By: Revanche

Well, hello Bag Lady Syndrome!

May 7, 2008

Holy cheezits. I’ve got Bag Lady Syndrome today, and I’ve got it bad. I’m thinking to myself: 15k is good for an emergency (aka: I quit!) fund. But what about all those other things that could happen, like car problems ? That’s almost as certain as death and taxes, especially in the Ducky household. Or something goes terribly wrong with the house? Or if our rent suddenly increases astronomically? How would I cope with money-draining chaos if I’m reducing every expense I can think of and maximizing my income now, and still having a rough go of it?

PaDucky’s out of a job again because the company he was working for went out of business. He’s having a really hard time finding another one because of age discrimination. Prospective employers are telling him that they’re looking for younger people, which is foolish and rude. I wasn’t expecting to rely on his income any time soon, but he’ll certainly have to have one if I’m to implement my plan to move out.

Instead of panicking or becoming anxious, or resigning myself to living here forevermore, I kicked into super-analytical mode:
I should keep the 15k as a cash cushion for job loss.
Then start another emergency fund for catastrophes such as the above.
And bulk up the car maintenance fund by, say, another couple thousand.
And have a supplemental fund for rent, just in case the rent goes up insanely. [This is a possibility, our rent hasn’t been increased in years.]
And … and … and … whooooaaa!!!

That right there? I just tried to mentally justify building up 100k worth of what-if money because I’m paranoid. Where I’d get that extra 85k, Lord only knows, but the point is, I’m falling into that mentality where no amount is ever enough because I’m fueled entirely by emotion. Namely, fear.

It’s subsiding now that I’ve written it down and can see how ridiculous it looks on “paper”, but now I understand how easy it is to become Chicken Little and run from imagined terrors. I always wondered how people I consider comparatively or absolutely wealthy could look at what they have and still be afraid that they’ll be broke, but I realize that the problem is the mentality of what they don’t have, not what they do have.

It’s not that any of the above couldn’t happen, but a million other things that I couldn’t ever foresee could happen, too. I can’t live my life under a rock making lists of the things that could go wrong and how much money I’d need for it to be ok again. Silly ducky.

2 Responses to “Well, hello Bag Lady Syndrome!”

  1. Chocoholic says:

    Wait, people are telling your dad they won’t hire him because they want someone younger? Isn’t that illegal? I see on the front page that you are in California. I don’t live there but from what I’ve read, they have some serious worker protection laws. Perhaps your dad should contact the EEOC. It might not get him the job but companies can’t discriminate like that. I tried seraching for more info and found that California only requires a place to have 5 employees before you can file an age discrimination suit.

  2. ~chocoholic~ Yup, when he asked for an application, they told him that he was too old. I’m looking into the EEOC, thanks for the reminder!

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