Last week, Shawn and I paid off our American student loans- all £31000. We have been throwing every bit of extra cash at our debt, and holding off thinking about anything else until that was dealt with. So we had a meeting with a financial advisor, who thankfully is a lovely man from our church and didn’t seem amused or worried or disapproving about the childlike way we have been living. This is the situation: no savings, no assets, one small pension between two of us, no insurance, no will, no clue how to proceed.
I know people don’t generally speak about their finances even to friends, let alone publically in a blog, but I think we ought to air this kind of thing more. Money makes the world go round (“And so does a bang on the head,” said the puffin). As a result of the meeting, we have signed up for life insurance, I have begun to contribute voluntarily to national insurance so I will qualify for the state pension, we have looked into how much we would need to save to put down a deposit on a buy to let house.
The thing I am feeling strange about is that I can see how easy it is to transfer any sense of security or hope or excitement onto fairly meaningless and not even very impressive possessions and wealth. I don’t want to clutch at stuff instead of God, but if I start to amass stuff that I could clutch at, I can see that is very tempting.
And yet, it seems irresponsible not to prepare for the future, for old age and the possiblity of one of us dying early. Suddenly there is a safety net there- and I like it being there. Is that wrong? I always hoped that my faith would make a radical difference to how I lived, and not just be words, and I’m wondering if I’m selling out at the first opportunity to choose an alternative way of doing things. Maybe we could give our monthly margin away to someone who needs it more instead of paying out on insurance and saving for a house we won’t need to live in for another thirty years?
What are your thoughts?