I wrote a post a little while back about not really having an interest in being wealthy, because I’d be reasonably well off if I just kept doing what I was doing. You know what’s funny? When I was in debt, I wanted to be wealthy. When I was out of debt and saving money at a healthy clip, I wasn’t interested in being wealthy. Now that I’m in debt again, I’m once again gobbling up articles on how to acquire money like nobody’s business.
Could it be that once I was out of debt the gleam of wealth wore off because in some ways I already felt like I was wealthy?
When I was in debt originally I used to day dream about being wealthy. I’d never have to worry about anything, because the money would always be there. My biggest concern would be figuring out how to preserve my golden nest egg for future generations. I’d never owe anyone anything. No more looking at the minimum balance owing, worrying that I might not have enough money this pay period to cover everything. Living pay cheque to pay cheque would be a thing of the past.
Then I paid off my debt. I was living day to day life, watching my savings balances increasing every pay period. I watched as my emergency fund climbed to a full pay cheque’s worth (no more living pay cheque to pay cheque!) Then to a month worth of expenses. Then to two months worth of expenses. I projected I’d have three months worth of expenses socked away by the end of the year. I did up spreadsheets projecting how long it would take me to fully fund my emergency fund. If I really pushed myself, I could save $10,000 by my debt pay off anniversary. How awesome would that be?
Then my bubble burst, and suddenly I was back in debt again. I was pissed. Working that hard to build my finances up just to get knocked down in one fell swoop? It doesn’t seem fair. Where was that unknown long lost great uncle twice removed that died and decided to leave his entire estate to me? Where was the fairy god mother who decided that since I had worked so hard she’d just look after this little expense for me? Where was the massive lottery win that would take care of me for the rest of my life? (I suppose I’d have to buy a ticket for that last one to happen…)
Just like that, I wanted to be wealthy again.
My consumer debt doesn’t currently cost me a lot, less than $1 a day in interest actually, so it’s not like it’s choking my budget. It’s just pissing me off. I wish I had enough money so I never had to worry about things like this happening. It really highlights just how vulnerable my finances are to hiccups at the moment. It also highlights how difficult it can be if you don’t plan for life’s mishaps. Just imagine if I had been on one long spending spree since paying my debts off. Not pretty.
It’s going to take me a while before my finances are bullet proof, but I think right now that’s what I need to work toward. I’m also thinking I need another income stream.
How large of a financial setback could you safely absorb right now?
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