Monday, August 1, 2011

So what is the EF for anyway???

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?


  1. I have about $8000 in my EF --- and I'm not happy that I'm about to have to dig into it to cover Princess Penelope's car repairs. That's supposed to be my cushion against job loss or the like. I don't want to use it for the car repair but I'm going to have to. There's no way around it. It will take a VERY long time to build it back up!

  2. we just started our EF (finally) I have $200 in there... not enough, but super proud to have that much! hehe... hoping to have $400 by the end of August & $1000 by the end of October (here's hoping!)

  3. I just started my EF about two months ago and only have a little over $300 in there. I am completely scared to use it because now that I have even a little bit of money in there I feel a little better about things.

  4. Right now we have $2100 in our EF. I budget $150 a month to cover home and car repairs. So our EF is for medical emergancies and no income months. I'm trying to build it up to 3 month expenses.

  5. I understand why you don't want to use it, given your luck:)

    We started a general car Efund. We put $20-$50 a month in it, we use it for maintenance and if need be repairs. It's unrealistic to think nothing will ever happen to our car. I think you guys know that more than most.

    I think of an Efund is for the loss of a job or a truly unexpected event. I like to think of it this way, to keep me from thinking it is okay we have some money in the efund, we can use that. We have done this before and it never ended well.

  6. I keep $1,000 for emergencies but I never use it... stuff like our AC had to be replaced in May but I still used my credit card... I guess we all handle emergencies differently, to me that money is there in case our paychecks run out and we need cash.


  7. Mysti, right now the EF has about $800.00 in it. I am scared. I have so many bills and no money coming in. We have a family reunion coming up and a daughter that is going away to school. Let's see if we can survive August, you with the car repair. Me with life!

  8. Thanks for posting this. Mysti, we've gone through our share of Murphy over the last long while, and are still just trying to stay above water. In the past two years we've both lost jobs, and have been ill/hurt. We've declared bankruptcy, and have finally paid that off. Hubby is now on Disability Pension, and that isn't much to sneeze at, and he is trying to start his own little business, but if he makes more than a specific amount his Pension gets cut. We've not been able get ahead at all, in fact with my back injury I was again off work for another 4 months, and we're owing again... however we have been blessed with some awesome people in our lives who are a great support.
    I still can't see the forest for the trees, but am now able to realize that eventually we will be able to pay it all off, and we will make it. We have a roof over our head, are not in a flood zone, have not been burned out of our home, and although our car is not working and is sitting at the wreckers waiting to get diagnosed, someone blessed us with a $$ gift yesterday.
    We are blessed. Stressed, yes, but blessed.
    You will make it. Hang in there. I enjoy reading your blog!

  9. We are scared to use ours too. We have 1000 dollars in it...but we sure try to figure out how to do things without touching it...I am with you...I don't know how we would ever replenish the funds.

    I am so curious to hear what your BIG changes are going to be:) Have a good Monday!

  10. Just because you have a savings fund, doesn't mean it makes it any easier when you have to take a huge chunk out of it to pay off something you don't want to pay for in the first place.

  11. I used some of my ef fund for my new roof but took a loan for the rest. My thoughts on the ef is it's for something that happens that I have absolutly no way to pay for. I wont use it to pay my cc's or something like that but if there was something we had to have done and I had no other way to pay for it. Does that make sense?


  12. I have about $11,300 in my EF and it is for emergencies only. I try to set aside $600-$650/month for things like car repairs, gifts, clothes, household expenses/repairs as I know these things may not be regular expenses, but they will eventually happen.

    I went through periods of unemployment and underemployment and didn't touch the EF at all... I made do with what I had...

  13. I'm almost at $5K in our efund, and I will ONLY use it if we are truly destitute with no other means. It's been hard saving that much & it will be brutal building it back up after, so only in a true emergency will it ever be used.