15 Comments

  1. Oh Penny! I’m so sorry to hear about your teeth. I hope the procedure is neither painful or overly expensive and you’re back to normal quickly in a nice, cool house! Let us know how it goes!

  2. About $9K of my debt was HVAC replacement. If you can do that from savings, you should absolutely be celebrating!

    Also, feel better soon!

    • Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to replace the whole unit yet. We do know, however, that we are on borrowed time. Ours is original to the house (like most everything when we bought it), and the previous owners are definitely more suited for renting! That is to say, they did no upkeep and MacGuyvered a lot of things (a garbage disposal sealed with putty!).

      I get my bill tomorrow once the repairs are finalized!

  3. Hannah

    Once upon a time, three years ago, I spent 5% of our annual combined family income to get my wisdom teeth removed. We had put a similar amount of money into car repairs a month or two earlier.

    We literally saved money, so we would not have to worry about expenses like those, but it did not feel good to see that money leave our account. When you have a few kids, a house, and older cars, it’s easy to have $1k, $2k or $3k expenses just pop up out of nowhere. And when you have a lower income (even a lower middle income), it feels so disheartening to know that your luck needs to hold a few more months to build the savings back up.

    These days, our income is higher, and it does not hurt to spend the savings. Whether it’s tax bills, medical bills, or car bills we can handle it and build back our savings pretty quickly.

    • Yes! So much of this perspective is because we earn more now. I remember when we had to have $600 worth of work done to our furnace. My husband was a first year teacher, and I think I was a third? It was a very different feeling than now!

  4. Please get the tooth looked at asap! Tooth infections hurt like blazes and can lead to even more serious health issues. Those of us who read your posts kinda like having you around. And yes, I think that people who have learned frugality do have trouble spending money on things when they shouldn’t worry about it. Good habits are hard to break. But it is a good feeling when Murphy shows up at your front door and you don’t have to borrow money to send him away! Household repairs and dental work are both a little unrewarding because after you fix the problem it’s not like you are better off than before, you really are back where you were before the problem showed up.

    • You made my day! Thank you very much. I’m on the waiting list to get an earlier dentist appointment. Luckily, I had one for July anyway. I love that thinking, too. I had the money to send Murphy packing! 😀

  5. I cash flowed most of my big home expenses for the past four years (and HVAC replacement was one of them) because I was renting out the spare bedroom at least 10 months out of the year. I won’t be doing that any time soon considering the current situation, so if something major fails I will definitely have to pull the funds out of my EF. I mentally cringe at the thought, but that’s what it’s there for.

  6. I hope you come home with a night guard to help with that grinding! I had to get one last year for similar sounding issues. I have trouble with it though, I can’t comfortably close my mouth at night wearing it. Still better than losing the teeth but ick anyway.

    You can definitely track where I have been in life with my answers to this question over time. My emergency savings are still in perpetual lockdown against the big three (Job loss, tenant loss, and illness) because there are more of us to take care of than there are to earn money but I actually now recognize that when we need things, it’s ok to spend on them. And that wanting things to be neat and comfortable can be as important as a basic life need, within reason.

  7. I hope everything turns out OK with your teeth (and the HVAC).

    I was not so good about seeing our savings decline rapidly as we prepared for stay at home orders. My husband had to remind me that this was an emergency, and why we had the money saved.

    • I’m so glad he was able to remind you of those things. It’s definitely hard to see the number go down when you work so hard to make it go up!

  8. I completely agree with you that spending your savings is not always a pleasure if it is unplanned and big expenses. But I have to say that your thesis: “We spend so much time celebrating the act of savings, that we forget to acknowledge what that savings affords us”, made my day. Good luck to you.

    • Thanks, Andre! We have a temporary fix for the AC now that only cost $175. We’ll see where things shakeout when the real repair happens this week!

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