16 months ago the “Check Engine” light began glowing on our truck’s dashboard. We paid a local mechanic $40 to run a diagnostic test, and he turned off the light, assuring us that our truck would be fine. However, we would need to have the small problem fixed before our truck would pass its smog test.
In December, we received notification that our truck was due for its annual registration, and bi-annual smog test. We chose a different mechanic this time, but received the same news. The “Check Engine” light would need to be fixed before we could pass our smog test or registration.
Well, the “small” problem turned out to be a very “expensive” problem. Our truck needed a new oxygen sensor, a new fuel/air sensor, and a new catalytic converter. These 3 repairs cost $1109, plus $40 for the smog check, and $126 for the registration. We had been saving for the registration fee, but still we ended up spending $1275 on truck expenses this month.
Some of our friends who know how tight our budget is, wondered aloud, “How did you pay for that?” And we told them, “We used our Emergency Fund.”
When we started learning about Dave Ramsey and following his “Baby Steps” in 2010, the first thing we did was save $1000 for a rainy day. In fact, due to our experience with job loss we later increased our Emergency Fund to $2000 so that we would have a bigger cushion in the face of crisis.
Murphy’s Law states that “Anything that can go wrong–will go wrong.” Your $1000 Emergency Fund is insurance against Murphy’s Law, for the unexpected events in life that you can’t plan for.
Our Emergency Fund kept our truck repairs from turning into new debt, while we are paying off our old debts. This set-back will probably slow down our student loan debt pay-off, but it feels great to be able to pay for our truck repairs in full without any damage to our monthly budget!
Do you have an Emergency Fund? Have you ever had to use your Emergency Fund?