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Let me know if this has happened to you. Every-thang is coming together. You’re up-to-date on your bills. You’ve made significant payments on debt. You’re thinking – YAY me. Then [insert your something] happens.
For me, it was car issues.
Here’s a tail of an emergency and why having an emergency fund to deal with it is important.
Cross Electrocution Off My Bucket List
At first, my car emergency was a little comical.
My car died after a dog walk (for those who don’t know dog walking was one of my side hustles back in the day) in front of the dog’s house on Memorial Day when the dog’s parents were home.
Sure, a little embarrassing, but it happens.
Thankfully, my dad was in town for the weekend and he gave me a jump. All’s well that ends well.
Wrong. I woke up for my Tuesday dog walk appointments. I try to turn on the engine. No dice. At this point, I’m a little anxious because my favorite doggy may go wee wee on himself in his crate. Fortunately, I’m able to get a jump from someone in a parking garage and I got slightly electrocuted in the process.
But no worries, my dad said it’s only 12 volts.
I do the customary 30 minute drive to charge the battery which I didn’t do after the first jump. Silly me. I was good for the rest of the day. I even stopped by the auto repair shop for a full battery charge and really hoped that would solve the problem. However, the car died again IN THE SAME SPOT FROM MEMORIAL DAY.
Thankfully, the dog’s parents weren’t home this time. How awkward would that be if they were? I would have hid my car in bushes and walked 5 miles home.
But the practical me asked some landscapers down the street for a jump. Then after not being able to start my car AGAIN after the next walk, I asked another nice stranger for some help.
So, thank you good samaritans of Montgomery County, MD your engines saved me.
Plan for “Emergencies”
To make a longer story a little shorter … it cost $960 to repair the battery issue.
The joy of making my last student loan payment and becoming self-employed was overshadowed by an insanely large new bill.
Booo. But you now what?
It’s life. It’s all about how you prepare for it and handle it.
Honestly, I didn’t prepare for it well. I chalked this event up to being an emergency expense and prepared to dip into savings to pay for it. I mean, it’s something we couldn’t have planned for, right?
Not necessarily. Car repair expenses should be expected throughout the year. If I had budgeted for it, this little surprise would probably have caused less shock.
So think, are you budgeting for annual expenses?
Like car, home, or health maintenance? If not, get on it! It’s time to seriously start thinking about emergency savings.
Dealing With Large Unexpected Expenses
What should you do when these large expenses pop up?
Woo sah first of all.
Remember that you make and save money for a reason – for survival.
Think of the reason that you’re feeling down about the bill. Is it because you don’t have the money or would really rather spend it on something else?
If you think about money in terms of it maintaining basic needs and allowing you to provide for your family, you may feel a little more positive about it.