Dear Emergency Fund,
As much as I hated the fact that we had to interact two weeks ago, I am beyond grateful that we were able to do so. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing your job: you were there for me when I needed funds for an emergency.
It’s easy for folks to dismiss you, Emergency Fund. I’ll admit, I’m not your biggest advocate myself. I like keeping you slim and trim because we don’t have much financial responsibility and we can run on a tight budget.
Here’s the thing, though. Unexpected expenses are unexpected. They strike at any time (and usually at the worst of times, actually). So you’ve always been with us, but we’ve also focused on other financial priorities. You weren’t front and center when it came to money goals.
But, as you know since you paid for this incident, we had to take one of our little furballs to the vet two weekends ago.
And not just the vet, but the emergency vet.
And not just for an exam, but for procedures including anesthesia and for a 3 night hospital stay.
And four different medications to administer to kitty once he came home.
It was extremely stressful and scary, because kitty faced a life-threatening situation. Had we waited just one more day to bring him in, the situation would have been much more severe and dire. It was bad enough to see one of my four-legged, furry kids in pain and scared.
And then the vet gave us our estimated bill. For $2000.
I felt guilty after hearing that, because the number made me forget all about the poor cat that was having to physically deal with this. For about a minute all I could think about was ohmygod twothousanddollars areyoushittingme whywhywhywhywhy nononononono workedsohardforthatmoney neverhadasickcat whynow twothousandfreakin’dollars ughhhhhhhh.
The vet walked out of the room to give us time to decide what to do. What to do? Decide?
In this situation, there wasn’t a decision to be made. If our kitty got the treatment he needed, he would be fine and dandy. No surgery was required. Deciding what to do was a no-brainer.
It was all thanks to you, Emergency Fund. You were there and ready for this.
Spending thousands of dollars at the vet is never going to be fun, but that’s why we decided to work together, right? To handle these unexpected expenses that pop up at the worst of times to pop our bubbles.
Thankfully, our bill came out just a tad cheaper than expected, at $1800, and we were able to pay immediately without fuss. We got to take our kitty home and he’s now much better and doing well. (That’s our recovering patient pictured above.)
All things considered, things got back to normal around here really fast. The hubs was even able to joke (hollowly) about the expense, saying “hey, at least it’s more miles [earned on the credit card we paid with and immediately paid the balance on].”
Emergency Fund, I have you to thank for shielding us from financial harm. You’re the reason we could pay a huge bill that would have otherwise left a painful dent in accounts that we’d rather not touch for this sort of thing.
I appreciate that I didn’t have to compromise care for one of my furry kiddos because I didn’t have the money. I appreciate that I didn’t have to leave that payment on the credit card for months while I worked to pay it off. I appreciate that the only thing I needed to worry about was my little cat, and not, for once, about money.
Thank you, thank you for being there for us when we needed you.
I hope you don’t mind that I’m publishing our correspondence publicly. I don’t mean to let anyone invade your privacy, or to make judgements about you — be warned, people may say you’re too small. Others may scoff because they think you’re too big!
The Internet is a strange place, Emergency Fund.
So why publish this letter for all to see? Because I want others to understand what a powerful thing you are. I want others to see what it’s like when you can deflect a near-$2000 expense with no harm done to other financial plans and goals.
You’re invaluable to the Millennial who wants to stay on the right financial track and out of debt when bad things happen.
You become all the more necessary when someone has children to care for (of the two-legged or four-legged variety).
You can allow someone to chase a career dream, or to take a chance on themselves as they set out their shingle as a self-employed worker.
You protect goals and savings and investments because you absorb the brunt of all financial blows.
You give us a chance to get back on our feet after a setback.
You make it easier to move on, to stay positive, and to find the good in situations that might otherwise leave us high and dry.
Emergency Fund, you rock. Thanks for being you, which means being there for me.
With love and promises to start filling you back up again,
PS: See, I told y’all we’d still be talking about finances over here 😉
PPS: For those wondering, kitty’s condition was struvite crystals in his bladder. This means he couldn’t urinate, and a cat who can’t urinate is a cat who is in pain and can die as quickly as 48 hours. Thankfully, we got him to the vet within about 12 hours of him getting blocked. PSA for all your pet owners out there — if you suspect your kitty (especially your male kitty) cannot go to the bathroom, get him to the vet immediately!
Have you gone through a tough experience that was made easier to deal with thanks to the fact that you had an emergency fund? If you don’t have an emergency fund, will you make establishing one a goal for 2015?