yet. And the boys like having the windows down. Smile

  7. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    For now, do you have the ability to simply put an exhaust fan in a basement window (maybe you have a window in basement?) and keep a door open to the upstairs so that more ventilated air from upstairs will be drawn into the basement to "wash through" the basement air?

    Car A/C: We found Big Lots has been selling pressurized cans of auto-A/C gas for $6-8 the last few years. Very easy to re-charge yourself. Many people do it without a pressure gauge, but to be safe you can buy one at an auto parts shops for about $20. You can, of course, buy the refrigerant there as well. At least one national chain store like that will have an employee pop out to the parking lot to show you how to do it, if you ask. And it's easy. Wink

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