money

How having an Emergency Fund saved me from financial trouble

I’ve been bad with money almost my entire life. In fact it’s only recently (last two or three years?) where I managed to get my head on straight and pull myself out of debt and into saving a nest egg; but that’s a story for another day.

The story I want to share today is why having an Emergency Fund is so important.

Because IT’S SO IMPORTANT PEOPLE!!!

I started saving up my Emergency Fund from the moment I started my attempts to get my money situation sorted. Little by little, I only managed to put away 100PLN a month towards that goal (~26USD or less than 3% of my monthly income). By February this year, my Emergency savings reached 2000PLN. Almost an amount I would need to cover one month of my expenses.

When my fridge broke and I needed a new one, I had the money to pay enough up front that the loan payments were small and reasonable, allowing me to pay it off in 10 months (3 more payments and that fridge is mine!). That extra cash meant I also got a great deal on insurance, in case anything breaks for 3 years after the warranty expires.

I wouldn’t be able to buy a new fridge with what I had saved up (and I wanted to keep at least 1000PLN in my account in case the world was ending), but having that money gave me flexibility and confidence to negotiate better terms.

And not stressing over the unplanned sudden expense was priceless really. Especially when I was able to watch my mom not worry about a fridge breaking. Because we had money saved up, just in case.

Afterwards, I managed to quickly build my fund back to 2000PLN, diverting money from my other saving goals. Knowing exactly how much help emergency savings were, I needed that cushion back before going back to saving 100 a month.

And boy, was I glad I did that.

At the end of April, my cat got sick. She was 16 years old and so she was at a point where everything was slowly failing to work.

For a month I was at the vet every other day. Meds, IV, more visits. All in all by the time my cat unfortunately passed away, I left over 1200 PLN at the vet. In a span of a month.

Money I wouldn’t normally have if it wasn’t for my Emergency Fund.

Now imagine I didn’t have that Emergency money ready for me to access. It’s not like I could’ve not baught a new fridge. And I definitely wouldn’t be able to just watch my cat suffer.

So i would’ve max out my credit cards and probably borrow the mlney I needed to pay for the vet, and I wouldn’t be able to negotiate the terms of my load for the fridge – payung much more in the long run.

Which is why I agree with Chelsea from The Financial Diet. If you don’t have an Emergency Fund than you are in an emergency. And no matter what savings goals I have, my Emergency Fund will always be at the top of it.

Because my path to less includes a path to less stress over my financial situation.

Do you have an Emergency Fund? When was the last time you had to tap into it?

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