Money Mondays: Borrowing from the Emergency Fund

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Yesterday was a normal day until we got inside our truck.   I noticed a huge crack running across the front windshield.   It started on the bottom right corner (passenger side) pointing up, then curved across toward the left, ending on the driver’s side.   We never saw anything hit the windshield or any point of impact.  It just cracked.  I researched the internet for clues on what might have caused it.  Most of the articles indicated that even a small pebble hitting the windshield can cause a chip as small as a pencil dot that can grow into a large crack.  Temperature changes seem to aggravate cracks and we’ve had a lot of those in the past few days.   It has been in the 80s for several days, until a cold front came in and temperatures dropped to 55 degrees.

Now we have to spend money to get the windshield replaced, as this could be a safety hazard.  Estimates so far are running around $400-$500.  Insurance will not cover it, as the cost of a windshield replacement is below our deductible.  I am still shopping around for a vendor that will give the best price with the most quality

A loan from the emergency fund

I few years ago I would have easily charged the credit card to cover the unforeseen expense.  Now I have learned the hard way- this is why you need an emergency fund.  I hate to dip into it but I think this qualifies as an emergency expense.  Dave Ramsey recommends a $1000 emergency fund while paying off debts, and that is usually sufficient to cover most small emergencies.  However if you are trying to save for a financial collapse or even a period of unemployment it would have to be more.  I will consider this a “loan”against the emergency fund.  Thinking of it this way forces me to pay back what I have used up.

Paying it back

Here’s the plan:

  • I am setting aside $50 per paycheck to start paying it back.
  • I am cutting down the entertainment fund by $20 and instead add that amount to paying back the emergency fund.
  • Apply any refunds or rebates:  a few dollars here and there can still help the fund grow back.

Hopefully, the fund will be back up in a few months.  Have you ever had situations when you borrowed from your own emergency fund?  Please share in the comments!


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