Sunday, August 21, 2011

Time to Get Serious...

This post is not about food, shopping or a boating trip. I'm taking this post to share a very important lesson I learned a few weeks ago. Stick with me....

My parents always said, "Save a little, spend a little." I had a job from the moment I turned 16 because I had to pay my own car insurance ($60 per month for my cute little red LeBaron Convertible) and gas money. I also knew that I had to save money to live on once I went to college. To say the least, I've always been a saver.

Flash forward 10 years. I'm now married and own a 1 bedroom condo in Chicago. We continue to save for a rainy day, or in this case, a nasty thunderstorm.

About 1 month ago, our air conditioning unit stopped working at the start of the hottest week Chicago has ever seen. With humidity, temperatures soared upwards of 115 degrees. There was no way we could go without air conditioning. I don't know the first thing about AC units, so I turned to Twitter for a bit of advice. I asked my followers who live in Chicago for a recommendation for an AC company. @carolyngolz responded with 2 companies. I had 3 companies come out and give us a quote (not an easy took 3 full days!). Ultimately, we chose a company that had great reviews and seemed very trustworthy, which they were (thank you Carolyn! We used Four Seasons!).

Replacing an entire AC unit is not cheap. In fact, the total bill was $3,480.00. I had a mini panic attack that I was about to fork over nearly $3,500 just to stop sweating (literally). Just a few weeks earlier, Hubster and I agreed to start saving for a trip to Europe since neither one of us have ever been out of the country. Well, our Euro trip fund just went to Four Seasons AC.

The moral of the story is save, save, save! My dad asked me if we needed to borrow money to pay for the AC and I was super proud when I told him we had enough money in savings to pay for it and not stretch ourselves thin.

According to Time Money Land and @MoneyUnder30 , 64% of Americans don't have $1,000 in their savings accounts. To me, this is a crazy scary statistic. I know there are a lot of economic factors that have led to this. The point I am trying to make is do not under estimate the importance of stocking away money. I am thankful that I learned the value of saving early on in my life.

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