If you’ve just started reading my posts about our personal finances, start with The Personal Finances Fixation.
In addition to working on our budgeting and spending, in the fall, August, September, and October were “do grown-up things” months. After reading several personal finance books, I was reminded that there were a number of things that we needed to address:
- We re-evaluated my and E’s insurance, and we moved to Chris’s insurance plan at work. For just a little more money a month, our coverage would be considerably better, even though E and I would have to switch to another health network and find new doctors.*
- We added E as a beneficiary on my and Chris’s life insurance policies.
- We bought life insurance for E.
- We cancelled my disability insurance. (I know, it’s good insurance to have, but I wasn’t on a group plan, so the rate was expensive, and the coverage wasn’t great.)
- We created an estate plan. We met with our lawyer — OK, we got a lawyer — who set up our wills, health care directives, and powers of attorneys.
- We checked our credit scores. (For free.) And, yea, everything looked better than we expected.
- We decided we’re not giving gifts for Christmas. At all. (More on this later.)
You may wonder why we spent money on some of these things — namely, the estate plan — when we were working hard to dig ourselves out of a financial pit. The answer is “peace of mind.” While these things are important, they are not urgent. That is, they’re not urgent until you’re dead. But for the money we paid — and yes, we put our savings and debt snowball on hold to tackle these things — we know that if something should happen to us, our family will be taken care of. And the price we paid is worth the sacrifice.
* I believe we dodged a bullet here. While we had not received any notice that our old policy would be cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act, knowing what I do now after HealthCare.gov opened, it probably would have been cancelled or our premium would have skyrocketed to something unbelievable.