Friday, February 20, 2009

Serious Question

I keep reading, like every five or six months, over on those Serious Big Boy Blogs, that grown-ups are supposed to have six months of living expenses saved up, "just in case," in a savings account somewhere, you know, in case they lose their job or whatever.

Every time I read this I get like DEEPLY uneasy.

Does anyone actually do this? (You can guess, I reckon, that I don't have six days of savings.  If either mr. delagar or I lost our job we'd be on the front lines of radio KFKD right away.)

I've been dead flat busted (deep in debt, in fact) ever since I got cancer without insurance at the age of 29 -- but Jaysus, as they say in my hometown, how would anyone ever save up six months of living expenses?  Anyone with kids anyway.

This can't be a serious goal, can it?


Bardiac said...

Yes, people do this. My parents did, for sure. Slowly, a tiny bit at a time, while raising two kids, etc. (And not on a high salary, either. Thank goodness for the GI bill!)

I'm slowly getting there, but my parents gave me a lot of help.

zelda1 said...

Before the drunk driver, I saved enough to get by for about two or three months, but after I was hit and not able to go back to work and when my long term disability from my job, which isn't meant to be long term, played out, I went through the savings and that was it. No more savings.

Anonymous said...

My husband's job is confidently secure, but he only makes half my salary, which is definitely not secure. But we can live on less than our current combined salaries. And I can expect an 8-week severance. So a 6-month security blanket equals 6 months of my husband's take-home plus half of mine, minus 8 weeks, minus whatever my unemployment benefits would be, minus whatever I can do to punt with temporary or freelance work. That assumes I can find another real job within 6 months.

Hell, I don't know. --L

Anonymous said...

Well, ours isn't 6 months worth, but it is about 3. That used to be the regularly suggested amount, until the recent economic shitstorm. Of course, there was some contribution to that from parents for us, too. But really, that's because we chose to do that with the parental contribution, not because anyone made us put it away.

Anonymous said...

I don't want this to sound like a judgment of anyone, because everyone's situation is very different, but for the record, my family has enough in CDs to get by for a (frugal) year. We lived very frugally for several years to save enough to buy a house and then we kept it up to build that cushion. One income, one special needs child, good health insurance. (Knock wood.)

zelda1 said...

Gee A. that must be really nice; however, most of us, or some of us have suffered through great and I mean great medical crisis and raised children and are raising grandchildren and a year's worth of extra money is not feasible. Let me see, buy food or save money; buy needed medicine that insurance won't cover, or save money; pay out of pocket expense on surgeries, chemos, and other, or save money; I could go on and on but you get the point. Living frugally has nothing to do with people like me who had medical situations, family situations, and school situations that interferred with the whole being frugal thing. Like, I don't think I wanted to shop around for the cheapest chemotherapy or wait until I saved money to get my lungs fixed or my stomach fixed or, for that matter, my reproductive organs ripped out. On the other hand, I know how to save in the food department. I think Mr. Zelda and I can put other graduate students to blame on the peanut butter and dinners.

Anonymous said...

How did I know someone would get pissed off by what I wrote? Just talking about frugality always makes people really defensive. I really tried to make it clear that I understand we have certain advantages, such as the good health insurance, that made it possible in *our* situation. But I also wanted to make it clear that it was something we *worked* at, that some sacrifices were involved.