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Home > How's the Air Pressure in Your Spare Tire?
 

How's the Air Pressure in Your Spare Tire?

April 11th, 2009 at 07:07 am

Yesterday at work, right after lunch break, someone came in and announced that there was a car in the parking lot that had a flat tire. They gave a description of the car. It was the same make, model & color as mine. They gave the license plate number (but I don't know what mine is). Between the time of the announcement and afternoon break, when I could go out to check my car, while trying to concentrate on my work as much as I could, I was also mentally formulating strategies to deal with what I felt certain was a flat tire on MY car. I knew I'd be able do deal with it (I belong to AAA, and there are several repair shops not too far from where I work), but what bothered me was the realization that I had not checked the air pressure in my spare tire for 1-1/2 years. I know exactly when it was, because we checked it right before beginning the long-distance drive from Seattle to Austin. Pretty bad for a woman who likes to tout herself as a "preventative maintenance gal," right?

Fortunately, it wasn't my car that had the flat (whew).

This morning, DH is off filling up the gas tank and checking the air pressure on the spare tire!

Nothing like a close call to jolt you in to action, right?

So, guys ... Given the current state of the economy, doesn't this seem like an excellent time to ask ourselves how the air pressure is in our FINANCIAL spare tires? If we haven't lost our jobs or had our hours shaved, we almost certainly have friends or family members who have. And if we don't personally know someone who has lost their home to foreclosure, we certainly know people who have or are aware of homes in our neighborhood that have been foreclosed on. Even if we ourselves haven't had our retirement plans negatively altered (yet), we probably know someone who has.

- How's the emergency fund?
- How's the retirement savings balance?
- If you are of a "certain age," do you have a plan to adjust the makeup of your retirement savings as you approach retirement age? (This is the aspect of the financial spare tire that I've been motivated to work on due to the recent troubles. I'm happy to report that the EF and retirement savings are both in good shape, and folks who used to mock me for my frugal ways no longer do.)
- What else makes up a fully-inflated financial spare tire?

My grandparents were children of the Great Depression, and you had better believe that they always kept their financial spare tire fully inflated.
May we all be as wise as they were and learn from watching what is happening to folks around us. I think that the young people of today who are willing to observe, learn, and apply what they have learned are going to have very secure financial futures.

Who is coping well with setbacks, and why are they able to do so? Who is able to take a job loss in stride, and who ends up running their financial car off in to the ditch? What can we learn from them, and how can we apply it to our own lives?

And then once we have learned and developed a plan, what action do we take? While learning and planning are very important, they are not what is going to make our lives better ... taking action is.

As Ralph Ellison wrote in the book Invisible Man:
Without the possibility of action, all knowledge comes to one labelled "file & forget."

This is something I need reminding of from time to time. I just put a note to myself on my calendar to check my car's spare tire air pressure in 6 months.

8 Responses to “How's the Air Pressure in Your Spare Tire?”

  1. NJDebbie Says:

    Excellent post! Saving for us is on auto pilot and it has become a priority in our lives. I don't want to be caught off guard.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    My husband is a builder and things have really slowed down. We have savings enough to live on for several years, so I feel like we are in pretty good shape.

  3. KellyB Says:

    FANTASTIC post! Thanks for some timely questions.

  4. dmontngrey Says:

    This is an excellent post! Thanks for sharing and for the reminder! Smile

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Great post Scfr! Right now I'm not saving anything, but so far haven't had to touch any previous savings. I probably will have to though to pay for 3 months of Cobra ... but still, I feel pretty good having made it nearly two months with barely any income not having touched savings.

    Speaking of spare tires, I probably need to make sure I still have one! Somehow my spare tire seems to go missing once a year or so. I guess Honda's spare tires are at a premium.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    great post. at the moment we have about $10k in the EF, about $8k in my super fund and about $17k in DF's. i think that is the best we can do right now lol.

    another financial spare tyre might be a backup plan if you lose your job. even if it's just updating your resume and checking what is being offered at the moment in the newspapers.

  7. baselle Says:

    Our spare tire also consists of learning that we don't need the car. Smile

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