Doesn’t it just sometimes feel like the more you get ahead, the more you fall behind?
We’ve had a string of those experiences this year. We had to replace a transmission in one of our vehicles this summer, which wiped out our savings (again). My husband and I have been working like dogs to pick up some extra side work to replenish our savings after that fun experience, and then about a week and a half ago, I hit a deer with our minivan while driving home with the boys from a Cub Scout meeting. (On a side note – Anyone want to buy any popcorn?)
Fortunately, none of us were hurt in the accident (except the deer, which did a tuck and roll and ran off into the woods), and the van is still drivable while we wait for the parts to arrive so it can be repaired.
The bad part about the accident is that in an effort to save money on our auto insurance rates, we raised our deductibles to $1,000. And it seems like you can’t even tap a shopping cart on a car door without causing that much damage these days.
So, just as we’d figured out a way to bring extra money in, it’s going to go right back out again.
It’s always something.
I’m not sharing this story just to whine (although I am a little whiny) or to elicit sympathy. I’m sharing this because I want you to know that when it feels like you’re digging a hole and someone keeps filling it back in, you are not alone.
This kind of stuff happens to everybody. Accidents happen. People get sick. People get laid off. Stuff breaks. Storms strike. Kids outgrow their clothes overnight. All that we can do about it is pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start figuring out what we can do about it.
We may not have any control over what happens to us, but we can control our reaction to it. And that can make all the difference when it comes to finances.
One negative event has the potential to spiral into more costly mistakes if you let it. Instead, think of things you can do to change the situation. Consider what you could do to avoid a similar situation next time. Keep on saving, even if it’s just a dollar at a time.
In our situation, we’ve decided to reduce our insurance deductibles. We have had three accidents in the last 3 years, and at $1,000 a pop, we just simply cannot afford that to continue. Yes, our rates will go up slightly, but if we are going to continue to make any progress on our savings, we need to do this.
We’re trying harder than ever to be careful so that we don’t have to make any claims. When you live 30 miles from everywhere in the land of ice and snow, it isn’t easy, but we’re doing our best.
We’re not slowing down when it comes to finding additional sources of income. We will continue to pick up freelance projects when we can to supplement our income and rebuild our savings.
There’s always something that comes up. Being prepared can mean all the difference.