I am for the most part what is known as a "late adopter." Or maybe it's "lagger"---I forget. I didn't get a cell phone until 2001, and I only got it because I got into a VERY MINOR, INJURY-FREE, NOT-MY-FAULT accident while pregnant, and Paul kind of freaked and said it was stupid we didn't have cell phones. So now we have them, but they don't play games or music or anything, and Paul always leaves his at home on the counter. We still have a landline, and our phone has a cord.
And, like, we don't have a DVR or a Blu-Ray or HDTV or a iPhone or a Kindle, and it's not because we're technology snobs, it's because we're cautious. Okay, I'M cautious: Paul is by temperament (though not by bank account) the sort who would buy every new thing the day it came out. I tend to buy things when everyone I know has already replaced it with something two generations more recent.
All this is to say that I have finally acquired the Fear of Recession everyone else picked up a few years ago. Yesterday I was in a funk all day and couldn't even figure out why I felt so doomy. I tried to pinpoint the problem: was it marital? No. Was I worried about one of the kids? No. Was it ennui? No. Hormonal? Probably no. A fight with a friend? No. But it felt like it was SOMETHING, and finally I figured out what I was feeling was Financial Stress.
I know exactly what triggered it, too. We got a letter from Paul's company saying they were changing our health insurance plan AGAIN (as they do EVERY YEAR), and that as usual there was no good news. Not only is our monthly contribution now MORE THAN OUR MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT (just let that sink in a minute: if we chose to wing it on the health insurance, we could OWN A SECOND HOUSE) (well, okay, we couldn't pay the taxes or the water bill or the utilities or whatevs, but STILL) (and maybe we could rent it to a doctor in exchange for free check-ups), but now we have a $2000 annual deductible before the dubious benefits (we haven't seen them yet, but the copays always go up and the covered services always go down) kick in.
This is difficult to accept. Health insurance, like life insurance, is a gamble you WANT to lose---but it's still difficult. I did some quick math and found out that even if I had paid cash for all my c-sections, we would STILL have paid less for health care than we have paid for health insurance. That utterly sucks. And yet I'm too chicken to drop the health insurance: something could Happen, and THEN WHAT?
Anyway, that whole thought process made me get all squirrelly about money, and that's when the Recession Worries finally kicked in. And yet, I am having exactly as much effect on the situation as when I WASN'T worrying about it. Yay.
Gift ideas for an 8-year-old, part 2 of 2 - Last week I talked about the gifts we were getting/considering for Edward, who is turning 8 next month. This week it’s Elizabeth’s turn: not “girl gifts,” ...