Emergency Fund in Action

Last Wednesday, my hubby and I were in town all day and didn’t get home until about 9:00 pm. Eli was tired and hungry so Hubby started the process of putting him to bed while I started putting things away. I unpacked Hubby’s lunch cooler and opened the freezer to put his ice packs away and…

Everything in the freezer was melted. Everything.

The entire ice tray…melted. A half-dozen bags of baby food cubes…liquified. Various veggies and beans…mushy. Literally everything in the freezer was at room temperature.

I opened the fridge, hoping the damage was isolated to the freezer, but no luck. It was warm, too. Warm milk, warm breastmilk, warm veggies, warm lunchmeat, warm yogurt and warm eggs. Ick.

I immediately felt my blood pressure spike. I did *not* need this at bedtime in the middle of the week! My heart sank as I thought of all the food waste and, more importantly, spoiled breastmilk. Hubby and I quickly loaded everything into laundry baskets and hauled it out to the cold garage.

After we dealt with the immediate need to chill the former contents of the fridge and freezer, we started looking for a new or used fridge online. Even cheap new ones cost several hundred dollars, and, where we live, used appliances are hard to come by. But, we don’t want to be without a fridge, so we kept looking and found a few options at various home improvement stores. Hubby went to the local hardware store the next day and ordered a comparable replacement fridge — at an even better price than we could find online.

Goodbye $800.

There was a time in my life when that $800 would have caused a huge problem for my finances, and it probably would have gone on a credit card. I had plenty of money coming in, but it all went right back out. Now, however, we are focused on purposeful spending. Using the cash envelope system, we track every dollar that comes in and goes out so that we can apply it where we want it to go, not where it wanders away. And one of the things we do with our money is save it for emergencies…like when a fridge dies.

Yes, it sucks to suddenly have to replace an expensive appliance. I’d much rather have the old fridge than the expense and hassle of getting a new one. But, it is so nice to have an emergency fund to rely on. When ours died, I knew where the money would come from, and I didn’t have to take money meant for utilities or groceries or insurance to pay for it. There is an amazing peace in that knowledge, and I am so grateful that we have a little cushion to land on when little emergencies try to push us down.

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One thought on “Emergency Fund in Action

  1. Leah March 7, 2013 at 12:30 am Reply

    Ahhh…breast milk! That is like throwing away gold! So sad to hear about your loss, but glad you were not devastated financially by the emergency. Isn’t it wonderful to have an Emergency fund?
    My husband is like Dave Ramsey’s wife: he wants an emergency fund for the emergency fund. Security is so subjective, it seems.

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