Saving for a Rainy Day I Hope Never Comes

This week I called my daughter’s pediatrician to schedule her pre-kindergarten vaccinations.

“But she doesn’t start kindergarten until the fall,” the nurse said. “You can wait until summer if you’d like. ”

“I’d rather not wait,” I told her. “I have health insurance now.”

I’m sad and more than a little angry that I have to be thinking like that these days, but I suspect a lot of parents are worrying about the same things. I’m not expecting a downturn for our family – I hope we’re able to look back on this craptastic economic period and say, “Whew! We made it.” But just in case, I’m doing what I can to put us in the best possible position should the unexpected occur.

I’m taking the money that I normally would send to my IRA and putting it in a regular savings account. I know all the experts say to keep investing during this time, and my husband likes to warn me that I’ll “miss the upturn” when things get better if I don’t keep pumping money into my retirement. But you know what? I’m young. And I’m not spending the money. If and when things improve, I’ll write a big old check to Fidelity. But if we do find ourselves needing cash, I’ll be able to put that money to better use buying food for my children and keeping a roof over their heads than flushing it down the toilet that is today’s stock market.

Any additional money we can save or get our hands on goes into savings, too. I enjoy thinking about all the investing and debt-paying we’ll be able to do if we don’t end up having a dire need for the cash.

I also am following the suggestions in this article, which I found on CNN the other day. My daughter’s getting up-to-date with her shots, we both are getting our teeth cleanings and check-ups a bit early, and I’m trying to get my husband into the eye doctor to get a new pair of glasses.

To pull out an old cliche, I’m making hay while the sun shines, preparing for a rainy day that I hope never comes. I wish I could do more, but at the very least I’m buying myself some peace of mind. Anybody else doing this as well?

8 thoughts on “Saving for a Rainy Day I Hope Never Comes

  1. Oooh! Oooh! Waving hand franticallyMe here, me here!

    Technically speaking, we’re going out from the other end of it. I lost my job, which carried the health insurance, in the fall, and it took until Dad found something better in December that we were covered. While we were still covered from my old job, it was a frantic round of making sure all prescriptions we could refill were refilled and all check ups were up to date. Didn’t make it to the dentist, though.

    Our fears of insurance catastrophe, at least, are eased somewhat right now.

    But I have eliminated retirement contributions, figuring we need to be liquid right now rather than have the money tied up where it would cost me a substantial penalty to get to it. So we’ve focused on debt reduction – and have made great progress – and regular savings. We’re buying what we need, but we’re definitely not spluring.

    Upturn? Maybe I’m one of those excessively negative people whose pessimism is driving the economy into the dumps, but I’m not seeing an upturn any time soon.


  2. That is a good plan. Unlike many others, we saved and scrimped back when things were “good”, and now we don’t have as much to worry about. We don’t have to cut back on the small things, because we don’t really have many things to cut back on. It is life as usual. I am glad for this. I will admit, it was a bit painful saving up and watching every penny spent while everyone else was going hog wild and buying everything in sight, but I am glad (now) we had the restraint.

  3. meauxjeaux says:

    the thing to be careful with the dentist is to make sure it’s been at least 6 months since your last visit or your insurance won’t cover it.

    i hate to hear you have to give up your 401(k) contribution b/c you’re also giving up the free money you’re getting not only from your employer but the pre-tax distribution savings.

    hopefully, you’ll be able to get enough of a savings built up that you can get back in there.

  4. MeaxJeaux, because of how I have my employment situation set up, I have a rollover IRA and thus, I’m forfeiting no employer contributions. Believe me, I know the drawbacks of not contributing at this time, but right now, I feel better having easy access to that money. Husband continues to contribute to his plan. Plus, to tell the truth, I’m just not sure whom to trust with my money anymore. Nobody seems to really know what’s happening with anything financial these days. It’s very, very scary as far as I’m concerned.

    Also, Pavlina, I feel you. We’ve always lived modestly, too, so at the moment we aren’t feeling a whole lot of pain beyond the general concerns that everybody’s experiencing. We’ve never indulged in lots of luxuries, so we haven’t had to give many up.

  5. Hey! I know Christina–the girl in that article. I met her last year on the Walk Now for Autism walk at the Cincinnati Zoo.

    It just so happens that I’ve made mass appointments lately for myself and my son, but not because I think I’m going to lose my job or health insurance… just that time of year or something.

    I think everyone has to do their own thing when it comes to their finances. It’s funny how so many people have opinions on how other people should spend their money. (Not talking about anyone here… just in general) By some people’s standards I’m probably in horrible financial ruin, by other people’s standards I’m prbly doing great. To each their own!

  6. We’re pretty much caught up with our doctor’s visits. Except my daughter gets her 4th year vaccines at the end of this month. Coincidentally, my husband’s employer is having a meeting about health insurance next week… I think we can assume it’s not going to be good news!

    He also unfortunately got another pay and hour cut. After freaking out a little (mostly me), we sat down and went over our budget and it’s going to be tight, but I think okay. I have money in savings that I was hoping to roll into my IRA after seeing how our taxes would net out–but now we’ll be holding on to it. Another thing that makes me feel better is that we still have a lot of equity in our home, unlike a lot of people who owe more than what their house is worth.

    And to think, I was so excited 2008 was over! Come on, 2009, where’s the love?

  7. Cara, I know! I was dreading 2008 and it ended up being great. I dreaded 2009, too, and while it hasn’t been bad I just feel like there are so many landmines out there. Yikes! And I’m really sorry about the additional pay and hour cut! I’m glad you’ve got some things that are giving you some peace of mind.

    Tela, you’re right – it’s sort of all relative with the financial thing. Everybody’s got an opinion but at the end of the day you have to do the best you can with what you have and try to be happy with that.

  8. Justice Fergie says:

    what a smart move. i am thanking my lucky stars for a fed gov’t job and health insurance right now. but nothing’s ever guaranteed, right?

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