Living for tomorrow

clock-69184_640I have heard that if you hold on to things you don’t have a use for now, but think the day may come when you will, you are living in the future and living in the future is living in fear that the universe won’t provide what you need at that moment.

I thought I was doing really well now that my boys are grown letting go of the “what-ifs” and “living for tomorrow”.  If you have been the sole bread winner in your family you know the stress you can put on yourself fearing that something may happen to your job and you would let your family down.  I no longer stress about tomorrow. I have enough for my needs, I  have enough to eat and have no debt.  Then I realized I do something out of habit that comes directly from living for the future.

I don’t own my own home, and if you checked out my page of photos of my apartment you know I own very little “big” things. You also know that I only paid for one large item, currently in my home.  The total of that item was $320.

Yet, every month like clockwork I set aside the money for my rental insurance.  Why do I do this?  I am giving $200 a year to an insurance company on the off chance that I will lose every thing again. I do know that if I owned my home I wouldn’t have an option it would be required that I carry homeowner’s insurance.  But renter’s insurance only covers my belongings, not the building or anything that happens on the property.

cartier-66596_640Many of you have read the story of our house fire where we did lose just about everything but ourselves and the clothes on our backs, well not even that as my son ran out without  his shoes. If you haven’t you can read it here.

What I learned was that people are giving.  They have things they really don’t need and will gladly pass them on. By the time we moved into our new home we had furniture, beds, a fully functioning kitchen with more utensils and appliances than we ever needed.  We even ended up with two complete kitchen tables with chairs!  All free.

care-20185_640

So if I lost everything I have today, I trust that things would work out.  All I need is a roof over my head with a working bathroom, a place to sit and sleep (could be the same piece of furniture). For $10 I could buy enough clothes for myself.  My son, the computer geek he is wouldn’t be able to picture a day without a computer and would put one together for me with parts he has lying around.

So why do I pay insurance?  It’s not required, it’s habit, something I was taught to do from young on.  But taking another look at it, that $200 a year I pay for my insurance would be more than enough to buy everything I needed to get by.

I’ve made a decision. I am canceling the renter’s insurance and pocketing that money each month.  The only thing I could lose that means anything would be family pictures and those can’t be replaced.

Are you still living for tomorrow?

//

Advertisements

39 thoughts on “Living for tomorrow

      1. My landlords are super paranoid and cautious! I had to bring them my cat before I moved in so they could take a photo to make sure I didn’t “switch cats” mid-lease or something. Required renter’s insurance. Really formal lease language. I think because it’s only four apartments and their business is downstairs, they want to be very professional and cover every possible base. Also, I guess if their business downstairs had a fire and burned MY apartment, I could hypothetically want to sue. That’s what the insurance is for, I guess?

        Like

          1. Seriously they’re ridiculous. I wanted to adopt a kitten I rescued from the warehouse at work and they flipped out because “We just don’t know the temperament of the cat and if it and your cat will get along.” So it went to my boyfriend. And he gave it a stupid name. And I am bitter. 🙂

            Like

          2. I am so sorry about the kitten. What did he name it? My landlords try to make it harder for people to have pets here by charging a $600 pet deposit, but people just don’t bother to tell them they have the pets and the landlords don’t seem to care. We have a total of 8 apartments rented here and there are 7 cats, 3 ferrets, one dog and a skunk living in the building:-) The owner owns quite a bit of property and these he picked up just because he could get the rent from the businesses on the one end. It’s the expensive college apartments that they care what the tenants in them do.

            Like

        1. Wow, Caitlin, they are super cautious to photo of your cat even so what if you switched cats, if you only have one that’s what you are paying for. 🙂 Some places do make you carry insurance even though it will only replace what you own in a fire. There may be some exceptions to the insurance with a mixed zoning of business and residence there.

          Like

  1. Good for you dropping your renters insurance. I’m working on scanning my photos to my computer so I can’t lose them. Everything else can be replaced.

    Like

    1. I do need to scan my photos, you would think after losing most of them I would have done so already, but I didn’t have a scanner and didn’t want to buy one. A couple of months ago someone gave one to my son and he passed it to me, so now I have no excuse.

      Like

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Lois! I think fear of the future is the reason that many people hoard (or at least have more than they need). We need to realize that a lot of the future is unpredictable, but that we are here to take care of each other.

    And enjoy your extra $200 each month! 😉

    Like

    1. LOL not $200 a month, a year! I’ll still enjoy seeing it in the savings instead. I believe it is the fear of the future that causes the hoarding, my one neighbor pays for 3 storage units rather than give up his stuff. He lost everything in two previous relationships and now holds on to things out of fear of having nothing again.

      Like

  3. So insightful! I’m going to think about things I’m doing in life that are unnecessary, but simply habits. Yes, you’ll feel peace after scanning your photos and backing them up to a little hard drive that you can share with your family. 🙂

    Like

  4. I’ve lost my belongings 3 times in my lifetime, believe me I don’t get too attached to many things. I don’t have near as much stuff as when I was younger. We grew up poor. So that was my mindset when I was younger, that I ‘needed’ all that stuff; But like I said, after losing it all so many times, it doesn’t mean that much to me anymore, because it’s too hurtful when one does lose things.

    Like

  5. You’ve reminded me that I want to finish the task of scanning my grandmother’s photos now that I’ve fixed my scanner! And you’ve also reminded me that having an online backup service in addition to my portable hard drive system is so very worth it – especially since my livelihood lives on my computer!

    I fear I’m pretty bad about saving things “just in case.” I think it comes from living a good chunk of my adult life being really broke. But slowly I’m starting to see that it’s more important to have what I need and use now rather than trying to be prepared for any and all eventualities. Case in point – I had a hot air popcorn popper in college and I hauled that thing around with me through 3 different apartments and into my current house – having never used it since college. Then finally one day in a fit of purging I got rid of the thing.

    Well, a few years later CatMan and I started doing movie night and he asked for popcorn. I tried and tried the stove top method but kept burning it, or making it chewy or having some similar disaster or another. I was kicking myself for getting rid of the thing even though I never liked the taste of air popped popcorn. Finally I decided that I was just gonna have to bite the bullet and buy a new popcorn maker – so I was reading reviews and happened upon a stove top popper that has a little twirling paddle to keep idiots like me from burning the popcorn! I went out the next day and found one at the thrift store for $3. It makes the most amazing popcorn I’ve ever tasted!

    And the moral of the story is that if I had hung onto the air popper, we’d be stuck eating styrofoam tasting air popped popcorn. But since I was able to let go of the thing that didn’t serve me well, there was room to bring in the thing that actually did work for me.

    Now, I think I just need to apply this principle to the rest of my clutter!

    Like

    1. Great story Cat, I remember reading your quest for the perfect popcorn maker. I think the air popper and the advent of microwave popcorn was what put me off wanting it any more. Before that we had popcorn made on the stove and it was delicious. I couldn’t stand air popped it had no flavor and stuck to my teeth.

      Good luck backing up all your grandmother’s photos, luckily that job was done for me. When they passed away my brother had a scanner and asked if he could scan them, he made a copy for me. Now to get my children’s photos copied. The vast majority of them I gave to my kids when they got married, I thought they should have a pictorial of their childhood their children could look at.

      Like

    2. Great story Cat, I remember reading your quest for the perfect popcorn maker. I think the air popper and the advent of microwave popcorn was what put me off wanting it any more. Before that we had popcorn made on the stove and it was delicious. I couldn’t stand air popped it had no flavor and stuck to my teeth.

      Good luck backing up all your grandmother’s photos, luckily that job was done for me. When they passed away my brother had a scanner and asked if he could scan them, he made a copy for me. Now to get my children’s photos copied. The vast majority of them I gave to my kids when they got married, I thought they should have a pictorial of their childhood their children could look at.

      Like

  6. This post has really got me thinking because I definately do hoard things, Why? Lots of reasons I think. One was as a child I was taught not to waste things. I do need to let things go though and sometimes I’ll have a big give away of things to a charity shop or people who I know need things. Perhaps I’m too sentimental about possessions, I still have a few toys from my childhood and clothes from special occasions. Maybe it’s also because I’ve heard about how my grandmother and her family had to pawn most of their possessions after her father died and my father’s family were war refugees who had to leave almost everything behind. I think I’ll have to think more about this.

    Like

    1. Don’t you hate it when something makes you rethink things? As for your toys, I heard someone say they took pictures of them to hang and see every day and got rid of the actual “things”. My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression and handed me a lot of their baggage, I think it’s the same for those who lived through the Holocaust, there was so much loss of even identity through the loss of things that I can see why they tried to teach us to hold on to things.

      If you aren’t wearing your special clothes have you considered cutting them up to remake them into something you would wear or to make a quilt that you can enjoy, or some other idea to make them useful to you now?

      Like

        1. I’m glad. Years ago my son was devastated to outgrow several tee shirts with pictures and saying of his favorite football team. I cut them up and made them into a quilt and the sweatshirts he outgrew I made into throw pillows for him. He was only 12 at the time, but they are still important to him, his daughter has adopted one of the pillows as hers even!

          Like

  7. Well we own our townhouse and have insurance for replacement. That kind of insurance make sense because if it all burned down to the ground, we wouldn’t have the money to just replace it. And we do have a town house full of stuff but we are downsizing it as we plan to sell and move into something much smaller. The insurance only make sense if you can’t replace stuff – regardless of the expense. So I guess I will keep my insurance.

    But in your case I totally agree with your decision. It really is just simple accounting … and if you save the $200 a year – in a few years you would have a tidy sum that could easily replace what you might need.

    In reality, the only things that can’t be replaced are people.

    Great post.

    Like

    1. Elaine, when you said you own your townhouse it makes perfect sense to carry insurance. The loss of an entire home would far surpass the savings you would get from not carrying insurance. You also have to worry about the damage to your neighbors properties if say a fire broke out in your unit. Then there is also the concern of a slip and fall on your property that could devastate you financially.

      Yes, people and maybe photos of those people are the only things we couldn’t have replaced.

      Like

    2. Elaine, when you said you own your townhouse it makes perfect sense to carry insurance. The loss of an entire home would far surpass the savings you would get from not carrying insurance. You also have to worry about the damage to your neighbors properties if say a fire broke out in your unit. Then there is also the concern of a slip and fall on your property that could devastate you financially.

      Yes, people and maybe photos of those people are the only things we couldn’t have replaced.

      Like

  8. I think we all have different personalities and are comfortable with different amounts of risk. I have to have insurance because we own our house, but would have it any way because it provides me with peace of mind. However, over the years I have learned to hold onto to fewer and fewer things using the logic that you talk about–having confidence that I will be able to replace them in the future. For me, the saying “Everything in moderation” works best.

    Like

    1. Well I just turned 50 so it took me this long and putting pictures up of my apartment to realize just how much in here was just I found, rather than bought and remind me of the amount of stuff I received after a fire to know I could replace everything for so little.

      Like

  9. Oooh, this one hits close to home. I’ve worked on it, trying to avoid the keep-everything-always-for-a-rainy-day mentality of my mom and grandma, but I still find myself saying things like, “We should keep this in case we….”

    Like

    1. Yep, that was me too. I grew up with the basement rafters filled with things and the work room filled with barrels of nails and the like. My grand father used to take things apart to save the parts. When he died I even found the non working clock from his stove he saved when he replaced it!

      Like

    2. Yep, that was me too. I grew up with the basement rafters filled with things and the work room filled with barrels of nails and the like. My grand father used to take things apart to save the parts. When he died I even found the non working clock from his stove he saved when he replaced it!

      Like

  10. Hmm, the renters’ insurance I am familiar with covers both your own possessions and any damage you cause to the building you are in. Last year my nephew and his roommate were deemed responsible for a fire that destroyed their apartment. Luckily he had renter’s insurance. Otherwise, his landlord could have sued him for the loss. The landlord was required to recoup the money from the at-fault tenant, before applying to his own insurer.

    Like

    1. I hope your nephew and his roommate are okay! I know too well what it’s like.

      I think it depends on what state you are in too. It’s like no fault car insurance here, if the person doesn’t have insurance and causes a fire it then is charged to the landlord under the homeowners insurance.

      Like

    1. I did the same thing. I saved the outfit my grandfather bought for each of my boys to go home from the hospital in when they were born, a blanket that was made for my eldest son. I bought a storage tote for each boy and let them decide what to put in it as they got a little older. They would put things in that they didn’t play with any more, then when they got older realized they didn’t want some of it, but wanted other things. When they moved out on their own the totes went with them. Today my eldest son is thrilled because his children love playing with all his Ninja Turtles and dinosaurs.

      Like

  11. I considered renter’s insurance when I moved to my current home. I live in a flood plane and though it has only flooded once in the past 100 years I wanted to be safe. However, the insurance premiums cost more than I have in these simple things; since I almost always have my laptop with me and the rest is replaceable I just decided to risk it and do without.

    Some landlords can be silly when it comes to pets. I lived in one place where the lady had her little dog sitting on the front porch the very day she was to sign the pet lease–the manager threatened to evict her because the dog was on the premises minutes before the appointment to sign! I loved the units but didn’t stay–they were much too anal for me. I would be lost without my fur babies!

    Like

    1. Yes, I too know the horrors of landlords and it’s not just when it comes to pets. The first place I rented after my children had moved out on their own seemed fine until one day when the landlord showed up to announce she needed to access the attic space and had to go through my apartment. My son was visiting from out of state for 4 days and sleeping on the couch. She grilled me about my son, who was he, how long would he be there and telling me I had to ask permission before I could have an over night guest. Right!! The next one was worse. He actually had the gull to call me and inform me my company (son dil and their two babies) had to leave by 7:30pm because he went to bed at 8 and wouldn’t know what time they left. Crazy people. I have to say I love the people I deal with now.

      On the subject of insurance, I too lived once in a flood zone. I had trouble getting homeowners insurance (required) as a result, the funny thing was that everything around the house would flood but it never touched my house. If today I were to rent the same place I wouldn’t bother with the insurance as I didn’t have any thing in the basement which is where the flooding would have gone.

      Like

I'd love to hear your thoughts, won't you please tell me what's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s