Sorry my blog has been hijacked my posts about my friend, but my financial situation is nowhere near as dire (or dramatic) as hers, and I feel like my blog title “Her Every Cent Counts” is more suited to her.
The good news is that today I think maybe I opened the door for the opportunity to help her budget and such in the future. We’ve agreed that I’ll help her come up with a budget if she helps me organize my room. Because my room is just as a mess as her bank account is.
The bad news is that the poor girl (and I don’t mean “poor financially,” although in some terms of the word that would be appropriate right now too.)
I’ve been covering her financial saga since last week, when I first found out just how deeply she was in consumer debt. Since then, things have taken a turn for the worst.
As I noted in “It’s None of My Business, But… Part 2,” my friend had a little collision with a parking meter the other day and chipped her tooth. The chip wasn’t that bad, but due to not having dental insurance and no emergency fund, the $300+ the tooth fix cost her today is going to put her checking account into the red once again.
But I also found out some other things that I couldn’t understand.
A few weeks ago she took a trip to LA with her friend who was auditioning for some reality TV show down there. This girl (the one in debt) is a really good friend (to a fault.) Both of the girls apparently didn’t really have the money to take a trip to LA, but that didn’t stop them.
That’s fine. The concern I have with the whole situation is that my friend, Lisa, as I’m calling her, paid for the entire price of both plane tickets on her credit card… which, since they waited till the last minute, was about $500 total. Her friend, I’ll call her Tammy, has yet to pay her back for the flight. She told Tammy that she could pay her back in installments, since she knows money is tight with Tammy too.
But now Lisa broke her tooth and needed to get it fixed. She has about $250 in her checking account and the tooth fix cost her over $300. She paid by check. Obviously this is not a good situation.
I felt the need to provide some advice on this situation, so I wrote to her and said that she should call the dentist and ask if they can hold off on cashing the check for a week or two. She needs the time to get the money into her account. Her mother might lend her the extra $100, but even if she does it will take a while for the check to clear. She’ll likely be stuck with overdraft fees.
After talking about this, I started to bring up how I’m really bad with budgeting and how I’m working on getting better at it. By leading in with talking about my bad spending habits (which exist, I’m not lying about them just to get her to open up) she told me about how she has a tough time budgeting. So then we got into talking about how I am now into all this personal finance stuff and I’d like to help her figure that out if she’ll help me figure out how to organize my room.
Hopefully this bartering arrangement will pan out.
That’s what friends are for, right?
All of this has inspired me to think about writing a personal finance book. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but never really had a topic I was so passionate about. I’m not sure I know enough about finance to write a whole book about it, but then again it seems like a lot of idiots rewrite books in the self-help section and with a pretty cover and tantalizing descriptions, people still buy them.