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Our emergency fund saved us 7 times in 3 months for a total of $1,365.21 last year. This showed me more than ever why everyone needs an emergency fund. You should start one today if you don’t have one.
I’m so glad we had the foresight and fortitude to build an emergency fund. It made all of these inconveniences instead of disasters.
Granted, they were still annoying and frustrating!
But we just wrote the checks and moved on because we had the funds. We didn’t have to use credit cards. No paying interest. Didn’t have to wait until payday. No fighting over money.
That’s the whole point of an emergency fund. Didn’t have to stress how we were going to pay for these on top of dealing with the emergencies themselves.
You Need An Emergency Fund
Our emergency fund saved us because we saved it. You need to start an emergency fund right now if you don’t have one.
Here’s some sobering facts:
- 40% of Americans would struggle to come up with $400 in an emergency
- 60% of Americans would struggle to come up with $1,000 in an emergency
Here’s Dave Ramsey explaining the peace of mind your emergency fund can bring you:
Learn why it’s important to build an emergency fund and other steps you can take right now to build wealth in my huge blog post: “Ultimate Guide to Getting Wealthy“
Emergency 1, 2, 3 – Appliances Broke Down
We built our house in 2012. It came with new appliances. But that’s going on 8 years this year. I’m surprised some of the appliances have lasted this long and that they really hadn’t acted up until now (not complaining!)
The bulk of the emergencies were appliances:
- Dishwasher – Would run but not clean. I bought a part but it didn’t fix it. Brought the repair guy out. $163.23
- Washer – Wouldn’t latch and so wouldn’t start the washing cycle. I troubleshot but no joy. Called repair guy out. $309.79
- Refrigerator – Fridge wouldn’t stay cold but freezer was fine. A board that controls it went. Repair guy saved the day. $165.86
Emergency 4 – A Flat Tire
Jenn got a flat tire. That was a fun one (NOT!) Had to leave a work party to go to her work’s parking lot on a Friday night. Inflated it with an electric pump (super handy) and dropped it off at the shop. Turned out she ran over a screw and it damaged the side wall in a way that couldn’t be fixed. $233.21
Emergency 5 – Mice in the House
We got mice in the house! One came in and I found it dead a day later in the basement. Was hoping that’d be the end of it.
Nope! Another one came in and stunk up the basement by peeing all over the carpet. I rented a carpet cleaner. I also bought a black light to make sure I didn’t miss any spots (I bought this kit – works great)
BTW, never buy a black light if you don’t want to get freaked out!
All kidding aside, I’ve cleaned all our walls, handles and banisters in the house every 3-4 months for years. Thought it was a good idea but never knew for sure if it was really helping.
I took the black light to everything I’d usually wash and – it was sooooo gross!! I washed everything down afterwards and then looked with the black light again and it was all gone. So, yep, it definitely helps.
Back to the Mice
Anyway, we ended up with two mice in the house at the same time. That stinky one in the basement and then another one under our fridge.
I bought no-kill traps (these ones) but didn’t catch them. I remember spending WAY too much time one Saturday morning trying to catch the darn mouse that was under the fridge.
Admitting defeat, I called in Ehrlich. They really are the professionals and know what they’re doing. Came in, figured out the most likely points of entry and laid traps. Haven’t had any in the house since. $193.12
Two ER Visits
I saved the scariest for last. TWO emergency room visits within a week of each other.
Emergency 6 – My Visit
One Monday morning I thought I was a goner. I was getting chest pain (a flashing sensation across my chest every 20-30 minutes) and heart palpitations for a week prior. I was trying to figure out what was going on. Didn’t have classical heart attack symptoms.
That Monday, I woke up feeling like I was going to pass out or worse. My wife rushed me to the ER. Ran a bunch of tests. They couldn’t figure it out but ruled out a bunch of stuff – not a heart attack, no heart damage, blood work was good.
I let them know of course I wanted to know the root cause. They made a good point when they said, “Sir, we ruled out a lot of stuff. You’re in the ER. If we find the cause in here, it’s usually not good.”
I went home and focused on my diet thinking that might have been the cause. I was drinking some new hot tea flavors recently and they might have had something my body disagreed with. Or I might have been having too much sugar/caffeine/gluten. I cut back on everything and the problem went away.
Jenn has amazing health insurance since she’s an RN at a hospital and the same company that runs the hospital runs the insurance. So this bill could have been a lot worse. But we only owed the co-pay for the entire visit and nothing else. $150.
Emergency 7 – Jack’s Visit
A week later, Jack had been having belly pain that wouldn’t go away. We were thinking appendix but weren’t sure. Took him to the ER and it turns out our kid is… full of crap! He was just blocked up. He’s been eating more fiber and the pain has gone away. Again, only needed to pay the co-pay for the visit. $150.
All told, we spent $1,365.21 on those emergencies.
I specifically remember noticing that money wasn’t an issue as we were going through them. That’s the power of having an emergency fund. It’s a magical tool that takes financial stress away.
Having an emergency fund is an important part of our strategy to building wealth and living a financially stress-free life.
Learn how big your emergency fund should be, how to grow it and how to become wealthy step-by-step in my mega blog post, “The Ultimate Guide to Getting Wealthy“.
Over to You
How has your emergency fund saved your butt? Let me know in the comments below.