Happy Election Day 2020! I know you can get your fill of political commentary from people today. I’ll give you a break and mostly steer clear of politics.
(Of course, if you want my view on the election and your money, I suggest you read vote Biden for the economy.)
I was thinking about not writing an article today. I know that even I wrote my best article ever, it’s not going to get much attention. Just when I had convinced myself not to write an article, life intervened. This article practically wrote itself.
It’s a Combination of Things
I was looking forward to a productive Monday to start the week. My to-do list was a dozen items long, but I was well-positioned to fly through most of them. The first thing on my list after dropping the kids off at school was to get my car inspected.
I’m fishing through my glove compartment for the car registration when my phone rings. It’s the kids’ school. An automated message says the head of the school has sent out an important email. We all know what that means. I find the registration and walk to the mechanic while I’m reading the email.
I breathe a sigh of relief as there are no positive COVID cases at the school Instead there’s an early dismissal because there were three people who were in close contact with a positive COVID case.
I pick up the kids at school and get them home. My phone rings. It’s the mechanic. The car needs new brakes and some other repairs. It’s going to be $1100.
It wasn’t even noon and it was shaping up like a terrible week. I didn’t give my to-do list another thought.
I did take a minute to reflect on what this truly means. As long as the kids are healthy*, all of this is only slightly inconvenient. For many families in a different financial situation, it would be much, much worse. For many families in a different working dynamic, it would be much, much worse. The (relative) freedom of time and money was the right “Combination of Things” to combat this stressful day.
Those freedoms came from a combination of things:
- Our household income is far above average. My wife does well as a pharmacist. I piece together 3 part-time jobs and some contract work while managing much of the household errands.
- We live frugally. We drive our cars into the ground. Aldi groceries are cheap. I’m literally wearing a 24-year old shirt while I write this article.
- We’ve been very lucky. This shows up in our various ways, but one example is that we’ve had very few financial disasters.
Make more, spend less, be a little lucky… it’s a combination of things.
A few hours later, my mother emailed me asking why anyone thought Cam Newton would be a good quarterback for the Patriots this year. My response was predictable, “It’s a combination of things…”
* The kids were only in school for 2 hours this morning after a 3-day weekend. As there are no known positive cases yet, we are optimistic that health won’t be a concern.