Last week was a rough week for me:
I recently bought a new house and, after some storms, we discovered water in the basement. That led to the discovery of some broken and disturbed asbestos tile, which will need to be abated before we do any finishing work in the basement.
In an act of petty vandalism, someone threw a rock through my car window. Since the amount to replace the window was less than my deductible, insurance didn’t cover it.
I broke my glasses. I have an extra pair, so I can still see (or I wouldn’t be able to write this), and I was due for an eye exam anyway. Still, it sucks.
While it was a difficult week, I’m fully aware of how fortunate I’ve been through all of this. I have savings that can help with the cost of asbestos remediation. I have savings specifically for automotive expenses that can cover the cost of a new car window. And I have vision insurance that will cover an eye exam and most of the cost of a new pair of glasses.
In other words, I have savings and slack. I can absorb a few unexpected expenses as long as they’re not too big.
Many, many people do not have that ability. For these people, asbestos, even with water in the basement, would be something they have to live with. A broken car window would mean putting up a garbage bag (or something else) and getting on with life. Broken glasses would mean living with broken glasses or trading the ability to see with the ability to pay some other bill.
All of us have bad days or bad weeks. But bad days and bad weeks don’t have the same consequences for all of us. That’s an important thing to remember.