Only Child sums up year end

Only Child optimistic about 2012

The cupboards, fridge, freezer and root cellar are full but my bank accounts are almost bare. True there are a couple of Christmas cheques to deposit but it has been a very rough month. One client messed up on paying me for work done last month and I’m still waiting for the cheque. And the expenses kept rolling in. I’ve had to reach back to my childhood when my mother ruled as queen of the family budget to try and find some tips on getting through this month and into 2012. What I’ve learned is that’s it is only part “hereditary” but a lot of what I’m doing comes from ideas picked up over the years plus using my own skills. A good dose of persistence doesn’t hurt. However, I also found that sometimes yelling out there (read “God “or “Universe” or whatever) for “help” does get positive results. The surprise is, not what I anticipated, but maybe better.

Throughout the month I’ve found myself repeating a version of my mother’s budget process – except unlike her I don’t have a partner to consult. It’s only “me, myself, and I” – the trio of one. So, late at night (several nights) I was still up, calculating and re-calculating “income/cash on hand and expenses.” The situation changed frequently with a mess up in my gas bill (twice), two other utility bills arrived (I expected the water but not the hydro until the beginning of January). My business insurance was due January 1 (which means pay by December 31). My glasses payment was due and it looked like what I’d saved for that would have to pay other bills. The list went on and on. I put on my dual consumer/business hat and got to work on the phone, the Internet and e-mail. It turns out the glasses payment is next month – if I’d have known my statement date vis-a-vis the date of purchase, I could have figured that out myself. Some Internet research and a phone call got my business insurance placed on a credit card (payment not due til the end of January). Then I received an unexpected Christmas cheque; a new client (to start work in January), and notice of a settlement, possibly for late January.

I still haven’t received the delinquent client’s cheque and I still have a credit card payment (small amount) due later this week. But I’ve learned several somethings. Keeping a positive, but no-nonsense attitude. and following those through with positive action to rectify the situation(s) helps. It doesn’t help to just sit and moan. Sure we have a right to complain but we have to take the complaint a step beyond wailing.

Which brings me to another lesson learned and a blessing…my family and friends (well, some of them). They listened to my whining and gave helpful sympathetic responses. None of them told me to pull up my socks and do something. Perhaps the most surprising response was from my friend Carol who told me she had to admire me for all my persistence and consumer action (my paraphrasing). I was speechless, but managed a “thank you.”

Maybe I learned something here from my mother. And perhaps I have another career. Consumer advocate?  I do have insights about myself to take into 2012 – persistence and staying positive. Comments anyone?

Hope 2012 is better for all of us. Remember the old saying about making lemonade out of lemons.

Cheers and Happy New Year

Sharon Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Budget and budgeting, Consumer action, Debt, finances, Only child, Persistence, Self employed and cash flow, Sharon Crawford

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