When Emergency Strikes
I spent $500 at the dentist today. It was an emergency and had to be done. Things like this can be really upsetting. I worked hard to get my emergency fund at $1000 dollars and now I have to rebuild it. Taking a step or two down the savings ladder is really depressing.
Its times like this that I have to remind myself of a few things:
1. Thank goodness that I live in a place that I can spend money at a dentist that can fix my problem! This is something that would have caused me to lose a tooth if I lived in a different age or place, or possibly my life. Luckily, after a few hours and (actually pretty painful) simple procedure my problem is cured. A few hours of pain and then I move on. Others are not so lucky.
2. I have the money to pay for this. After, all what is an emergency fund for if not for an emergency? Yes- it is annoying to have to empty out your emergency fund account. Yes- it is depressing to have to “rebuild” the account in the next few months. Yes- it is frustrating that I may have to push off my new computer purchase for a while so that I can double-down on putting money into my emergency fund, BUT I was able to pay the entire dental bill on the spot.
3. Obviously I wasn’t meant to have this money- but isn’t it great that I had the money to lose in the first place? I am grateful that this dental escapade does not mean another bill that I will have to pay over months. It doesn’t mean that I have to pay down a credit card balance (with interest!) over the next few months. It doesn’t mean that I have to decide which bill I will pay next month. It doesn’t mean I can’t buy anything that I need to buy. I am grateful that I was able to have the money to pay the dentist right away. I am grateful that I have this emergency fund to use for emergencies instead of having an event derail my financial plan for a while. And that is why it is SO important to have these savings put in the appropriate place- because while we cannot prevent emergencies from happening, we CAN make sure that the small emergencies don’t ruin us.
So when emergency strikes, be grateful you have the means to pay for it. Take a step (or a few) down your savings ladder and rebuild it as soon as you can. If you can, be aggressive. Push off some large purchases if you can and get that emergency fund back to $1000 or to cover 3-6 months of expenses. Of course, if you are constantly having dental emergencies (or any other emergency that seems to be recurring) maybe think of creating a separate account to cover just that. But mostly just feel happy and grateful that we have the knowledge and tools to prevent emergencies from becoming disasters.