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As some of you may know, I went through an extended period of unemployment from 2018 to 2020, with just a short 4 months contract in 2019. I was able to finally land an open contract in February, which fortunately was already remote. Ironically, my work team went remote just a few weeks after my start, putting us all on a more equal standing (though they still are benefitted employees and I am not). But that's not the point of this post.

During my 22 months of financial insecurity, I pulled out all the stops, all the advice I've given out over the last couple decades. I reigned in spending, lived off coupons and discounts, filed for unemployment, stretched my severance out as long as possible, exhausted my eFund. I even took a gig job delivering food, though anyone who thinks you can make a living this way is mistaken. I could go for hours with a delivery order, and only about 2/3 of the customers tipped. I took on freelance work and without my CMF role here, things would have been much worse.

I drained the balance of my HSA account to cover significant medical expenses (being diabetic, I have 2 brand name prescriptions), reluctantly over time withdrew all my original Roth IRA contributions, and in my lowest moment, in January and February of this year, took premature distributions out of my Traditional IRA. The good news is that I was able to do all this from a position of financial strength (this was during all pre-pandemic) by investing Foolishly over the years. But this is not the point of the post either.

During the 22 month period, I thrice had to turn to credit cards in the form of a cash advance to cover immediate cash flow needs. Having cultivated a solid credit history and strong credit score over the years, I was able to benefit from 0% promotions that provided short term relief at the expense of long term, multi-month obligation. This month, I paid off the last of those debts, and now my long term obligations are back to just my mortgage. And my credit score remains strong.

And now I am in a position to begin rebuilding my eFund, possibly finally being able to replace the air conditioning unit that has been dead for the least 2 summers, and maybe even restarting contributions to retirement savings. And that's the point of the post.

Who concludes that by embracing best practices and avoiding panic, he was able to weather his worst personal finance period ever and hopefully will get back on track to growth this summer...

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Disclaimer: This post is non-professional and should not be construed as direct, individual or accurate advice
Disassociation: The views and statements of this post are Fuskie's and are not intended to represent those of The Motley Fool or any other sane body
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