Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Beauty of the Emergency Fund!

Sorry for the delay in posting this blog post.  These past two weeks have been somewhat of a whirlwind.  We’ve had a broken toilet, sick kids and major car problems.  I’m not sure I can explain to you how thankful we are to have an Emergency Fund as well as a savings account for medical expenses!  

A few weeks ago, I installed two new toilets in our house.  Both installations went very smoothly, or so I thought.  I’m assuming I tightened one of the floor bolts too tightly and cracked the “ear” of the flange (the flange is the pipe fitting that mounts the toilet to the floor as well as connects the toilet to the drain pipe).  So, basically, only one side of the toilet was bolted to the floor. I attempted to replace the flange myself but it was glued in place.  I watched a video online and the one thing the guy in the video kept repeating was not to break the pipe the flange connects to.  It made me sufficiently nervous so I called in my plumber, Mike.  Mike came over and said that I didn’t need to replace the flange.  Instead of having the bolt come up through the floor, he put toilet in place and put a lag screw from the top down into the floor.  Easy enough!  I wish I thought of that but for 70 bucks I got a lesson in how to think outside the box.  

Next up, sick kids!  The week leading up to my 20 year high school reunion, our youngest came down with a virus that went from his nose to his lungs.  A doctor visit and 3 prescriptions later, he was on his was to health.  Then this past week, our oldest came down with a sinus infection that crept into his lungs.  Again, a doctor visit and 3 prescriptions later he’s on his way back to health.  Kids get sick, I get that! This is why we have an account specifically dedicated to doctor visits and prescription costs. 

I saved the best story, which happened first, for last.  On our way down to the reunion we got stuck in traffic.  All of a sudden, right before we got to the Whitestone Bridge, which connects The Bronx and Queens, the heat on the car shot through the roof!  It was as high as it could go and we were standing still.  I blasted the heat to try get some heat away from the engine and all that came out was cool air.  At that point, I knew the coolant level was practically zero.  Fortunately, right before the bridge, there was a gas station.  We pulled over, and thanks to the attendant at the station, we poured the coolant safely and were on our way.  

After an amazing time at the reunion, we headed back home the next morning. Aside from a few fill the coolant and check the gas stops, the ride was relatively smooth.  If you know anything about cars, you have probably diagnosed the problem; a blown head gasket.  Head gaskets aren’t cheap but having the second car has become as close to a necessity as you can come.  Fortunately, we have the emergency fund so we paid cash.  Hopefully the car will last long enough for us to save up for new ‘gently used’ car.  

Now, I hate parting with money and this has been a stressful two weeks, relatively speaking.   We’ll adjust our budget to rebuild our emergency fund so that it is fully funded.  I don’t want to go any longer than I have to without one.  A fully funded emergency fund made what could have been an insanely stressful summer to a stressful two weeks.  Is your emergency fund fully funded? 

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