My Top Five Financial Frights for 2009

Last year I posted a top ten financial frights list, but that was more of a general frights list. Things that could happen to anyone. This year, I’m getting more personal, and limiting my list to 5 frights, because if I had 10 I’d be sleeping off about 30 Xanax, not writing this blog.

Stock Market Roller-Coaster
I’ve mostly recovered, but I spent the early part of the year avoiding my 401K statements. It was just too scary to think about the 50% I’d lost. That was pretty darn scary, as I’m sure you know, too.

Credit Score Obsession
When I was applying for mortgages, I spent a lot of time stressing about my credit score. How much would each application ding my score? What about my credit limit reduction? What if we charge a little extra this month? What if an error shows up on my credit report? It only got worse when our mortgage went to underwriting. We were approved, but that was a really, really stressful six months right there, and I have excellent scores!

Buying a House 
This is exciting, and exhilarating, and thrilling, and all that good stuff. It’s also the most terrifying thing I have ever done. (Note: I haven’t been through childbirth yet.) One day, you’ve got a big wad ‘o money in your bank account and you’re feeling pretty good. The next day you’ve signed an inch of paper and most of that money is gone. Eek!!!

Furnishing a House
Once you’ve got the house, you need furniture to fill it. We’ve bought precisely two pieces of furniture for our new house: a sofabed for the guest room and a patio set. And the patio set was a gift, so we didn’t even buy it. Everything else will have to wait. In fact, we’d planned to buy a dining room set for Thanksgiving, but it’s sold out until after Thanksgiving, so that patio set will come inside for Turkey Day. I know it’s extravagant, but I’m just fancy like that. One reason we’ve delayed buying furniture: the upcoming surgery. Another reason: buying furniture is exhausting. What color, what size, how many pieces, where to get it, how much to spend. Frankly, it’s that last question that gets me. I vastly underestimated the cost. So, rather than $5,000, we’re looking at closer to $10,000. Can you hear me screaming?

There’s nothing that will blow your budget like an unplanned medical expense. Okay, we can sort of plan for the surgery. The doctors say that there’s no rush, but my husband is in pain. The pain will only get worse. We have insurance and disability coverage, but there goes our furniture-buying plans until this is all over. At least the cats will have a while longer to play in our big, empty living room. My car is less happy about this development. It was due for replacement by the end of the year. Everyone say goodbye to Aryn’s new car. Can you hear me crying?

It’s fair to say that it was a pretty scary financial year for everyone. My frights weren’t as scary as most people’s, but they were scary to me. How was your 2009? Share your financial frights in the comments!

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