December 17th was my birthday. I love my birthday. It is a reminder that I am still alive
and able to continue doing good things in this world. This year, December 16th came with a snow storm!
Call me weird, I was excited about that. I’m one of the lucky ones that didn’t have to go anywhere. I could stay at home and not feel like I had to be anywhere else. As my boyfriend and I settled in after dinner, he went to the basement for something. And then I heard, “Hey Baboo? (That’s our nickname for each other. Charlie Brown anyone?) Could you come down here quick?” Oh no. He pointed to a pool of water slowly making its way around the corner of the room. Lo and behold, our water heater decided that right in the middle of blowing winds, white-out conditions, and freezing cold, would be a great time to start leaking.
We knew when we moved into the house three years ago that the water heater would have to be replaced eventually. We noticed some little rust spots growing this past summer, and really hoped that it would hold out until spring, or whenever COVID-19 would not be an issue, so we could have someone replace it. Needless to say, it didn’t wait. Luckily it was a slow drip, so we were able to drain the thing
before it created too big a mess. We laughed about the absurdity of timing and how that wasn’t quite what I was hoping to get for my birthday! But it was okay, everything was fine and under control.
In a moment like this, it is so easy to give in to frustration, anger, even panic. What saved our peace of mind was having an emergency fund. I used to think a savings account was there simply to keep checks from bouncing. It’s not. A few years back I decided to get serious on getting out of debt and getting my financial life on track. The first step in doing so was setting up a $1000 emergency fund. Some of you may be thinking “That’s impossible, I never have enough left to think of saving it.” My truth was that I had a mountain of debt and was tired of never having enough. So I got angry. I didn’t want all my money going out the door at 15% interest (that was the average). I buckled down and put every penny I could toward that $1000. And I left it there, in a savings account, gaining a little bit of interest, ready for when I needed it most. Then I hyper-focused on getting rid of that mountain.
Flash forward to today. I have that emergency fund. And it saved me from freaking out in the middle of a snow storm, wondering if we would be able to pay for a water heater or have to heat water on the stove instead. Worrying if I’d have enough room left on a card to take care of it. I have no credit cards. I paid them off and cut them up. And it’s wonderful.
Have hope. It can be done. After the past year we’ve had I understand that it may be tougher than tough. But I know you can find a way to give yourself a little peace of mind. You owe it to yourself and to your family. You worked too hard to give it all away as soon as you earn it! Been there, done that and worse.
Let me show you how to find freedom. I would love to talk with you.
Angela Miller, Financial Coach
(Check out my latest virtual financial seminar on the Events page!)