An emergency fund is a wondrous thing. Mr. FS and I have had a fairly hefty one for a long time. When we were in graduate school, we kept $1000.00 in a bank account--just in case. At that time, that represented 6 months rent! Then, when we finally were gainfully employed (sort of), we only had temp jobs for a while. In a panic, we put away enough to live on in graduate student poverty, JUST IN CASE we ever faced unemployment again. "We'll take a year off to write," we said. Thankfully, we never had to use it.
I am sitting here with a familiar ache in my gums that signals an eventual--and expensive--root canal. Evidently, the Baby Boomers, of which I am one, take out their stress in their mouths, by grinding teeth (NOT ME), thereby enriching their dentists and endontists. I did clench my jaw, however, through years of stress at work, to the same effect. I stopped that bad habit last year, after some expensive dental work and hoped that my root canals were at an end. Evidently not. So I suppose I will take some antibiotics to put off the inevitable for a bit, but I have learned to accept the eventual expense.
I guess that's why it's called an emergency fund: it's for emergencies. Emergencies are unpleasant, as a rule. This past year, in addition to my dental work, I experienced the even greater emergency of 3 expensive one-way plane tickets, first to see my father on life support after a blood vessel burst in his brain, then to Massachusetts where he was buried, and finally home.
It is so depressing to spend massive amounts on such awful stuff. I keep hoping that my emergency will consist of an unexpected $100.00 plane fare to Europe. So far that hasn't happened.
I try so hard to be Zen about all this. Thank heavens, I say to myself, that I didn't have to borrow the plane fare from my mother. Thanks heavens, I don't need to get a set of dentures. Thank heavens for my emergency fund.