What Is Your Biggest Financial Fear?

by Kelly · 12 comments

in Thoughts On Frugality

This question was asked on the Wise Bread forums. Not only did it trigger an emotional reaction in me, bringing the fear up to the surface, it actually triggered a physical reaction. The adrenaline came into play, my heart started beating faster, I started feeling afraid. If just thinking about the situation can have that sort of effect on me, I shudder (literally) to think of what the actual situation might do.

My biggest financial concern is if the car dies just enough that we have to do major repair on it. This would wipe out our emergency fund before we have a car fund saved up to buy another one. The one car our entire family can fit into is in shaky shape and… it worries me. If we wiped out our emergency fund fixing it than we wouldn’t be prepared for any other emergencies that came along. We would then have to resort to credit to fix those emergencies and then? We would be right back where we started: no emergency fund, credit card debt and monthly payments.

Nothing else could have this catastrophic of an impact. If the other car died, we could do without. If a major appliance died, we could fix it out of the emergency fund and still have a generous lump in the account. If we had a major medical issue, well we live in France. If one of us lost our jobs- again, we live in France. (When my husband was unemployed he had the right to 760 days of unemployment at about 80% of his salary or €960 per month.) We rent our house, so any major repairs are our landlord’s responsibility.

But if this car dies, or needs major repairs, than we are paddle less for sure. The only answer is to keep plugging away at building our emergency fund.

There are no guarantees as to when or if an emergency will happen. If there’s one emergency, there aren’t any guarantees that another one won’t follow hard upon its heels. It’s the incertitude that gets me; as a planner and a plotter I like to know what’s going to happen in advance. Of course, with life, you can’t.

What’s your biggest financial fear? How are you preparing for it, if you are preparing at all?


1 Lucie August 7, 2008

Wow this is a great and unpleasant topic all at once.

Ironically, I just bought Dave Ramsey’s book YESTERDAY (what can I say certain blogs have inspired me :)) and am for the first time in my adult life beginning the process of making a budget and getting our finances under control.

My biggest fears, in no particular order (why is it so scary to say them out loud?):

(1) Serious health problem/accidents – while our children have healthcare…we don’t
(2) Not making enough money to pay off our 150k + combined student loans
(3) bankruptcy (see above)
(4) never being able to buy a house (see #2 and couple it with my medical bills from the baby and credit card debt of about $4k)

Broke-assedness in general….

Okay I am of to read some Dave so I can be proactive instead of stressed!

Lucie’s last blog post..Mom Seeking Mom Advice: Simple Birthday Gifts for a Little Boy

2 The Frugal Wench August 7, 2008

Nice post. My biggest financial fear right now is everything. The worst has happened, lost my job, my car died, running out of money. So one little bitty catastrophe, like a major appliance breaking, would put me over the edge.

3 Crystal August 7, 2008

My fear is not adequately handling the debt while my husband has his current salary and being in a situation where he takes a significant pay-cut before I’ve taken the ravenous credit card debt out of our budget.

His job is slated to move out of state come spring and while I deeply appreciate their offer to transfer him I have extremely close family ties in this state and would rather move back to my mom’s couch than move across the country. Though as gas and food prices skyrocket I feel like we’re already taking a steadily increasing pay-cut and the end of my revolving debt becomes like the horizon; a point so real I can see it, but no matter how hard I try to catch up it always recedes as fast as I approach.

Sadly I’ve given up my daydreams of having “extra” money once the debt was paid off and am now just concerned with removing the debt before our lifestyle has to take anymore trimming. On a positive note at least I have a good mortgage. You can’t rent a one-bedroom in a roach infested slum for less than I pay for my great big four and two. I think I could work part-time retail and still make the mortgage payment even if my husband has a lengthy unemployment. Besides, we don’t really need all these fancy utilities. Electricity is for sissies. Wait, electricity connects me to the internet. I have got to pay off that debt.

4 Frugal Trenches August 7, 2008

Hands down for me is loss of job! As a single with of course only 1 income I honestly don't know what I'd do! This fear is a good fear for keeping me focused on my goals AND also because it happens to people every single day so I need to be realistic. I've never lost a job yet but right now the market isn't great!

Frugal Trenches's last blog post..Catching Up!

5 dollar incense August 7, 2008

Thanks for posting this. It made me really reflect on my own feelings and write a short blog entry of my own.


dollar incense’s last blog post..The Courage to become Fearless

6 Miranda August 8, 2008

My biggest financial fear is losing one of my higher paying freelance writing gigs. How would I replace it? As a result, we try to live on 2/3 of what I make, and save what we can for a rainy day — just in case that happens.

7 Alison @ This Wasn't In The Plan August 8, 2008

I think that currently my biggest fear is that we won’t be able to sell our house when the time comes. We aren’t planning to anytime in the future, but we aren’t going to be staying in it forever either. I just am really fearful that no one will want to live in our neighborhood (heck, we don’t really like living here!), and that my husband will have a job in another state, forcing us to rent this out or just continue to pay the mortgage on a place we don’t live while we’ll need to pay living expenses elsewhere.
I guess it’s pretty good that my fear is something that, as far as I know, is something that will be a non-issue for a few more years!

Alison @ This Wasn’t In The Plan’s last blog post..July Wrap-Up

8 Karen R August 8, 2008

My biggest fear is that dh could lose his job. My second biggest fear is that we can’t afford the medical insurance premiums.

9 karla (threadbndr) August 12, 2008

I think my biggest fear is that I’ve messed up planning for retirement. What seemed so far away is now not all that far – still about 15 years out, and I have a traditional pension and 401k and Roth savings, but still – it’s not all THAT far away.

10 slinky August 14, 2008

My fiancee losing or quitting his job right after I finance my new car. I hate it when life interferes with my well laid plans! (There wasn’t supposed to be any financing, but the car died sooner rather than later.) We’d be alright for a while, but money would get pretty tight. Another fear is that my fiancee and I will never be in a place to accomplish our dreams. I’m pretty determined not to let that happen though.

11 Jerry June 5, 2009

My biggest fear is losing my job which would be not only a loss of income but health insurance for the family. It’s scary in this climate. You just don’t know what to expect. I kinda wish I lived in France! But, I try not to dwell because it leads me to be anxious. I prefer to try and be proactive about what I have at hand and move forward. No time to dwell on the possibilities.

12 Mike October 1, 2009

My biggest fear has already happened. I stupidly bought a sports car in June last year which is now worth half of what I paid for it and I can't give it back when the lease finishes for another 18 months. Not too bad I hear you say…well it wouldn't be but I lost my job in January of this year and can barely pay the mortgage let alone my stupid car finance. I could kick myself repeatedly for being so vain and stupid.

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