Do you have money fears?

If so, what are they? @SingleMa posed this question on Twitter the other day and I thought it was a good one.

I still have … concerns.

She and I both worked our way back up from just about rock bottom, so you’d think we’d feel the same way about this, but we don’t and it was interesting digging into why.

I don’t have the sort of nightmare-inducing, heartgripping, horrifying fears that I used to, feeling just half a step away from ruin as the only breadwinner for a family of four, suffering from chronic but undiagnosed health issues.

That, thankfully, has passed with a combination of good financial habits, good salaries (TWO of them!!), and a pretty healthy savings account. I’m looking at building our wealth, not avoiding poverty and ruin, and that’s a huge difference in mindset.

Even so, I’d be lying if I weren’t still looking over my shoulder askance.

What’s the next problem to blindside me?
What’s the next disastrous accident or occurrence or loss?

The wheel never stops turning, Badger.
That only matters to the people on the rim.
Firefly

After some discussion, it makes sense. My rock bottom situation was nearly entirely due to other people.

It wasn’t my overspending, my overcommitment or rash decisions that led to 100K of debt. I didn’t have piles of designer clothes or expensive cars or .. well, anything to show. Anything at all, as it turns out.

Ed Note: This is NOT to say that SingleMa’s situation was due to those things at all – I was thinking solely of my family who’d done those things.

I did choose to stay and help instead of leaving home to make it on my own, but the entire swamp of sucktastic was down to their crap luck, their business decisions taking bad turns, their unfortunate job losses followed by other bad financial decisions while dragging their debt behind them like a lodestone for more bad.

Add to that the severe health problems that plagued mom, my parents’ refusal and inability to rein in my Sibling while he wasted money and refused to grow up, and you basically had the perfect recipe for awful.

And now?

Well, PiC and I are doing really well, in comparison. We can’t do everything but we can support everyone without feeling stretched beyond sanity, and we can do some good for others.

And yet, since Dad won’t stop smoking, I have to wonder when his health is going to fail, and how badly? When and how much is it going to cost me to supplement the lousy state health insurance?

He recently thought he was helping by paying off his traffic violation tickets instead of doing traffic school at higher cost, only that caused the car insurance premiums to double. They’ll stay high for THREE YEARS until those violations fall off his record. *headdesk* What else is he going to “help” with?

Meanwhile, who knows what foolishness Sibling’s going to pull. Until I’m willing to put him out on the street to live or die, he’s our albatross. That day may come but until then, he’s still family and that’s the way it is.

Difficult times may come again, and I’m capable of working our way out of them more than likely, but it’s clear that I’m far more concerned about the choices that other people make that will adversely affect our finances and our wellbeing far more than anything we do.

Is it any wonder, then, I’m such a control freak over anything within my power to affect??

Tell me, do you have money fears? What are they?

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16 thoughts on “Do you have money fears?

  1. You have a good heart and I commend you for the way you continue to take care of your entire family.

    My rock bottom wasn’t due to overspending, overcommitment or rash decisions that led to debt either. When you struggle to obtain and maintain basic human necessities, accumulation of debt is an afterthought. However, my rock bottom was completely due to my own accord because I chose to become a teenage single mom, rather than abort. Bringing life into the world at such a young age was an extremely difficult and life altering decision, but a blessing in hindsight. And there were many (financial) consequences that followed, but I overcame them.

    When I say I’ve already been at the financial bottom, it’s because I can’t imagine anything worse than lack of basic human necessities – shelter, food, etc. Through those life experiences, I’ve learned very unique survival skills that will help me weather any financial hardship in the future. So no…I have no money fears.
    Single Ma recently posted…100 Happy Days (51-75)My Profile

    • Waugh! Reading your response I suddenly thought: Did I imply that your circumstances were due to overspending, overcommitment or rash decisions??? If I did, I sure as heck didn’t mean to!
      Anyway, I don’t know why I don’t fully trust my survival skills, or if it’s really just this worry that external parties will seriously affect anything I do. Since they still do, I guess it’s not unfounded.

  2. I generally have not ever really had money fears. I’ve been really broke. I’ve worked multiple jobs and STILL been broke. But maybe because of that, I have this confidence that no matter how little I have, I’m going to be ok. Kamel though! Kamel! He always worries about money. He has charts and graphs and automatic deposits and withdrawls and all of that. He worries about our (excellent) credit score dropping, even for a minute, and he worries about small amounts of credit card debt that we are actively paying off. Thankfully we balance each other. But money in our house is a constant evolving conversation of stress and calm and stress and calm.

    • Also, to clarify – because I have been thinking about this all day. I’m always just happy when I have 1 dollar left over after paying bills. So that’s where my non worry comes from. It’s good that I have someone who decided to be my partner who taught me how to budget. :)

      • :) I think that learning balance with your partner, stressful though the process may be, is hugely valuable. I’m the Kamel in this relationship, obviously, and PiC feels much the same way. If he’s saving, he’s happy. If I’m saving, I want to know how I can save more!

  3. My money fear is the fear of not having enough money saved for emergencies:
    1. If I get into an accident, will I have enough money to pay for the mortgage and what if I am out of work for over a year or two?
    2. If I get sick and I don’t have enough money to pay for the medications or care and would need to inconvenience my family members to take care of me (though I lived in Canada, my mom had lung cancer and we had to pay her treatment plan- $2500 -$3000 a month because she didn’t want to take chemotherapy first. If she had chemo first and her cancer came back, the treatment plan she took would have been free).

    It’s great that you try your best to take care of your family’s needs. I understand it can be frustrating if one of your family members is a huge spender. I can totally relate to your frustrations as my father has bipolar and he had spending sprees. I get so angry and worried every time he spends couple thousand dollars on a new tv set or new floors for the house or a new laptop. He always makes it seem like everything is okay. Now that he has passed, I guess one of my worries are gone.
    Money Pincher recently posted…The 40 hour work weekMy Profile

    • These are great points – I DO worry about my health failing at some point in the future and no amount of savings will fully assuage my worries about how that will turn out. I’ve been poor and I can deal with that; I’ve been sick and I’m managing that; I do NOT want to experience being poor AND sick at the same time.

      On the Canada-US healthcare differences: I didn’t realize that if you chose a different treatment plan, you’d have to pay so much out of pocket!

      Ah, parents/family members!

  4. I have “bag lady syndrome” and am afraid I’ll be living on the streets and eating out of garbage cans when I get old. To many people children are the fall back caretakers when one gets old, but I made the choice not to have children so that’s not an option open to me. (And in reality one can’t always rely on one’s children to do that for a number of reasons. Your care-taking of your family is outstanding in many ways.)

    I’m also divorced and don’t see that I’ll be getting re-married, so there’s no spouse to help pick up the slack. I am truly on my own in preparing for my future, aged self to keep living a decent lifestyle. And to me that doesn’t include fancy house, fancy car, or expensive vacations every year, just a safe, decent place to live and some comforts like good heating/cooling and helpful appliances in my home (I love my dishwasher, washer, and dryer!). So I save for retirement diligently and have long term care Insurance. Nonetheless, I know there are gaps. No one seems to want to give me supplemental long term disability insurance; one insurer turned me down because I used to have panic attacks like 12 years ago, and another turned me down because I regularly see a chiropractor and seem to have “too much stress” in my job. (!!!)

    My only other “money fear” is that all this saving will come to naught if the market collapses near the time I will need that money. Or, worse, that our social break-down will be so bad that money has much less value than it does now.
    Linda recently posted…Moving thoughtsMy Profile

    • Isn’t there ANY statute of limitations on how long they can keep rejecting you for old problems??

      It seems pretty foolish, more clearly to me than most perhaps, to consider children any kind of a safeguard against future destitution. I do think about the same things you do, and try to make sure our investments are diversified enough that maybe, if there’s a market crash or another recession, we’ll still have some resources to fall back on.

      • Yeah: Once you reach 65, Medicare and its supplemental insurers have to take you on, no matter what. At the first open enrollment, which starts on you 65th birthday, you get Medicare automatically. It doesn’t cover everything, so you have to buy a Medicare supplement from a private insurer, thereby driving up your costs significantly but giving you the same coverage as everyone else: during the first open enrollment, there’s no underwriting. You must choose your Medigap coverage well, because even though they all have to offer the same coverage, some companies lure new Medicare customers by offering extremely low rates, and then a year, two, or three later suddenly jack up the prices — and after the first open enrollment at age 65, you will be subjected to underwriting and may not be able to get a policy with a less crooked company for a reasonable cost.

        That notwithstanding: yes, there is a “statute of limitations”…which is, itself, limited.
        Funny about Money recently posted…OMG! Call 911! It’s…it’s FB! He’s not breathing!!!My Profile

  5. Funny you should post this because I’ve been thinking about a similar question as I’m working on a post for my blog. I have this fear of being in debt and this feeling of uneasiness that goes with it. Not even about collectors or losing things which is what happens when you’re in debt. But the fear that I’ll be in constant anxiety over it. Like you’re paddling water to keep your head up is the worst part – because if you stop at least you know you’ll die and that’s the end. Does that even make sense?
    The Asian Pear recently posted…Weigh-In: July 2014My Profile

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