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We were reminded this month the importance of having an emergency fund (financial cushion if your prefer). Thankfully no true emergency happened, but we were slammed with several bills and expenses.

Timing is Everything (Especially with Money)

Sometimes it's not the bills that throw you off, it's the timing of them. Let me show you.

Just within the last seven days here are expenses taken out from our joint checking:

  • Two Tires Replaced and State Inspection: $226.37
  • Hospital Bill $360.41
  • Car Registration and Taxes: $149.20
  • Total: $735.98

That is s significant amount of money to be draining checking account on top of our regular bills.

State Inspection: This wasn't a surprise, but having to have two tires replaced was. I called around to make sure that the mechanic shop was offering a competitive price. They were so we went ahead and got that done.

Hospital Bill: After reviewing the statements from last month, we knew this was due. We scheduled it to be paid.

Car Registration: This was also expected, comes the same time every year. Because our registration is tied in with the inspection, we had to get this done ASAP.

But wait, there's more…

Switching Another Line to Republic WirelessLearn why you need an emergency fund and how to get started.

On top of all this money leaving us, my husband's cell phone has gone from bad to worse.

He's tried diagnosing it so we can get it repaired, but we have no idea what is causing it.

It used to randomly shut down once in a blue moon and now it is constantly messing up.

The phone used to randomly shut down once in a blue moon which was annoying and inconvenient, but now it is constantly powering down. I've seen it power down, restart, only to power down again.

I was planning on switching to Republic Wireless (I already use them for work and love them!) for my personal home line once my current phone broke down, but now it looks like I will give him my Nexus so he can continue with his plan and I'll make the switch now.

Knowing how often I use my ‘home' phone, I've signed up for the Unlimted 3G Plan plan. While I'm not ecstatic about buying another so quickly, there is a $50 coupon I can use for the purchase which is awesome.

I went with the Moto X and for the phone, the first month of service, and taxes it came out to

The upside is that my cell phone plan will go from ~$50 + tax to $25/month and tax. Over the long term is a great deal, just wished my husband's phone could've held off a little bit longer.

Emergency Funds Make a Difference

I'm grateful and happy to say that we had enough money in our buffer fund to cover all of these expenses. (Though I'd rather not have to shell out the money!)

It was a simple transfer from our savings at Capital One 360 to our checking account.

(Want more info about our accounts? Check out Tired of Your Bank – Make the Switch or Sign Up and Open an Account)

Having the money in savings definitely made the difference between being highly inconvenienced and stressing out on how to get things covered.

I've had too many times with the latter, so I'm looking forward to building up the buffer again come next paycheck.

Thoughts on Why You Need an Emergency Fund

Have you ever had expenses hit you all at the same time? What happened? Was your budget thrown off? How big of a buffer do you guys keep for times like these?


About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..

4 comments add your comment

  1. My son recently lost his cell phone which we will need to replace and I recently lost my job, so an emergency fund is so important for those unexpected events life can throw at you.

    • Oh no! Sorry to hear about your job and your son’s phone. I’m very happy you guys have savings set aside to soften the blows.

  2. We had an unexpected $900 car repair back in January. Right after the holidays is not the best time for a bill like that, but we have an emergency fund for these occasions, so while it was NO fun to pay, it didn’t give us anxiety.

    • Cars repairs can suck so much money! It amazes me how pricey certain parts can be or how much labor is involved.

      I’m really glad you had some money stashed away to get through it. Hope your car doesn’t need a repair for a long time.