Monday, May 5, 2014

I Used my Emergency Fund

Emergency FundI finally got my car into the shop the other day to get my turn signal fixed. My car has had lots of small issues lately: from the battery that needed replaced in January, to the diagnosis I got regarding my tires that need replaced, and finally the turn signal issue.

Before I started my journey to becoming debt free, I NEVER had issues with my car. Sure, I had to fill up the tank with gas, pay my car insurance monthly, and the annual tags and taxes, but I never had to repair or replace anything. It's only now that I've gotten serious about saving and paying off my debt that I've run into maintenance and repairs that need done.

This trip to the shop turned out okay though. I took it in to get the turn signal fixed, I couldn't even turn the left signal on and I didn't want to risk getting in an accident or getting a ticket for failure to signal. It was in the shop only for half a day. I dropped it off before work and got to pick it up over lunch. I was expecting to spend around $100 on this repair, I know nothing about cars I just wanted to be prepared for how much it would cost me. When I went to pick it up, I found out that I got away "under budget" for this repair. My total was $87.47.

If you've been following my journey, you know that I set some cash aside every month for car repairs and maintenance. I had $45 set aside for this purpose, so I wrote them a check for $87.47 then went to the bank and deposited the cash, I also transferred the remainder ($42.47) from my emergency fund to cover the repair. Thank goodness for my emergency fund! It was the first time I used it, but I'm sure it won't be the last. I'm just glad it's there for me to use when I need it. For me, the key is to make sure I don't abuse it and use the money for unnecessary expenses.

Do you have an emergency fund? Have you had to use it yet?

Note: If you are interested in guest-posting at Shoeaholicnomore, email me at shoeaholicnomore[at]gmail[dot]com!

debt debs

18 Comments:

At May 5, 2014 at 11:32 AM , Anonymous Debt Busting Chick said...

I don't have an emergency fund and I know I'd be pretty stuck without it. I always had car issues, and this makes me think about starting one up. I'm just terrified of pushing back my debt free date.

 
At May 5, 2014 at 12:38 PM , Anonymous E.M. said...

That's what it's there for! I hate taking money out of mine, but it's better than the alternative. I've had to use mine once for the dentist to get a tooth pulled. I'm glad it cost you less than what you were expecting!

 
At May 6, 2014 at 8:26 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

I understand not wanting to delay getting out of debt, but I decided it was worth it to have some extra $$ in an EF so I don't have to rely on my credit card(s) if I get in a bind.

 
At May 6, 2014 at 8:27 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Getting a tooth pulled doesn't sound fun! I sure am glad I had some money socked away, now I just need to get it up to my goals of $1k...

 
At May 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM , Blogger Amanda S said...

An EF is definitely a necessity for me. Even though I don't have too many expenses, the jobs I have are either temp work or tip based. It's nice knowing that I have money to fall back on when things slow down.

 
At May 6, 2014 at 9:08 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Amanda, those sound like EXCELLENT reasons to have an EF in place. Great job!

 
At May 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM , Blogger Strandedrocks said...

Hi,
I am just wondering why you had to use your EF when for the past two months you haven't spent any money on car repairs and you have set aside $45? Wouldn't that mean you would have $90, at least? I hope this doesn't come off as snarky but I like to know how people use their budgets and if they accumulate unspent money or use it to pay off debt?
Also about the car, they always seem to start falling apart at the worst possible time. I had decided that I was going to drive my car to the ground (which I thought meant at least 5 more years, it was only 8 years old at the time) but soon after the wheel axle rusted out. sigh.

 
At May 6, 2014 at 1:12 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Hi Strandedrocks, thanks for asking. I had $45 in cash set aside for car repairs but I forgot my cash envelopes when I went to pick up my car (stupid me). I just wrote a check for the total amount $87.47. As you can see in the post, I then put the $45 cash into my checking account and transferred the remainder, $42.47 from my EF. This happened prior to the beginning of May so I didn't yet have the cash from my May budget to go toward repairs. If this doesn't make sense, please let me know.

Cars do seem to fall apart at the wrong times! I know nothing about cars so forgive me, can you repair the axle or is it cheaper/better to just get a newer car?

 
At May 6, 2014 at 6:36 PM , Blogger debt debs said...

Yes I have had to due to hubster's lower income in Q1. Now I need to try to build it up again but I don't think it will happen before Q4. Thankfully I had it to begin with!

 
At May 7, 2014 at 8:23 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Yes, good thing you had it to rely on. I understand about things being tight right now. If you find any "extra" maybe you should consider putting it into your EF instead of paying extra on your debts right now? Just a thought, but I am by no means an expert :)

 
At May 7, 2014 at 1:49 PM , Blogger Strandedrocks said...

Hi,
With regards to the car, it had gotten to the point where I was more putting money into it then it was worth. The year before the axle broke I had to replace the radiator, it had a cracked windshield, and around the wheel the metal was completely rusty, you could literally pick pieces off the car. The axle repair would have been $1,500 for only the front ones and the back ones were rusty too. Living in winter climates you have to be really careful with rust since it eats your car. I like to think I made the right choice.

 
At May 7, 2014 at 2:25 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Strandedrocks - It sounds like you made the right decision. Yikes! Lots of car trouble :-S

 
At May 10, 2014 at 11:59 AM , Anonymous Mel @ brokeGIRLrich said...

I used part of my emergency fund to move to NY for a new job. Overall, I think it was the right move since it was a huge pay raise and it lets me be closer to family, especially with a sick family member at home. But I hated using it. I was so close to getting the amount to where I wanted it to be - $5,000 and now it's less than half that.

The peace of mind of knowing I've got at least a month of expenses covered it worth it though! I'd like to have more than a month saved up before the end of the year.

 
At May 10, 2014 at 9:22 PM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

It sounds like a good use to me, although some may argue not a true "emergency". Getting the fund back up to a couple month's worth of expenses sounds like a great goal! I'd for sure like to end the year with my $1K fund in place, though I fear I will be using it some again the coming months... :(

 
At May 10, 2014 at 10:50 PM , Blogger Femme Frugality said...

Girl, you're smart to have one. At one point we paid off all of our debt without establishing that emergency fund, thinking we'd start it as soon as the debt was gone. (The interest rate is higher on the CC, right?) Then, literally the next day, we had a $500+ car repair. Guess where it went? On the CC because we didn't have any other money to put on it. It sucks that this is when the car starts needing more attention, but pat yourself on the back for being smart and building that savings while simultaneously paying down your debts!

 
At May 12, 2014 at 8:15 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Thanks Femme! It makes the going seem slow sometimes, but I know it's worth it in the end :)

 
At May 12, 2014 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous Even Steven said...

Since I started my emergency fund I have not had to use my emergency fund, but i'm sure it was nice to spend less than $100.

 
At May 13, 2014 at 8:27 AM , Blogger shoeaholicnomore said...

Yes is was nice to spend less than $100 on that repair, but either way, I'm glad I had my EF in place. :)

 

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