Our Emergency Fund is Under Assault

By Staff

photo by pointnshoot

It has been a rough month in our household.  It all started when my wife took a spill in a parking lot after rolling her ankle.  She severely sprained her ankle, and even did some ligament damage.  She was prescribed crutches for a couple days, and an AirCast for 4-6 weeks.  Fortunately, it appears she avoided the need for surgery, but we won’t know for sure until the boot comes off.  The medical bills for x-rays, the ER visit, the orthopedic follow up, the AirCast, and the crutches are starting to roll in.

When It Rains, It Pours

A few days after her fall, on the morning of July 4th, we awoke to an unusually hot house and a broken air conditioner.  It was a particularly hot day, and by noon it was already hovering near 85 inside our house.  Our service guy discovered a burned out fan motor on the unit outside our home and put on a temporary replacement.  Fortunately, the motor was still under warrantly (barely), but we still owed $125 for the labor.

Over the weekend I was mowing our lawn and the mower died about half way through the job.  The nearest service center is about twenty miles away, so I asked if they could come pick it up.  They said, “Sure, for a $150 fee!”  Of course I said no, and immediately thought about the stuff I had loaded on a trailer that I could use to transport the mower.  When it rains it pours.

Our home computer crashed last week.  I guess it is expected since the desktop is now close to eight years old, which is an eternity in PC years.  While downloading email the system froze, and upon restart it would not boot up, citing a missing or corrupted windows file as the culprit.  I did manage to salvage my wife’s pictures she had transferred from a digital camera, but not backed up (lesson learned).  When I get some time I plan on wiping the hard drive and reloading the operating system to see if we can’t squeeze a little more life out of it.  However, we will definitely be backing up anything we save to CDs and will probably keep an eye out for any good deals on a new PC in the interim.

The real icing on the cake came last Monday evening.  My wife had prepared a new dish that we were all looking forward to trying. We had gathered in the kitchen and the kids were telling me about their day when we heard a loud popping sound.  We looked at the oven and the inside glass panel in the oven door had shattered, spraying glass all over our meal and rendering the oven unusable. We let it cool down, cleaned up the mess, and headed to Subway for dinner.

Moral of the Story

I’m more convinced than ever that having a solid emergency fund in place should be priority one in any good financial plan.  Our mission over the next two or three paychecks will be to replenish the funds we’ve used over the last few weeks, and hope nothing else breaks for a while.