Maybe I’m risk-adverse. Maybe I’m ultra-conservative. Maybe I’m just paranoid.
Yeah, we’ll go with the paranoid one.
Apparently I’m paranoid about all of the emergencies and unexpected things that can possibly crop up in one’s life that will require large amounts of money to rectify.
This realization comes from a recent chat I had with a fellow co-worker. This guy has a very different outlook in about every possible area of life than I do, him being much more easy-go-lucky and care-free than I, to the extent that he really doesn’t know where he’ll be tomorrow, let alone a year from now.
The differences in our philosophies on life became really apparent when we broached the subject of money. Being in the military, I know exactly how much this guy makes, and I have a very good idea of what his bills and expenses look like every month, which is why it surprised me when he said he basically lives paycheck to paycheck. So I asked him…
Me: “So where does all your money go?”
Him: “Oh, I just buy a lot of s*#@ I don’t need.”
Me: “Why don’t you just put some of that money away every month?”
Him: “What for? I don’t have any need to”
Me: “What if something happens, like your car breaks down?”
Him: “Eh, I’m not worried, I’ll figure it out when it happens.”
I’ll figure it out when it happens…
I’m pretty sure I had a heart attack, an aneurism, and possibly a mild seizure when he said this.
I just simply can’t fathom not having a very healthy buffer every single month between the amount I need to pay my bills and the amount I get paid, let alone not having a nice little mini-nest egg saved up solely for emergencies.
So for the sake of being paranoid, let’s look at some of the simple little things that could go wrong…
1. Losing your job: Kind of hard to “figure it out when it happens” when you have no more income coming in whatsoever… and yes, even these military gigs can go up in smoke just like that.
2. Car gets creamed: If you’re car stops working, needs money to get working again, and you have no money, doesn’t that mean you’re screwed? Oh, and doesn’t that car get you to the place you make your money at?
3. Your pet gets sick or hurt: I don’t really think Fido’s gonna be cool with waiting around until your next paycheck to get his broken leg looked at or those vital shots that’ll keep him alive and kickin’.
4. Your House Stages a Mutiny: Air-conditioner craps out in 100 degree heat. Heater explodes in -10 degree weather. Dishwasher spits out cutlery at anyone walking by. Clothes washer sucks your clothing into alternate dimension. There’s a lot that could go wrong.
5. Zombie Apocalypse: Shotguns, 2X4's, some nails, and a good hammer will need to be purchased… and maybe some hand sanitizer.
Okay, so obviously I’m exaggerating and in a bit of a cynical mood (during which I enjoy a bit of dark humor), but come on, anyone can see why it’s not only smart, but responsible, and really a part of being an adult, to sock away at least a little money occasionally, let alone think about saving for that day when your joints refuse to carry your body into work anymore (usually called old age).
Of course, if the zombie apocalypse occurs before then, you might not have to worry about reaching old age. Come to think of it, I guess money wouldn’t be too useful anymore either.