New Year’s resolutions are almost upon us. If you don’t have an emergency fund of any sort, this might be a good time to create one. Here’s a post I wrote on escaping paycheck-to-paycheck and creating an emergency fund.
Last weekend, I had another incident which made me glad that I had plenty of savings. While getting out of my seat to play in a small musical ensemble at my church, I slipped and knocked my violin into the pew in front of me (foot brace for a torn ligament has made me clumsy). There was a horrifying sound of bad things happening to wood.
After gathering up the violin’s bridge, which had fallen off, I took it to a back room where I could better-examine the damage. It turned out to be things which will be easy and not too expensive to fix. The bridge had come off, the soundpost had fallen, and the tailpiece had shifted position–causing the e-tuner to scratch the violin a little (probably what caused the sound). It could have been a lot worse.
I estimate that getting it fixed will cost at most $50, probably $40, less if they reuse the same bridge. We’ll pay for it out of our flexible fund. If it were just the bridge, I could try putting it on myself, or have a more-experienced friend do it. But the bridge may need replacing and I don’t have the tools to retrieve and reposition the soundpost. Another string-player recommended a nearby violin shop and I’ll get it fixed on Saturday.
When I saw how little damage was done, I was greatly relieved. And I also thought “I’m glad I have the money to get this done now.” The little accident hasn’t made my budget complicated, nor do I have to carefully plan out when and whether I’ll be able to get it fixed. Even if the damage were more serious, I’d still be able to fix it.
Brad, a.k.a. Enemy of Debt, ran into a similar circumstance recently when he broke a kid’s skateboard while trying to do a trick:
The financial impact of this is pretty minor compared to how it would have gone down a few years ago. “Umm…can I give you $30 next Friday and $30 more two Fridays later?” Translation: Can you go three whole weeks without your skateboard?
Sometimes the relief comes from knowing we can make something right for another person. The kid probably wasn’t thrilled about having the replace his skateboard (unless he had his eye on another one), but at least Brad was able to pay for it right away.
Having something saved up to deal with life’s inconveniences, like a damaged violin, and its true emergencies like the copay (or full price) of an Emergency Room visit.
Has your emergency fund or savings account saved your butt or made your life easier recently? Have you found yourself wishing you had one?