With Thanksgiving coming up next week, I’ve read many articles about being thankful. As I put together my own list of thankfulness, I noticed that many of the things for which I’m thankful are related to security, and those things are often tied to finances. Here’s how my list looks:
- Health insurance: Sure, you will occasionally hear me gripe about Tricare and the military medical system. I am smart enough to know, however, that what’s we’ve got is a pretty good thing. The cost is low (or free) and the care is usually quite good. I take my kids to the doctor’s when necessary without worrying about how I’ll pay for it, I get the prescriptions that my family needs, and I don’t fret about a medical catastrophe ruining my family’s financial future. I know many people in America don’t have any insurance at all, and many more people have insurance that isn’t as good as ours. And so, I’m thankful.
- A spouse who thinks about money pretty much the same way that I think about money: We’ve all heard that money causes most of the fights in marriages. While you won’t ever agree on everything, being married to a person who basically has the same financial views can help keep the disagreement to a minimum. Heck, I can’t even remember the last time we disagreed about money. We do try to keep the lines of communication open, and it is a lot easier to talk to someone who is starting from a similar point of view. And so, I’m thankful.
- A safe, adequate house: We don’t live in a McMansion (nor would I want to), and we’ve lived in some small houses and some big houses. However, we’ve always had enough room to eat, sleep and play, and I’ve never been concerned for our safety. We’ve always had heat, even when the thermostat was a little crazy and the temperature was unpredictable. The occasions when I’ve had to shower in cold water have been few and it’s been quickly fixed. Whether military housing or on the economy, I’ve not been worried about homelessness. And so, I’m thankful.
- Job security: For most of our married life, I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. Knowing that my husband is going to get paid twice a month makes it a little easier to push through the lean times. I can’t imagine being constantly worried about lay-offs, downsizing, or other things that would decrease or eliminate my husband’s income. It would take a major upset, or a choice by my husband, for his job to end. Even then, we’d have some advance notice that it was coming – very few military members show up for work one day and are told to pack their stuff and go home. Even a few months of preparation time would make any transition so much easier. And so, I’m thankful.
- Youth: If you are in the military, you are young, or at least relatively young. We’ve still got time to pursue our financial goals and weather the current financial turmoil. My small retirement savings have shrunk like just like everyone’s, but I’m not planning on using it for at least a few decades. Either it will rebound, or I’ll work a little harder to make up the losses. And so, I’m thankful.
Even when economic times are tough, there are many things for which to be thankful. So, what’s on your list?