Our energy bill last month was about $3 less than our rent. Yeah, you read that right. 3 bucks. This old house has steam heat. And that, apparently, costs a lot. Luckily, my sister lived here for a year and a half before we moved in, so we were prepared, in theory, for a high heating bill. "In theory", because nothing quite prepares one for paying a heating bill equal to rent.
Hence, I have turned down the heat and spent $5 buying myself some slippers. And we're still not in frigid territory yet. Right now, my nose is freezing but the thermometer downstairs is registering at 62 degrees. That's pretty warm, really. Sweater weather, I guess, and conveniently, I'm wearing a sweater right now.
The heating bill coupled with dire forecasts from economists in the news lately coupled with an announcement from Dennis' company that they are unable to contribute to 401k's next quarter coupled with a decision from him to work longer hours voluntarily, so as to demonstrate his necessity to the company has led me to do some big "what if" thinking. What if Dennis lost his job tomorrow? What if we had an emergency of some sort? What if the baby came early? What if, what if, what it?
The problem for me, is that I can get kind of obsessive what-if-ing. So, tonight Dennis and I tackled the what-ifs. What if he lost his job tomorrow? Turns out, we'd be doing fine. We rent a beautiful house and our rent is low, our landlord generous. We have a six-month emergency fund based on Dennis' current gross salary. Which means that it would last longer than six months. Dennis is a hard worker and would do whatever is necessary. I can be resourceful and may be one of God's most stubborn creatures. We'd maybe buy some space heaters. We'd be fine. Same with the other questions. We'd be depending on others more than ourselves, but we'd be smart enough to do that. We'd draw on resources from family and friends. We'd figure out what needs to happen. We'd be fine.
Heating bills and dire predictions and longer hours and less retirement money are no match for Team McStew. We're in whatever together, even if it becomes more than an "if." I feel better.