Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Frugal Files: The Real Scary Stuff!! Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween frugal folks!!

Today is one of those fun holidays where people celebrate with parties and candy, as well as take part in festive outlets such as parties, dressing up in costumes and scaring little kids. I’m sure you’ve been blasted with ideas and images on how to make this year’s Halloween event more creative, frugal or not. During this time, most people find ghosts, goblins and witches scary, but today we’re going to talk about what scares adults or should scare them…into taking care of their financial business.

First, let’s talk about GHOSTS, also known as DEBT!! Debt is something that people have that often lurks around because we get caught up in life and forget about it. Of course, we know what our immediate debt is: house and car notes, credit cards, school loans. However, do you pull your credit report yearly to make sure you didn’t leave something in the past? If you don’t address it, like a ghost, it will haunt you and show up and scare you when you want to do something with your life. When you go to buy a house, it’s there. When you want to be considered for a business loan, there it is.

So, how do you eliminate ghosts? Find their source and close the case, making it comfortable enough to move on to the next life, which for us is called PAID OFF. Pay your old debts off and send a letter to the credit bureaus with the proof that you have done so. Then move on to your next phase of life, debt free!!

Second, let’s address some GHOULS and GOBLINS, which are sometimes little and annoying but have the potential to consume us or our money if we don’t address them right now. It’s getting cold now and Winter is not far away. It’s time to get prepared for it. My heart goes out to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy. If you can, join me in sending aid to those in need. I’ll be looking for items to send them.

Start winterizing your home. Put in your storm windows, clean out your gutters, rake up the leaves and trim back the trees to minimize damage from the snow. Get your salt, shovels and snow blowers ready to take care of your yard and help out a neighbor too. Put plastic over the windows to keep out air that might seep in older windows. Stock up on food, especially those that will warm you up: soups, stews and cocoa. Plan for inside activities, so no one is bored enough to want to go out for outings. It will be safer to be inside on some days.

Get your car ready too. Its care will make the difference when going through the winter months. Get your tune up, new tires and make sure your heat is in proper working condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car that includes flares, blankets, a first aid kit and some non-perishable food and water. Carry around your pet’s food or sand to help with traction after it’s snowed. That will help you move through the snow. At all times, be cautious and careful while driving. Pay attention to the road and keep your phone put away.

Last, let’s talk WITCHES and ZOMBIES, which for the sake of this conversation is about insurance and wills/trusts. Both are topics people shy away from addressing because no one really wants to talk about death and illness. Unfortunately, that is part of life and people do get sick and pass away. The key is to celebrate life while we’re here and to let our loved ones continue to celebrate even when we’re gone. They can’t do that if they are worrying about how to bury loved ones; how to pay for bills left by loved ones or how to divide up an estate because that loved one didn’t take time to prepare before leaving this earth. No one wants the witch, called probate court, to decide where your family’s property and belongings will go.

Talk candidly to your family about preparing for the future. Make sure you have ample coverage in case of an emergency. Contact a professional and put your requests in writing. It’s the only way to secure your future and the future of those after you. Let’s take care of our business and cast out those financial demons that threaten us and our families!! This is my candy for you. Trick or Treat!! Happy Halloween!!

Frugalicious Diva
Follow Me on Twitter at @FrugaliciousDva

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