The De-Stress Checklist: Insurance

I tackled one of those things from my to-do list: something that makes me anxious, causes me to feel bad, but hadn’t gotten done in the 2.5 years we’ve lived in our current townhouse….

Renter’s Insurance!

I know, it seems like no big deal. Ten bucks a month, probably not a bad thing to have. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense that someone who says “stuff isn’t happiness” and who tries to own as little as possible would be super worried about renter’s insurance. After all, I know I’ll be okay without my stuff. And how much is my stuff really worth, right? Right???

Well, that’s a tricky question. I don’t own as much stuff as other people. I really don’t own as much nice new stuff…but I also live on a graduate student budget. Which means that if my stuff did go up in smoke (or in a flood, or in a burglary) I’d be pretty much out of luck so far as replacing it goes. Yes, I’d hit up thrift stores and yard sales, and yes, those are pretty cheap. Let’s talk about a graduate student budget for a quick second, though. We eat foods other than Ramen at our house on a regular basis. We even go out to eat pretty regularly. But if a major vet bill coincides with, say, buying textbooks, it pretty much wipes out our savings. We could not afford to replace all our stuff. Full stop.

Additionally, if I had to pay for any property damages to our unit, or liability costs for someone getting hurt at our place, I’d be out of luck then, too. Disasters are expensive. This point was hammered home to me when a friend met with a flood disaster a few years ago. Her whole condo flooded, and I remember that as I was helping her rescue her cats from the flood, she looked around at her soaked sofa and electronics and said “well, thank goodness it’s all insured.”

Now I can stop worrying about the little stuff and focus on the things that really matter - like time together!

I’m not someone who wants to worry about my stuff, or be stressed out all the time. Ten bucks a month seemed like a pretty good investment! Now if my house burns down, at least I won’t be out in the cold without a coat. I think emergency preparedness is probably a good investment (to a point. I can guarantee you that I will not be building a bunker and stocking it with MREs…) and I’m glad for the decrease in my stress level. This is one small step toward changing my procrastination habits, taking a clear eyed look at what is within my control, and letting go of all the rest!


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