Unlike the other bloggers, I have no savings, no emergency fund. I did, until my son broke his hand this past December, and now it’s gone.
And for the last few months I have flown by the seat of my pants, and that really stinks! I mean, big time! I always feel broke because after paying all the necessary monthly bills, keeping out just enough for the grocery budget, I throw everything I’ve got at debt. And then I’m broke…until a client pays me. Now I’m really blessed to have mostly reliable clients who pay me at least within the standard Net 30, and some who pay within Net 10, so I “know” I have income coming, but I don’t always know exactly when.
So this week was one of those totally broke weeks. I didn’t even have two dimes to rub together. It was exponentially harder as I had to drive a lot due to standardized testing for the three youngest in a different city. Needless to say, I ran out of gas. And I did not have the choice to stay home or bike to where I had to go (we can bike to pretty much anywhere we need to go.) I even stooped so low that I asked my ex to pay his child support early (he’s really great about giving financial support to our kids, really great, the only issue is, it’s on his schedule, not mine and not always regular.)
So you can feel how desperate I was, right? And you are probably saying “duh, Hope, start an emergency fund.” And you would think that my incident last summer where we were out of toilet paper would have convinced me of the same thing. Yeah, but no, I’m hard headed and stubborn and always see the glass half full and know everything is going to turn out alright.
But in this dark hour when I needed to get my kids to testing and had no gas, I searched through my wallet and found a $50 bill. Evidently at some point, I knew I would need an emergency gas fund, and being the “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person I am, I put my “emergency $50” out of sight but right where it should be had I needed it. Joy, relief flooded and we finished out our testing week with no other financial crisis.
But I am now convinced, I need an emergency fund. Two, in fact! I am going to replace my “emergency $50” immediately and as I mentioned last week I am going to start funding a traditional emergency fund with a percentage from my new job. It will go slow, it’s not my priority, but after the toilet paper, the broken hand and this most recent gas debacle (along with a few that I will not mention here,) I am convinced that it is necessary. (And in using my new job’s money, well, it doesn’t affect my current debt payoff, yeah!!!)