I received a comment the other day regarding my continuing car saga. The commenter remarked "isn't that what the EF is for?" I guess for alot of people, a car issue is what the EF is for. And in our case, we may have to use it to help us with the repair. But in my head, that isn't what it is for.
I look at the EF as a way to cover those things that really do come from out of nowhere and hit ya. Like, the emergency dentist visit we had for Sassy. Or a MAJOR household repair (minor ones should be budgeted for). But each person has to decide for themselves what to use it for.
We have used our EF fund officially twice. Once when our faucet in the kitchen broke (which should have come from a home maintenance fund that doesn't really exist....or does exist, but is used more for improvement than maintenance). The second was during our mortgage refi, when we had to bring money to the closing table.
I see all of this from a proactive perspective. Things that you know are going to happen, and should be planned for. Cars need maintenance. No getting around it. And they will have repairs. Again, no getting around it. So in my world, this is a planned expense. You may not know exactly when it will happen, but you know it will. This is why we started the car maintenance fund. Right now we only $30 a month in there. We have such a tight budget (and getting squeekier by the day), that is all we can do. In the past, our car fund has offset oil changes, wiper blades, some tires, and a few other minor things. It has done nothing for the major repairs.
I think I am afraid to use our EF. I know how hard it will be to rebuild it. So if it gets used, then I won't have it as a cushion. It is bad enough that I really want $1500 in there, and we are at $900. There is ALWAYS something that happens to us. Anyone who reads this blog should agree....we get more than our fair share of Murphy visits.
If we used our EF for everything that has happened, it would have been long gone, and never replaced. I know the idea is supposed to be if you are prepared, then Murphy leaves you alone. Apparently Murphy missed that staff meeting.
As for now...I think we are going to fix my car. Half of it will come from our home improvement account. The other half will come from a combination of my three paycheck month in August and some overtime that G-man will have later in the month.
We have some potential BIG changes about to happen, so we are having to rethink the entire strategy for everything. Stay tuned.
How about you? Do you have an EF? If so, how much is in there? What types of things do you use it for?