Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.
I am not happy with the state of my bank account right now. Of course, I closed on a house just two and a half weeks ago, so the lack of funds is understandable.
But I miss my emergency fund. Having several thousand dollars squirreled away has saved me on many an occasion, and with the cushion gone, I feel like the net below my financial tightrope has disappeared.
None of my less financially stable co-workers keep an emergency fund. But the emergency fund is the first, and most important step to financial freedom. I am convinced you will never achieve your financial dreams without an emergency fund.
Let me give you some real-life examples.
Last May, one of my cats stopped eating. To make a long story very short, she had eaten her stomach 60% full of plastic. She spent a week at the vet, had her stomach opened up, and was fed via tube for several more weeks. It cost me three thousand dollars. At one point, I had to make the call for the stomach surgery. I made it in the full confidence that I could afford to get my cat taken care of.
After that, I built the fund back up.
Then, in October, my car was flooded, along with several other vehicles, and no less than seven apartments (none of which were mine). I will go into detail about this incident later, but I was able to put several thousand down on a new car within a week.
Right now, I’m having trouble with the subleaser I thought was going to take over my apartment. And then the fridge in my new house quit keeping things cold.
Had I not just blown what I had on the house, neither of these things would faze me at all. As it is, I’m in a bit of a mental mess right now, even though I have several directions I can go to solve these dilemmas (right now a friend is talking me through the fridge repair, yay!).
Random emergencies will always happen. There’s no way around it. You are not immune to it. The single best thing you can do is to prepare for them. Preparation gives you the cushion you need to bounce back from what someone else may think of as a financial disaster. It will keep you from putting said financial disasters on a credit card and paying 20% interest on several thousand dollars.
There is nothing like the peace of mind that can be obtained by knowing it will take more than a broken fridge or flooded car to knock you off your feet.