How My Emergency Fund Helped Me, and Why You Need One

There’s an old proverb that says “We plan, God laughs.” I start off with this because I had planned to write daily beginning this week. I even made a schedule of when I was going to do it and what I wanted to write about. Well, unfortunately, I have not had a chance to write since this past Wednesday because I’ve been dealing with some distractions. But the good news is that the reason behind it holds a valuable financial lesson.

As of a result of some flooding that we had here in South Carolina back in October 2014, followed by two months of constant rain, the property around my home has been soaking wet. To give you an idea of what I mean, imagine going outside on a nice sunny day and splashing water as you walk across the front and backyard. I figured it would all dry up once the sun came out, but unfortunately that never happened. Instead, there’s mud everywhere and now it seems that there’s ground water coming from elsewhere as well. Awesome.

So, I figured it might be best to call a plumber to make sure that there’s not a leak in my water line, and I braced myself for the wor$t. Not only did the plumber fail to identify the problem, but he kindly lets me know that my water heater was leaking and that it needed to be replaced, an expense to the tune of $1000+. My heart broke when I heard the news. This is not the start to the new year that I had anticipated.

But guess what? Sometimes life sucks. And we need to be prepared for the sucky moments. Fortunately, I had a way to pay that same day to have the water heater replaced before it stopped working. Without a source for emergency funds, I would have probably freaked out or became depressed (I still kinda did, but I’ll get over it.) I also had a landscaper come out and he identified the water on my property as ground water, which means that now I’m going to have to spend some more money to take care of it. And although I’m not thrilled about having to do it, I know that it’ll all work out.

Do yourself a favor and start an emergency fund. Put a dollar a day into it and of course, add more if you can. Trust me, the last thing that you want to happen is to be caught in a situation that you don’t have a way to get out of. Do not make the mistake of thinking that nothing bad is going to happen. Instead, have the fund in place so that your finances are not thrown for a loop if something goes wrong. If you’re wondering how much is enough, I would recommend following the old advice of stashing away at least three-to-six months of your income to be on the safe side.

I’ll try my best to get back on schedule next week but I can’t make any promises.¬†As usual, thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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