I’ve given you an overview of our bank accounts. By all rights, we appear to be sitting pretty, with a small emergency fund and relatively healthy savings. And it’d be pretty silly to be able to pay for a $14,000 car out of pocket and still feel like you aren’t financially safe.
Unless you’re me, apparently.
The problem is that we don’t actually have savings. We have an account called Savings, sure. But it really should be called Tim’s Dental Implants. It’s impossible to know just how much they’ll cost until we find a doctor to use, but estimates range between $20,000 – 30,000.
We currently have $7,000 in the account. I have those extra hours to pad this and next month’s paychecks, but it’ll still take awhile to build up the balance. Assuming I get another bonus — so far, I’ve gotten one each year — that will plump up the account. But I don’t know by how much, and it’s hard to feel secure when trying to plan with unknown quantities.
And even once we do painstakingly save up that money… then it’s gone. All that effort, all that time and tension, and we’ll be back to square one. Well, square one but with better dental health.
There’s also the $3,500 HVAC unit we need to get this spring for the guest house so that my in-laws don’t expire from heat exhaustion. And the $2,500ish we’ll be paying soon to fix and extend the masonry wall so that stray dogs — or people — can’t just wander into our back yard from the park. Plus the $12,000ish for double pane windows. Not a necessity, but they sure feel that way when you look at summer energy bills in Arizona.
With an older house and a series of health conditions, Tim and I have to accept that there will always be a lot of big bills headed our way. And that’s not even thinking about having a kid. (We meet with the specialist on Friday to find out whether we should try again or not.)
And of course, there’s always the chance (however slim) that I’d lose my job or be unable to work. Then we would have to deal with the emergency budget I talked about recently.
Let’s face it: Life is just relentless. I have to assume that our luck won’t get much better. Which means that no matter how much we have or how well things are going, I’m never going to feel safe. Whether that’s anxiety, pessimism or just pragmatism… Well, I’ll let you decide.
What would it take you to feel safe in your finances?