Expect those rainy days

Expect those rainy days

Waking up at 3 a.m. is not a fun time, especially when you’re dreaming about bills. Everyone has hopefully heard the phrase “when it rains, it pours.” If you haven’t, in Merriam-Webster it says, “used to say that when something bad happens other bad things usually happen at the same time.”

It seems like that couldn’t be truer for me right now. I had busted my knee last year, but I finally decided to get it looked at, so medical bills will be coming. I am also paying for my honeymoon, which is not a terrible thing, but it is expensive. Then as I was driving, something popped up and it stated that I will need to change my timing belt in my car.

I am used to normal expenses, but things like these can really throw a healthy financial picture out of order, especially if you’re not prepared. One saying that I keep coming back to is when my friend was telling my dad about getting married, finding a house, and finding a job and he was a little nervous, and dad replied with “That’s life.”

It was straight and to the point. It was also absolutely true. I don’t know where we received this notion that life is easy, and terrible things shouldn’t pop up if we’re Christians or even just good people. Things that will flip your financial dream on its head will come up many times in life, and they could derail you completely if you are not prepared. By prepared, I mean an emergency fund. Something that will basically be your “superhero” when an unexpected situation comes into your life and helps save the day.

While I don’t have a specific emergency fund, I always make sure that I have enough cash on hand for something like a medical emergency or house repairs. Even the “new car fund” that I keep putting money into is used for unforeseen car repairs. It can be the difference between just stressing about it or losing it completely.

What I am not saying is that using this is easy, far from it. It’s hard-earned money that I always think “I could have bought this” or “I could have invested this and made more money” when I begrudgingly pay the unplanned bill, but then I must be thankful for the fact that I do have the money to pay for it. It’s a double-edged sword, because sometimes I wish everything were free, but that’s not reality.

Challenging situations and rainy days will come in our lives, but it should be expected. I was in a comparable situation when I was renting my first house to someone just hoping that nothing ever went wrong so I could keep that money. Of course, that was a fantasy, and I would be stressed and anxious whenever a sink would leak, the hot water heater would stop working, or a deck board would rot through. I wasn’t living in the real world where things break and give out, and that’s why I would be so surprised when I would get a call or text from the renter saying that something was wrong.

The only advice is having that umbrella for a rainy day or rainy days because they can come in droves. The emergency fund that is set aside can solve problems quickly in case a dryer goes out or one of the kids snaps their leg while playing sports. I know just having the money sitting there is frustrating but put yourself in a situation where you have a large bill unexpectedly and you don’t have that money. Keeping this safeguard in place will help avoid unneeded stress and you will be thankful for that.

Holmes County native BJ Yoder is an insurance agent by day and a finance enthusiast by night. This column is for informational purposes only. He can be emailed at benjamin.john.yoder@gmail.com.

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