Lesson Learned: The “Rainy Day” is Here
How many of us did not “responsibly” save our money? Our parents were not wrong.
There are two schools of thought in this regard: Money is the root of all evil, and money needs to be saved in the event of a rainy day.
Related to the first is the belief that we only live once, and living paycheck to paycheck is not necessarily a negative. Spending extra money on normal, human experiences such as travel, meals out and entertainment while the rest goes to bills does little to distinguish the difference between a “want” and a “need.”
Do I “want” those new sneakers, or are those new sneakers a “need?” Do I deposit my after-bill money into an FDIC-insured savings account, a non-FDIC high-interest-bearing account, or a high-risk, high-yield investment account?
For me, I thought I “needed” every comic book I could lay my hands on. Every new VHS cassette I had to own. Every monster magazine … and so on.
College happened, and though I was living with my parents for some of the period those school bills still needed to be paid.
By the time I graduated and elected to “follow my bliss” (thanks Joseph Campbell) by moving to Los Angeles and pursuing my entertainment writing-producing career, I was flat broke. I moved anyway, maxed out my credit cards, and won $6900 on Wink Martindale’s gameshow, “Debt,” off a “Planet of the Apes” final question.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …
Needless to say, it was no fun being broke and making a fool of myself on national television.
But on the positive side, I was fortunate enough to make that cut.
And pay off those credit card bills.
I could have ended up homeless, which is the fear of many around the globe today as Congress squabbles on about the stimulus package and many of the rest of us no longer know from where our next check is coming.
Exactly when will we receive our share? Exactly how long will those funds last?
Exactly how desperate are we to receive those funds and what would happen if we did not?
And, one more: Who bailed you out the last time?
Today, Mom, Dad, other family, and friends may well be in the same position as you.
Assuming a new normal once our present reality stabilizes, we need to be cognizant of steps to take so we won’t get caught again with our pants down.
“There is never an easy way out.” — Dad
My father was right. When I could not meet my bills in college, I had to find a second job. When I still could not meet my bills, I began working part-time on weekends.
I was finally able to meet my bills.
But I had no money left over. If I wanted to do something small like go to a movie … I needed to go into business for myself or find yet another line of employment.
Here are two common sense articles as to how to prudently save — and also earn money — in the event of a “rainy day,” along the lines of what many of our parents used to teach us:
13 Ways to Make (or Save) Money on a Rainy Day - SmartAsset
A rainy day doesn't have to be a lazy day. If you're stuck inside your house, there are plenty of ways to make the most…
What's the Difference Between an Emergency Fund and a Rainy Day Fund?
Chances are, you're familiar with the term emergency fund. Experts suggest keeping at least 3 to 6 months of living…
Now this is all well and good, and most of the above articles’ points still hold weight during our ongoing crisis, but if we again find ourselves in a financial hole and are unprepared, we cannot count on the government to bail us out.
Hopefully, we’ve all learned a very expensive lesson. Sometimes parents are pretty damned smart after all.
Thank you for reading.
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