Whenever I have needed to save money, like large sums of money, it has always been something that has been fairly easy for me. Many years ago I had two months to save $2,000 for a vacation with my grandma. I did that and then some, no problem. When I needed to save money to move to Kansas City, no problem saving up the money in a few months. Saving seems to be the easy part for me.
Even now, just a few days after my husband and I decided that we needed a hefty savings fund to pay for his lawyer and medical bills that we know are coming down the pipeline. ONE WEEK ago and already our savings account is at $3,929. (And Mr Woodpecker has another $1,500 check that is a wedding gift in his wallet that we need to cash – so there is easily our $5,000 goal and then some.)
What baffles me the most about all of this is how can I so easily save money on one hand – and then be terrible at paying debt off on the other. Surely paying off debt is no different than saving money. It can’t be “compounding interest working in my favor” on these savings accounts. I’m looking at ONE WEEK at a 0.9% annual interest.
Perhaps it is just that I’m more encouraged by the total going up than a total going down?
Perhaps the immediacy of knowing that we WILL need this money? Paying debt is “saving” for purchases I’ve already made and purchases in the future that I haven’t yet planned. Saving right now has a very specific goal: Keeping us from being crushed by medical bills in the next few months.
Instead of trying to analyze why saving money seems to have such a simple nature to it and paying off debt so difficult, maybe I should just say “interest be damned” and just save money until I get a pot big enough to pay off each debt in full. I’d still be paying minimums, of course, but perhaps if I can easily come up with $3-5,000 at a time using savings as a goal that I can just then transfer these amounts in huge chunks to my debt rather than just paying off the debt little amounts at a time.
Who knows… perhaps I’m not better at saving than I am at paying off debt. Maybe it is just easier to see because it grows, and debt just gets little chiseling and then BOOM monthly charges that work is gone.
Either way, I’m happy to report that our savings is growing. Our debt is remaining steady. And hopefully we’ll have enough saved to pay the onslaught of medical bills we know is coming.