Thursday, February 9, 2017

What the Super Bowl reminded me about the importance of saving

Before I begin, allow me to share a full disclaimer first: I did not watch the Superbowl this weekend due to a couple of factors. The main one is that we had planned to go to a Superbowl party to watch with friends, but then one of our sons started to get really sick with a cold. We weren't sure if it was the flu (it turned out to be RSV), but it was nasty enough to warrant us staying away from a place where other people's kids would be around. The second factor is that we could not watch at home because our television was broken by our kids a few months ago and we haven't replaced it yet.

Even though I didn't get to see the game, however, I heard it was pretty exciting and involved Atlanta having a lead over the Patriots which they then lost. My husband thought that Atlanta go too comfortable with their lead and didn't fight for the game like they would have if it were tighter.

As tax season comes upon us and many of us (including myself) will be getting returns, I realized that we all have tendencies to think like a team who has a generous lead when our financial situation is more comfortable. We are still in the throes of paying off debt, so most of our return would have gone toward student loans, but I had planned to set aside a little for extra expenses or maybe something we have been wanting and couldn't afford.

I soon realized, however, that it is very easy to spend money, and rather than give up part of our lead, I think we will be saving that extra money as much as we can. Unexpected expenses can sneak up on you when you aren't looking. Due to our son's respiratory illness and testing as well as a couple of doctor visits for my husband, we have already accrued well over $600 worth of medical expenses in the first six weeks of the year! We will pay for that with our HSA, but the experience reminded me that now is not the time to be comfortable when it comes to finances. Even though we have an HSA, we could have other expenses come up like car or home repair bills.

* Edited: Shortly after posting this, I went downstairs to do laundry and noticed that our sewer had backed up. Thank you, real life, for confirming my inclination to save!

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