D and I have both known how it feels to live on or very close to the financial edge. We grew up in relatively poor conditions and D has had some tough times as a young adult. I've been quite blessed that since I graduated, everything has looked up.
As my work week and work hours have slowly dropped over the last 6 years, I find myself suddenly feeling like I'm too close to the this invisible "edge" where in reality has more to do with what I've been used to rather than the real edge where I am virtually unable to make payments.
I have talked with a few people lately who have been unable to get necessary health care, make ends meet at home or are fighting to prevent their car from being repossessed. All of them shared a common trait. They were all surprised that this was happening.
What?! How could it have been a surprise when nothing major ie. death, divorce, disease has happened?
I like to operate my life with a certain margin of safety. I don't assume things will stay the same. I don't even assume there will always be 2 incomes. Even if your current life is the perfect fairy tale, I believe it is still smart to plan for the days/months/years where life isn't as sweet for one reason or another.