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Friday, March 16, 2012

Emergency Fund Decimation: At Least I Have(Had?) One

So, since January 1, we had to buy a set of tires. Since we were visiting my mother in another state, we did not have time to comparison shop. $500.00. And the people messed up--took our spare (which we retrieved) and did not attach hubcap (which we lost). Will seek out another mechanic in Florida.

Then, that car--our beloved 1998 Camry--needed an additional $1200 of work.

Then, my teeth problems continue apace. The oral surgeon took pity on me and recommended another dentist. So far, my poor mouth has taken around another $1200. Some time in the future, I will need an implant ($3000).

I was picking up a prescription when I got a call from Mr FS: "The refrigerator isn't working!" We looked up the expected lifespan of a fridge and discovered ours is right at the edge of not worth fixing: it's a 2004 of no great distinction (not a SubZero).

Anyway, Mr. FS found the manual (in the secret files that I do not know how to access) and solved the problem. AHHHHHHHHHH.

Think of all the fun things I could do with the almost $3000 we have spent so far.

As always, I try to look on the bright side and thank the universe for my frugal skills, which have given us our depleted emergency fund.

Have you had any emergencies of late?


Duchesse said...

These things always seem to come in clusters. Having an emergency fund is just that- and thank goodness you have it. For having fun, have you thought of starting a mad money fund? (We used to save our change, roll it and spend it on fun things.) Happy to hear the fridge can run a bit longer.

No emergencies here, but an 18 yr old car that one of these days will finally give out.

Patience_Crabstick said...

We had an epic string of emergencies, starting last May when I realized my Toyota Sienna was burning nearly a quart of oil a week. It was eleven years old and not worth saving, so we bought a new car.

In August we sent our second child off to college--not really an emergency--but it was the first time we had two kids in college and had the expenses attendant on a college first-year like buying a macbook.

Then in September, my husband got a DWI. Maybe a disaster caused by someone's own stupidity can't be called an emergency, but it was an emergency for me, after all I had not driven drunk, but it was our shared finances that suffered. Lawyer's fees, fines, court costs, $400 for court-ordered alcohol education, $480 for the "blow and go" that is affixed to his vehicle, increased auto insurance, $200 to the DMV for exactly nothing, co-pays to the therapist because of the toll this was taking on our marriage. And we can only count ourselves extremely fortunate that nobody was injured, that no property was damaged, that his employer was kind enough to accommodate the work he had to miss when he was in jail for five days, and to rearrange his schedule so he could attend the alcohol class.

In October my washing machine died. The new HE one cost $800--I could have bought a cheaper one but I felt strongly about getting something that would use less water and energy.

In December, right before Christmas, my husband was in an accident while driving to get his "blow and go" checked--something he is required to do monthly. We had to pay $1700 for the damage to the other person's car.

During all this, we had contracted to have our roof painted, which cost over $1000.

Now we owe over $3000 in taxes.

We did have a healthy emergency fund, which is now much reduced, but we were also saved by the fact that in July I quit my part time job for a full time one with better pay.

Anonymous said...

We have not yet fully recovered from the youngest daughter's wedding last September. My oldest daughter and our grandson are living with us now which drives up household costs a bit. And like you, I was shocked, when we did our taxes, to realize how much I had spent at the dentist and I have dental insurance!

SewingLibrarian said...

Not yet, but our cars are a 1992, a 2001, and a 2008. The 1992 is on its last legs, we think. Why three cars? My DH insists on having a spare so he can always get to work and I can always drive the children to school. Yes, we do live in Southern Califirnia!!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--Thanks for the wisdom. Hmmmm...interesting about mad money. I generally get what I want, but I mostly plan things.

@PC--Ohhhhh, you have had more emergencies. Hope all goes well with and for your husband.

@Terri--the insurance we can buy does not really save any money as far as I can figure. I'm hoping my kids will elope--but your daughter's wedding looked like great fun!

@SL--My husband grew up in Southern CA and I am well aware of the car issues there! His father used to drive tow rok in one of the first Hondas imported to the US--tiny!

Class factotum said...

If you are anywhere near a dental college, go there for your implant. I had mine done at the dental school in Memphis. It cost $600. This was ten years ago, but I'll bet the dental school is still cheaper than retail. Plus they did a great job.

Frugal Scholar said...

@CF--i am so jealous when I hear about dental colleges! the closish one required a non-refundable $100plus application fee. The distance also makes it a poor choice, since some procedures require multiple visits. I am not averse to traveling to Costa Rica, however.

Shelley said...

I'm almost afraid of tempting fate by saying we've not had any emergencies of late. The last one was my emergency root canal in Oklahoma last summer. My emergency fund is ridiculously large owing to my fear of the stock market - I've only in the past few years started drip feeding money into that and all the rest of my life savings is in CDs. A frugal lifestyle is a real blessing of course, but I'm thinking a lot of money is going to go into my dentistry, but part of that will be about vanity and 'spending out'.