My husband and I are on Baby Steps 4 (Invest 15% for retirement), 5 (College fund), and 6 (Pay off home early) of the Dave Ramsey Plan. We save for larger purchases as well including replacement vehicles. We’ve been saving for a slightly larger travel trailer since we have twice as many kids as we do beds and sleeping on the floor in winter months is tough. It rained and was terribly windy for 24 hours solid on one of the days on our three week Christmas trip and all six of us were stuck inside the trailer. It was the final straw.
We have been saving for a while and have $2,000 to upgrade to a larger trailer and $2,000 as a buffer in case we can’t sell our trailer for as much as we think it’s worth. Here’s the problem, we can’t sell our current trailer until we get another one. It can take 4-5 months to find a reasonably priced trailer (it took me four months to find our first trailer) and I’m not willing to go without camping that long. We were recently offered a crazy deal on the exact trailer we were looking to purchase and it’s worth $1,800 more than our current. It’s a smoking deal! Everything turned out perfect in the inspection and my husband is picking it up today.
We don’t use credit EVER so we are writing a check out of our emergency fund and will replenish when we sell our current trailer.
I get it, I can stop camping, sell our trailer, and then look for another when I sell ours. I am making a stupid call on this but if this weren’t a trailer and was a car instead (and you can’t go without a car most places), what do you do? This will come up again in the next few years when we replace our vehicles. The last few, our current vehicles were valued so low, we simply saved extra. Now that our cars are worth around $10K, does that mean I need to save an extra $10K just so I don’t temporarily use my emergency fund? That doesn’t seem reasonable.
I’ve never touched my emergency fund before so it feels wrong using it but I’m not quite sure what the solution should be.
What would you do?