An emergency fund is such a valuable thing, I will always make it a priority to fund mine. I started with a small amount of money withdrawn from each paycheck being automatically deposited into my emergency account. I have increased that amount so it will build faster. Any unbudgeted money I have, including spare change, bottle returns, and rebates get added to my emergency account. I will get a 1% pay increase soon—that will go to my emergency account. I can’t think of any better way to use that money than to protect my family during an emergency.
On December 23, 2010, a motorist went through a red light and hit my daughter’s car, causing $6,000 worth of damage. She was slightly injured and I was in a panic. What would I have to pay; where would the money come from to pay? Fortunately, the other motorist’s insurance covered the entire thing, including my daughter’s medical expenses.
Over this past weekend, my daughter finished college and was moving home. About 12 miles from her college town, a distracted driver hit the “don’t cross the median” cable on the interstate, wiping out 9 sections of cable. His car literally fell apart and parts exploded onto the interstate. The median cables broke—one of the cable posts entered the driver’s side front tire of my daughter’s car and immediately destroyed the tire and the rim. No one was hurt; the troopers thought that was a miracle. The tow bill from the Interstate to her college town was almost $100, which she paid in cash. We are still waiting to find out the extent of the damage. Hopefully, the other driver will be found at fault and his insurance will cover the whole thing, but sometimes companies try to put fault on the person who hits an object in the road. No one is sure what happens with a flying object that impales a tire!
So this year was different. I was upset that this happened and that it is inconvenient, but I have an emergency fund. Regardless of whose insurance is responsible, and regardless of whether I have to pay a deductible, we will be okay. Although I would hate to withdraw money from my emergency account, I know that I will replace it fairly soon, probably within one month. I only had to worry about my daughter—and that is all someone should have to worry about during an emergency situation.
Image: ChazWags, via Flickr.com