Post Christmas Bills
elizabeth / 06.01.2023

Financiall Free in 23 Part 1

The 2022 holidays are behind us and if you’re like me – and everyone else I know – inflation has really kicked you in the backside and has you dreading the momentary arrival of the credit card bills. For millions of us, 2022 was a boom to bust year.

I could show charts and graphs tracking the rate of inflation over the past couple of years, but you know as well as I do that the numbers the government publishes are a joke. They obviously don’t purchase eggs, milk, bread and laundry detergent on a regular basis. Using myself as an example, the following table shows a few of the price increases I’ve dealt with at my local Walmart.


June 2022

December 2022

% Increase





Dozen large brown eggs

$ 1.96

$ 4.23


Gallon 2% milk

$ 3.44

$ 3.06


Sara Lee Bread

$ 2.98

$ 3.46


Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent

$ 8.87

$ 9.48











I don’t know about you, but my income has not increased 17% in the past 6 months. Has yours?

Are you struggling to make ends meet - again?

Are rising prices taking a big bite out of your wallet?

Have you ever wondered how you can afford to even live?

So how do we thrive – not just survive – inflationary times when the cost of everything is going up much faster than our income? We go back to the basics:

  • Differentiating between “needs” and “wants”
  • Creating a realistic spending and savings plan
  • Implementing that plan
  • Reviewing and adjusting the plan
  • Repeating the above actions as life changes


The pandemic forever changed our lives. It changed the way most people make and spend money.

One of the biggest challenges many face today is the uncertainty of various debt forgiveness programs and moratoriums. To you I say, pay your debts now and get it over with. It’s going to cost you one way or another. Remember that a debt “forgiven” will ultimately be recovered through increased taxes, interest rates, costs of goods and services, etc.

Nothing is ever truly free. This has been true since the beginning of man. Once Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, they had to toil by the sweat of their brows for their sustenance. Yet, we’ve grown accustomed to having a plethora of “freebees” – otherwise known as “benefits”.

Another challenge facing consumers today is the recension of many “free” benefits.

I recently received three email notices of changes to benefits for various services and accounts that I have. One of them was from a MasterCard that I use quite frequently for online purchases. Probably like you, I usually just click my delete icon without bothering to pay attention to the change. I mean, I can’t do anything about it anyway. Right? But because I’ve received so many notifications of changes recently, I decided to actually open the email and read what changes are taking place.

This particular MasterCard has notified me that three of their benefits for card users, purchase insurance, master rental waiver and worldwide automatic travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance, and trip cancellation interrupted insurance will no longer be available as of a certain date. No big deal, right? Not necessarily.

Now in and of itself this notification may not seem too bad because I haven't rented a vehicle recently nor have I done any traveling over the last year-and-a-half. But when I did travel a lot, I counted on these insurances in the event of an emergency. I actually used this benefit once when I went to conference in Orlando, but my luggage went to Miami. The conference was over by the time my luggage caught up with me, so it was nice to have this small baggage delay insurance benefit to help cover the costs of the things I had to purchase in order to get through the conference.

The loss of the purchase insurance benefit is the one that really scares me. Probably like you, I've made increasing numbers of online purchases since the Pandemic lockdowns started. I used this particular MasterCard with the confidence that if there was ever a problem with a purchase, I would be able to get a refund and have the problem made whole.

So why are these seemingly free benefits no longer going to be available? The answer is because they never were free! The company that provides the insurance protection to MasterCard for these benefits charges for them. The costs have increased so much since the Pandemic started in early 2020 that it is no longer cost effective for this particular MasterCard to provide them to their customers without increases to fees, interest rate, or a combination.