a personal testament to having an emergency fund

August 11th, 2007

A personal testament to having an emergency fund

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.  ;)

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10 Responses to “A personal testament to having an emergency fund”

  1. Cut up those credit cards, and you’ll feel even more peace of mind!

    Way to, establishing an emergency is a critical step to financial freedom. Congrats, you just took a step that millions of people around the world fail to do.

    It’s a great feeling huh?

  2. I need to transfer the 9.9% interest one to the 0% interest one first. lol

    I was never a cutter-upper. I have three (I only had two for a long long time but we just got the third to do this 0% balance transfer thing) and I haven’t used either of my two since 2003 (one has no balance, the other is the one we are still, sadly, paying off) but I just…. have them. I don’t even carry them around with me (although my spouse carries his I think). They sit in my house. :shrug: I probably should cut them up. But I know how to get a replacement. lol

    The emergency fund is a great feeling. Especially since somehow, my life seems prone to emergencies. heh.

  3. Congrats on completing the first “baby step”. I remember when I finally saved up the $1,000 for my emergency fund. It feels so good to have it in the bank. I have continued to slowly add to it ($25 here and there) as I continue to pay off my debt. I feel a little more at ease every time I make a deposit.

  4. Congrats! I tell you, ING Direct helped me and my wife tremendously over the past 5 years. We started out small, $50 here, $25 there. But then we bit the bullet and started an automatic savings plan at $100 a month. We never missed the money, and how can you when it’s only in your checking account for a day before it’s transferred out? We gradually increased it to $150 a month, then more recently we upped it to $150 twice a month. We now have $5000 in it (we’ve dipped into it a couple times), but having my monthly paycheck in cash whenever I want it is a nice feeling. We’ve stopped my plan at ING though and are funneling that $300 a month to my wife’s Roth IRA. I only wish I had started sooner…

  5. Props to you for funding your “baby emergency fund”! I am on my way to the $1000 as well. Right now I have $784 and tomorrow I get paid so I’ll be adding $50 to it. I plan to have $1000 by the time my birthday rolls around next month (w/o dipping into it to celebrate of course lol).Having this amount ready for whatever just gives the greatest feeling of security I haven’t had a long time. I have been tempted to dip into it a few times but I was able to with hold myself asking, is it “REALLY an emergency? Umm i don’t think so” (like when I was considering withdrawing $50 for a bachelorette party) thus it has been growing and growing. I remember when I first hit the $500 mark, i was so ecstatic.

  6. Big congratulations to you for having taken that giant step.

    The feeling of being in control is incredible,isn’t it?



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