January 14, 2010


Just before the turn of the year, my parents visited and my Mom handed me an envelope full of bonds. Some of the bonds date back to 1975, the year I was born, and the same year my grandparents started sending me bonds on my birthday. All told, there were two $25 bonds, and 12 $50 bonds, spanning years from 1975 to 1991.

For those doing the math, that's $650 face value. Of course, bonds accrue interest, so some of the older bonds can be worth as much as five times their face value, so I'm looking at $2,000 to $3,000 (give or take a couple hundred) overall. So, in general, this is a good thing.

The thing is, I have a mixed reaction to a financial windfall like this. On the one hand, I can look at it as money for a new gas fireplace, which I need to buy eventually, one way or the other. Still, on the other hand, I look at the bonds and see them as representing three months of financial peace of mind should I somehow lose my job or incur some sort of unknown expense.

This is the dual financial world that always rules over me, often leading to an intractable non-action. I end up building a healthy savings I'm simply too terrified to spend. It drives my wife crazy.

This is also why I don't want to have the coin collection from my more youthful years appraised. Oh, sure, I'm curious as to what it's worth, but once I know, it'll just become another one of those things I'd sit and worry about.

Posted by Ryan at January 14, 2010 04:19 PM | TrackBack
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