Emergency Funds: For When You Can't Even
On Thursday evening last week I could not even. I. Could. Not. So I poured myself a glass of wine. I put away my laptop. I caught up on the 800 shows I’ve started watching since subscribing to Hulu. I needed a moment of peace to myself. The universe seemed to be conspiring against me. Everything that could go wrong on this particular Thursday did go wrong. I felt like life wasn’t just giving me lemons, it was pelting me in the head with them.
I know we all have these days, I’m no special unicorn. This got me thinking about the whole “when it rains it pours” phenomenon. Why is it that bad stuff happens in clusters? Doesn’t it seem like when your car shits the bed, all of a sudden your house needs random repairs, and your dog gets sick from eating the Halloween candy you accidentally left out? You say to yourself, “Why is this all happening at once!?”
While you are hanging on to any sliver of sanity, you’re also realizing your bank account is about to take a big hit. You feel compelled to ball up in a corner, hide away from the world, and watch 15 re-runs of Friends in a row (No? Just me?). Unfortunately, this is not a good solution to your problems. Crappy things are going to happen in life and there isn’t much we can do about it, right? I say wrong!
What we can do is prepare ourselves. You know if it’s got tires or a penis it’s going to give you problems (that’s how the saying goes, right?). So why not take the necessary precautions to lessen the blow of life’s punches? This is where an Emergency Fund comes in handy.
Everyone needs an emergency fund. Ideally, you will have 3-6 months worth of expenses saved in a separate savings account that you only touch in case of - yup you guessed it - EMERGENCIES. If you don’t have the cash on hand to fully fund an emergency account, start small. Put away $5, $10, $20 a month until you get to $500 or $1000. This will be your safety net when you plummet from life’s high wire.
You know eventually you’re going to need to call a plumber for a leaky toilet on the same day you break your ankle attempting the newest trendy exercise class. In these rare situations, wouldn’t it be nice if you had an emergency fund to cover the unexpected? Your emergency fund may not cover all the expenses, but it can ease at least part of the pain.
I’m an annoyingly optimistic person, but I’m also a realist. I don’t sit around waiting for the other shoe to drop, but in the off chance it does, I want to limit it’s impact. Now that I’ve ruined your day by reminding you about life’s ability to bitch slap you at any moment, go ahead and get your emergency fund started.