“It Could Have Been Worse”
This week has not been great for me. Well, all things considered, I’m pretty sure there are few who would rank the past seven days among their best. However, in addition to all that general stress, this week we found out that my wife would need to undergo surgery for a wrist injury. Thankfully, she’s fine — which is what’s important. Unfortunately, even with insurance, the bill for the procedure was fairly hefty (for us at least). That’s why it’s a damn good thing we have savings in place!
One of the major reasons we moved to Springfield, MO from Los Angeles was because we realized that, while we were getting by, we hardly had any extra funds on hand at any given time. Thus, had this injury happened a few years ago when we were still Californians, I have no idea how we would have come up with the $6,500 (our individual out-of-pocket maximum) we owe for this. Instead, we do have some emergency funds we can tap to help us through this without incurring credit card interest or taking out loans.
I say this not to brag or to chastise though who haven’t implemented such savings — but simply to express my gratitude. Not only am I thankful that we did have these funds in place but that I also have a partner who shares the same money philosophies as me, allowing us to be successful in our savings. And, while I could certainly gripe about the cost of our insurance, I’m also glad that we didn’t have to pick up the full tab for this procedure or the appointments that led up to it.
It’s not lost on me that this week showed me how your entire situation can change in an instant is happening at a time when it seems the entire country is experiencing the same thing. As I was telling a friend, this may have been the biggest week for news in America since 9/11 — an event that happened when I was a sophomore in high school. Unfortunately, while finance might not the most important aspect of big events like this, it’s undoubtedly a factor. Beyond the rollercoaster markets, millions are currently pondering what impact closures and cancellations will have on their finances (personally, this is where I think UBI would be helpful, but I digress). My heart goes out to those people just as it does to those directly impacted by this virus.
Rambling aside, I just wanted to write this post to share some of my thoughts during this wild week. Ultimately, what I always like to remind myself is that it could have been worse and to be thankful that it wasn’t. At the same time, it’s always a good idea to be as prepared as you can without driving yourself mad with fear. It’s a fine balance to strike in these crazy times — but it’s worth trying.