Surviving a Financial Storm

Surviving a Financial Storm

Over the past month I have really not wanted to blog that much. I take that back what I have wanted to blog about (e.g. normal stuff like investments, debt goals, etc) have somewhat taken a back seat. This past month, as many people who read this will know, hasn’t been the greatest month for Mrs. ROB and I. We have had setbacks physically and financially. I also alluded to some upcoming items that will cost thousands of dollars in unforeseen expenses.

Coupled with the fact that my wife is going to have surgery and needs to recover life is definitely going to be abnormal for the next few months. Frankly, I don’t really care about the money that will come from the hospital bills and physical therapy. I just want Mrs. ROB home and on the road to the recovery. That is all I really care about. But considering this is a personal finance blog I also feel like I am weathering a financial storm. And this won’t be the last one. There will be plenty of times in a small moment or perhaps a longer one where I will have to deal with unexpected expenses or feeling a bit out of control.

I think that is what is going on right now. I feel a bit out of control. I feel like I can’t get my bearings financially. I feel like everywhere I turn bad luck seems to hit us. I talked before this month about my woe is me moment. In that moment I was feeling sorry for myself, etc. But the bigger thing I have to come realize is that it is out of my control. I don’t necessarily have a plan for doing certain things. I feel somewhat lost. Now I think this is just me expounding out loud. The truth is I do have a plan and I have a plan for that huge tax bill. So what is the plan?

The Plan

The plan is pretty simple: hunker down. While I don’t always like or follow Dave Ramsey’s advice I do think that he is right on some things and one of them is how you do with emergencies. When you know an emergency is going to occur or you are in the middle of it the key is to push pause, pile up cash, and ride the storm out. Don’t make major financial decisions. Don’t make major purchases. Just hunker down. Save. And then when the storm passes then you can go back to normal or whatever your plan was.

I love that advice. I mean it doesn’t apply to everyone. But I feel financially it is death by a thousand cuts. A little here. A little there. This unexpected expense. That unexpected expense. So what I have decided to do for now is two-fold. My first priority (duh) is to take care of Mrs. ROB. Now thankfully her injuries are non life-threatening. But it does mean some adjustment for our lives for the next few months. Our social calendar will be cut considerably. i doubt we will be going to any real events, movies, etc. Basically, we are going to be home bodies for the next three months except for going to work, grocery store, and maybe a trip out just so we both don’t go stir crazy.

My second priority is to just build up cash. I will still pay all of my bills on time. But I am not going to really pay anything extra toward my debt. My goal is to take every dollar I can. Put it in our savings account and just wait for the storm to pass. Then when it has then I can get further along into pay off debt, investing, etc.

I will still be writing about those subjects because they will be something I do in the near future. But for now hunkering down, weathering the storm, not making a lot of financial decisions, and just building up my reserves seems to be the best answer.

This gives me a bit more control of where my money is going. I don’t have to make decisions to allocate this here and that there. I can’t just put it away and then deal with the rest of this stuff in a month or two when we start to get the bills and have adjusted to our temporarily lifestyle.

Hunkering down, battening down the hatches, whatever phrase you want to use might be the best thing for me. I won’t be making progress, but I think I will feel better.

4 thoughts on “Surviving a Financial Storm

  1. Jason –

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. Your writing has an honesty to it that makes it very relatable.

    Best wishes to you and Mrs. ROB. Hope this next month is a better one!

    Steve

    1. Hi Steve,

      Thanks for stopping by and reading. I do hope next month is better and that you keep reading.

      Jason

  2. Curious to know why you’re padding out your “cushion” or emergency fund: do you anticipate expenses in the future with Mrs ROB’s recovery, or is your current emergency fund depleted / not completely built out? The model we’ve been following has been to create a small emergency fund, pay down debts, build a larger emergency fund, then allocate money toward a mortgage, investments, etc. Is that the same or different from what you folks are working on? Makes sense to have a good cushion with medical issues, I’m just a little curious on the rationale for your apparent temporary re-prioritization. More importantly, of course, good health and warm wishes for a speedy recovery to Mrs ROB…

    1. Hi Tim,

      Well, the reason why I am padding the cushion is because I am anticipating a huge tax bill and I do mean huge. Plus, we are having work done on our house (insulation) which will cost a couple of thousand dollars. Now with Mrs. ROB’s recovery I am anticipating that we will incur some out of pocket expenses that may run into a couple of thousand. So technically our emergency fund and my current savings might cover everything. But that is a might. If it wasn’t for this tax bill and I am just speculating it wouldn’t be so bad. So I figured I would pad things a bit. I guess I want more of a just in case. But I just have a bad feeling about this one and for me it is better to have a bigger umbrella than a smaller one. Thanks for the question though. I do appreciate it. And I hope I am wrong. I hope we don’t have to deplete the emergency fund or the storm isn’t as bad. But better safe than sorry. And it won’t be forever. Just a few months.

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