Today my spouse’s direct deposit of his paycheck cleared and I completed what we have been working towards for the past two months. I finished fully funding our $1000 emergency fund with a $100 transfer from checking to savings. I never knew saving could feel so good. For the first time in a very very long time, I don’t feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff waiting for a disaster to push me over. For the past few years, we had been using the college fund we started for my son as our “backup” emergency fund and even though rarely did an occasion arise that it had to be dipped into, and the money was always replaced first priority and as soon as possible, having this be our backup plan just stunk. I always felt like we were just *this close* to a major catastrophe. Now my son’s (and daughter’s) college savings accounts are in totally separate ING subaccounts not at all attached to our emergency fund, and our emergency fund all on its own stands at the magic $1000 number.
I could, yes, use this $1000 to reduce my credit card debt and then use my credit card in case an emergency. From a purely numbers perspective, that does make more sense, and I do love the numbers. But I just can’t do it. I can’t rely on a credit card as an emergency fund. It doesn’t sit right in my heart and it makes me even more anxious and nervous and on edge than relying on my son’s college fund did (and that made me miserable).
Right now I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of peace and just mellowness that has come over me. If I knew it was this simple to feel so much less anxious I might have tried it a long time ago. I feel like our financial life is becoming ordered and adult and everything is falling into place. And by extension, the rest of our life feels more settled too. A whole lot of things tie into money after all.
You can’t buy this kind of peace of mind. Or wait, maybe you can. For $1000.