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How to Survive an Unpaid Family Leave of Absence

How to survive unpaid leave

Will you survive an unpaid family leave of absence without accumulating debt and ruining your credit history? The United States does not provide paid leave. Health insurance plans have cost sharing components and do not cover every conceivable expense. You may have to cope with a deadly one-two punch: a sudden spike in outlays, combined with a loss of income. Increase your odds of emerging unscathed by researching relevant laws that sometimes provide monetary assistance and job protections, prepare your finances in advance, and make the appropriate adjustments when reality comes knocking at your door. This is a guest post by Kevin Haney. We hope your enjoy! Researching Family Leave of Absence Laws The first step in surviving an unpaid family leave of absence is researching whether any federal or state laws apply to your situation. Do not assume that the government will step in to lend a helping hand. This is a very dangerous because it is rarely true. A smattering of paid leave programs exists to help a minority. Unpaid job protections are available to a slightly wider segment. Paid Family Leave Laws There is no federal paid family leave law in the United States. Only three states ...

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What Would You Do With $500?

using an extra $500

I love to find articles about the best ways to use an amount of cash. No matter what your financial beliefs, there are basically four ways to use money: spend it, save it, invest it, give it away. The good folks at Mt Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, AK are giving me $600 for meals next week while I’m working at their clinic. Unless I make lots of friends and go out every night, I’ll probably get most of my food from the grocery or as take out since I hate eating in restaurants by myself. I’m guessing that will probably take about $100. That leaves me five Benjamins to use however I want. What would you do with $500? Spend It If I had consumer debt, I’d probably use my extra $500 toward paying it off. $500 is not chump change, and gaining a windfall to put toward debt can be a great shot in the arm to sustain motivation toward debt payoff goals. Since I don’t have that type debt anymore, I could use this money to spend on holiday gifts or for our trip to Mexico that’s coming up next month. We also need a new couch in ...

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How To Pay For Emergencies Without Going Into Debt

having an emergency fund

    It certainly feels like the economy is looking up for many Americans. While there are still workers in certain industries that struggle to find good paying jobs, investments are up, self employment opportunities are plentiful, and the world looks a bit rosier than it did a few years ago. At least that’s what I thought until I saw this study from the federal reserve showing that half of Americans would struggle if faced with a $400 emergency expense! If you fall into this category, it’s important to figure out how to pay for emergencies without going into debt. So Many People Can’t Afford Emergencies I’m certainly not one to throw stones. Back in the day, we whipped out a credit card for most expenses, emergency or not, expecting that we’d make our payment at the end of the month just like everyone else. I had hoped that  the recession taught most of us that jobs can disappear at any time and an emergency fund can be the difference between inconvenience and financial ruin, but I think maybe I was wrong. While this survey did have some positives, with the majority of respondents saying they are doing OK or ...

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The Emergency Fund Has Taken a Hit


Well the past couple of months have been shaping up to be costly ones in the Eyes on the Dollar house. You roll along doing pretty well, then it seems like the wheels fall off. Unexpected expenses pop up when you least expect them. Depending on how well you are prepared, they can be a minor bump in the road, or they can derail you altogether. How do you recover when the emergency fund has taken a hit? Stupidity Costs Money I like to think I’m a pretty good driver. Other than the minor incident involving my car and a pole at the bank, we have been accident and ticket free for many years, until last month anyway. I was on my way into town on the route I’ve driven hundreds of times. There was construction and a short detour. Normally, I have to drive through a school zone to get to work. There is a big flashing sign that says the speed limit is 15mph. I think school zones should be protected with low speed limits, so that is fine by me.  However, the detour spit me out on a side street, so I didn’t go past the flashing ...

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What to do Before Your Car Breaks Down on a Road Trip

One of the disadvantages of living in a rural area is that we are at least four hours from the nearest major airport. It is very expensive and time consuming to fly out locallly.  As a result, we tend to drive if the destination can be reached in 12 hours or less. Jim and I had a wonderful road trip to San Diego recently. It was wonderful until our car died on the way home, and we were left stranded on the side of the interstate in 100+ degree temperatures. Hopefully, my experience will make you think about what to do BEFORE your car breaks down on a road trip. Road Side Assistance Now, I am all about saving money on car insurance. When we broke down, I honestly had no idea if our policy covered road side assistance. I assumed it didn’t because that sounds like something I would decline to save a few bucks. I called anyway, hoping I  hadn’t gone completely cheap when I ordered the policy. Luckily, we did have coverage, which included towing up to 25 miles. Since it was Sunday, I had to wait on hold for a few minutes until the representative located ...

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