The Importance of an Emergency Fund
I had no idea what having a fully funded emergency fund would do to my emotions and stress level.
After I paid off all my student loans and my husband and I paid for our wedding, we built up our emergency fund to 6 months of our expenses. Between a commission I had just received at work and wedding gifts, we had our emergency fund fully funded plus the start of a down payment on a house. This felt really good.
I did not know how good it felt until my husband found out he had a tumor in his shoulder coming off of his spine that was going to have to be removed. We found this out 54 days after we got married and 3 days before we left for our honeymoon. We did not know in the beginning whether it was cancerous or not, but it came back completely benign. It was causing issues with using his hand so it for sure had to come out. Having a fully funded emergency fund took the financial stress completely off the table during this time.
Our yearly total out of pocket for healthcare is $6,000. If we didn’t have the emergency fund it would have been very stressful to find this out. I can’t imagine having to deal with all of the health related stuff we have had to deal with and have to stress out about money at the same time. Unfortunately, I know there are people who deal with this everyday.
Now, I’m not saying all this to brag or make anyone feel bad. I want this to be inspiration to you to prepare for what is coming. No matter who you are or how much money you have, you will run into some kind of financial emergency eventually. When you do have an emergency fund, having the money to pay for things makes that emergency way less stressful. It turns a financial "emergency" into a financial inconvienence. Instead of having to worry about how we were going to pay the medical bills we had coming, we were able to focus completely on helping my husband get better.
My husband needed a few weeks off after his surgery to heal. During this time we tried to cut back on extra expenses because his income was going to be cut to only 70% of his normal pay on short term disability. Because of the emergency fund and the money we had put aside for a down payment on a house, this really did not stress us out much. I think my husband felt bad about it at first, but I was able to remind him right away that we had plenty of money in our savings. I told him to not even think about it. During the weeks following his surgery, was able to still get him plenty of good food and lots of vitamins, essential oils, and anything else that could help him get back to full health as quickly as possible.
And, after we get through all this and all the bills are paid, we will just rebuild what we took out of our savings. Luckily, we did not have to use all of our savings since we had some money in our HSA to use on the medical bills. We also had almost three months between when we found out he would need surgery and when he actually had surgery to save more money. We cut our living expenses down to build our emergency fund up more.
If you need help getting to the point of having a fully funded emergency fund, I would highly recommend reading The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It helped my husband and I get out of debt and become financially free so we could have the money for anything that comes our way.