One thing I’ve noticed as we continue to pay off debt and save more is that I loathe when big expenses come onto our radar. Writing the check for the new roof a few months ago was painful. But necessary. Writing the check for a termite analysis and preventative plan was painful. But necessary in order to ensure we don’t have expensive problems down the road. Having a plumber come out to fix our sewer line was another check I hated writing – but at least the problem was resolved BEFORE our house got flooded with sewage (which happened to our next door neighbor around the same time). And then last week we had our driveway repaired and extended – a check I’ll be happy to write because it looks good, but it’s still “wasted” money to a certain extent. And finally, today I dropped off my car and will be paying a $600 bill when I pick it up because I’m getting an oil change, tire rotation, new battery installation (mine died this week) and a timing belt replacement. And while I know those things are necessary in order to avoid a $3-4K repair down the road, it’s still aggravating.
And from what I’ve read, this is a natural phenomenon for people who are on the same debt/savings road I’ve been on for the past four years. You get to a point where you are so excited to see your emergency savings fund go up that you get angry when you have to take money out! And the money is there specifically to use on emergencies! So I know I shouldn’t get angry, but it seems like recently, as soon as money goes into the account, money comes out.
But I have to get my head out of that bad thinking. Savings is there not only to save up for stuff we want to do, like vacations or new carpeting in the house, but to pay for unexpected expenses like higher-than-normal car maintenance and driveway repairs.
Because without savings in place, that money would be going on a credit card, and I’d be paying it off for much longer than one month when combined with interest. As long as I keep that in my mind, all will be well.
Even when I have to write a $600 check so my car won’t break down when the kids and I go to Williamsburg later on this week.