Even when I lived on $14,000/year I always had $3,000 in the bank. You never freaking know what will happen. Beyond that I didn't worry too hard unless I had a goal. These days I'm trying hard to get to where we have six months of take home in the bank. My husband makes a lot of money. We don't have that much going spare.
At this point I start freaking out if my checking account gets below $6,000. I don't like to be at $5,???. It's too low. We have months where our credit card automatically takes its own payment and it's $12,000. Mostly I like to keep our checking account above $15,000. That's almost two months of income in checking. Right now savings is at $19,000. So we definitely have four months of income in the bank. I have asked my husband to stop working any extra jobs this year. I need him to spend more time with the kids while they are little. He comes from a long line of workaholics but his dad has basically not ever worked. My husband's family used to basically own a town in Texas. Here sits in the silicon valley as a programmer. He's very antsy to really make a go of making a project of his own. I find this terrifying. I know the odds of him succeeding are less than 7%. Realistically. But if I never let him try then he will carry that ghost for the rest of his life.
I asked him to give me till the baby turns three. Be *here*. Don't have other things on your mind. Think about us. Learn your kids. I feel weird about having to demand it. If you want a relationship later when they are more your speed then you have to put in the work to be nice to them when they need you. Mostly he's a good dad. His explanations are a bit long-winded. :)
It is interesting to experience the difference between literally not being able to spend money and trying to choose not to. It's a different kind of self-discipline. I find that knowing that I could buy whatever random thing makes it really hard not to. When I was a kid if I found money on the street I had to spend it before I got home or someone would steal it. Now being impulsive with money is antithetical to me reaching my goals. I have little bits of splurge money. But I get $100/month. My friends with jobs and real money of their own don't understand why I choose to be so restricted.
Now I'm supposed to know how to act like an upper class person. No one writes a forking rule book for this stuff.
It's really weird how in some ways I act like my mother and I act like the polar opposite of my mother. (I have a very bad history with her.) But I act like her ancestors. I act like her story of who she is.
And now the kids want me. :)