Friday, September 16, 2011

Financial Nesting?

As the baby's due date gets closer, I realized that I was getting paranoid about some massive, unforeseen expense popping up.

Last time around, we chose to buy a bigger car (the Toyota Matrix) the Fall before Eleanor was born. Then we found out we had to replace our windows, which was going to cost upwards of $10,000. And the final straw before she was born was that our roof started leaking, and we replaced it the week before birth. They actually finished on Saturday and I went into labor in the early hours of Sunday morning.

I thought that was bad enough, but it was only the start. Once she tested positive for a slightly elevated lead level, we stepped up our plan to replace ALL the windows (so far we'd only done about 70%), got new siding on the house and garage, and also replaced the garage doors. All items that we hadn't planned on and which were not accounted for in our budget. Our greatly reduced budget, which included a lower income thanks to me working part-time, and higher expenses of childcare.

So here we are. In terms of getting ready for the baby mentally and physically, I'm really enjoying all of this time at home. Financially, of course, the fact that I'll be off for at least 5 months instead of 3 is a bit worrisome. Plus we've spent a lot of money over the summer on Eleanor's new room, new furniture for the living rooms, storage shelves in the basement .... a lot of smaller projects (smaller than a new roof or siding, anyway) to get the house just how we want it before the baby arrives. Finally, there's all sorts of unknown possible medical expenses that may or may not occur once the baby is here.

And yet, I am very surprised to find that I'm not overly worried about the money, which I (being the perverse sort of person I am) worry about. Does this mean there's something I'm not considering? Have I forgotten a factor that will push us over the edge into complete financial ruin?

But I think I'm actually experiencing the benefit to all of our unexpected, major expenses last time. This time, our budget is tight. And there's always going to be unforeseen expenses (Hello, $400 to clean our dog's teeth?!?). But as we've managed to stay afloat over the past few, slim years, I'm started to feel like the chances of the expenses being as high as last time as pretty slim. I've already seen the worst! Are we going to replace our roof again? Replace all of our windows again? No.

So when the dishwasher wasn't working earlier in the week I was worried, but not as freaked out as I could have been. And Keith even fixed it on his own, no service call required. Just do me a favor: if you think of some other potential financial disasters, don't tell me! Let me stay in my happy place for a little bit longer, where the worst is behind us and our financial outlook is, if not sunny, at least not full of hail and tornadoes.

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