Saving For That Rainy Day

Saving For That Rainy Day

I am very frugal.

My mind is consumed with the notion of acquiring and building wealth to the extent that it’s intruding upon my daily activities.

I try to do everything frugally.  For example, when I bought my first car, I didn’t pick the coolest car or the fastest car.  Instead, I picked a car with the best car insurance rates.  I had a list of vehicles I was interested in and I checked with various insurance companies to find out how much it would be for each one.I think it all stems from a fear of not having enough money. I was talking to my mom the other day and I told her I wouldn’t be comfortable unless I had enough money for 10 years of living expenses in a liquid account.

A little background:I’m in my late 20’s or early 30’s (it’s a secret!). My previous job was my first job out of college, and I was there for almost 2 years. I worked in systems development, and it sucked. I would work 50, 60, 70 hours a week on salary (no overtime pay) with mandatory weekends and pretty much as much nonsense as you could imagine. This was a big, international HR firm, and our company engagement scores were around 25/100 (which is absolutely horrible). Basically, no one was happy there. People in the development teams had job stress-induced illnesses. I would see people cry at work, etc. Sometimes I’d go home at night at come back the next day and there were still people there who hadn’t gone home. One of our programmers worked a 35 hour shift once. People’s families would come visit them at work because the employees never got to go home. And all of this for low pay (related to similar jobs at other companies) and 0-1% raises.Alright, so I had been thinking about quitting for a while, but one weekend I decided to finally do it. I gave 2 days notice and quit. I had at least 6 months worth of living expenses saved up in a liquid account at this point, plus I cashed out 21 days of PTO which is over 4 weeks worth of pay, so that was a nice bonus.

I was so stressed out from that job I was then unemployed for about 6 months, by choice. I was literally so screwed up from that job that I didn’t do much for the next 3-4 months. I would sleep in until noon. I had no motivation to do anything. And through the whole thing, I felt secure because I had enough in the bank for a few more months…

Anyway, that experience made me realize that I was lucky to be able financially to up and quit my job. There were so many people there who hated it but couldn’t quit because they were living paycheck to paycheck.

I think that now I’m terrified of being in that position again. I’m always asking myself “what if I get fired? What if I have to quit?” Finding a new job is impossible. “What if I can’t find a new job?” I’m consumed by the need to have enough money so that not finding a job won’t be a problem because I won’t need money.

I think I’m taking it a little too far to that extreme.

Beats the alternative, though.