Monday, January 2, 2012

Why I worry so much about money

I've alluded to this many times here, but I think it's time to be honest with you readers. Most of you don't know me in "real life," so for a few people, this will be old news, and you can skip this post.

Some of my posts might be seen as contradictory--we have no debt, don't make a lot of money, but live in a big house, have a boat, can put away money for retirement, etc. I don't want anyone thinking I'm lying or making something out of nothing, hence my desire to "come clean."

Here's the deal: when C was injured years ago, he sued the employer of the woman who hit him. I'm not going to get into details (partly because confidentiality clauses) but lets just say that the woman was working for a large employer with good insurance policies. So yes, he won money. The reason he sued was because the scope of his injuries was so severe that certain job fields would be forever closed to him. He had wanted to become a police office, and prior to the accident, he was thinking about starting up his training again so he could take the physical test.

He received one-third of it up front and will receive a monthly payment from the remainder for the rest of his life. Even if he dies (God forbid) before he's 60, I will get that money every month until what would have been his 60th birthday.

With that one-third, he was able to pay off his car loan. He bought his boat. Then we got married and my car was slowly dying. We were able to buy a car and pay it off sooner. (We took out a loan to help boost our credit, I know, it makes NO sense to me, but then paid it off after a few months.) When it came time to buy our house, we used a significant part of that one-third as a down payment. The monthly payment covers our mortgage, with a little leftover.

We try not to touch the remainder of that one-third, because what if something happened to C where he couldn't work anymore? What if something happened to me? We've already been through two layoffs, and fortunately we haven't had to touch much of the remainder. Also, I don't like touching something when it's hard to put it back. We don't make much, so it's not like "oh let's take $5,000 from that account and when I get my year-end bonus, we'll repay ourselves." C works in non-profit human services and with a Master's degree, still makes less than I do. I work in publishing for a small company. Publishing is notoriously low paying, even though people think it's super glamorous.

We try to live on (and save!) what we make, but I'm constantly feeling like this isn't enough. I've heard from many different people, on all parts of the salary spectrum, that no one feels like they make enough. It still feels like we should be doing better or have more to show for what we bring home. I can't be the only one to feel this way. I will say, however, that I'm not up all night worrying about how I'm going to pay for a bill. My worries are more long-term: will we have enough to pay for day care? Will we have enough to retire? What if something happens to us/the house/etc?

Do you worry about money? If yes, what about exactly? If no, how are you so lucky to avoid this? :)

1 comment:

  1. I don't worry about money ALL the time but I am super-conscious about our financial decisions. We make out well in the end of the month, but our retirement contributions are pathetic and we don't yet own a home. Overall D and I have the same financial goals/plans but very different ways of achieving them.


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