Is it just me, or does money find a way to be spent? I go through all the trouble of getting out of debt, and then my car breaks down. I catch up. It breaks down again (within 2 months). I fix it. It starts leaking coolant the following week. (It also needs new front brakes.) Not to mention I woke up yesterday with a loose tooth chip in my mouth--an upper-left molar now has a sharp-edged but fairly neat 5mm x 5mm x 1-2mm chunk out of the outward side.

Okay, that's my little rant. Actually it's not that bad. Perhaps I just had great luck for 5 years while paying off my debt (I don't recall any financial emergencies during that period) and now it's catching up to me. And I suppose it's better to be (nearly) debt free and having these problems than deep in debt and having these problems. And at least the tooth doesn't hurt or even feel sensitive, and I have the chip in a baggie so they'll probably glue it back in. (Side track: although I get the impression glued chips tend to come out again, and maybe I should try to get an outlay instead if my dental plan will cover it--yeah, I have a dental plan...another reason my whining is accompanied only by an extremely small violin.)

At any rate, with my minor financial irritations and the desire to move soon I think I'll reduce my 401(k) contributions (the ones I just raised to 25%) and see if I can build up a small after-tax cash fund that has so far been gobbled up before it exists.

This post is a December 18, 2011 republication of my September 6, 2004 post at Early Retirement Forum.