Emergency Funds for the Financial Flu

January 11, 2010

An emergency fund won’t prevent unpleasant things but it can make them much easier to live through.  Warning, if you have a squeamish stomach this article isn’t for you.

Planning for Puke

For example, think back to the last time you had the stomach flu and when it first raised it’s ugly head.  If you were at home, near your bathroom and in your pajamas you still felt sick but probably weren’t as miserable as you would have been in a place like a dirty truck stop bathroom stall.

In the comfort of you home, you probably made your own emergency plan as you felt the sickness progress:

  • Carpet or towel on the floor in front of the commode so you wouldn’t have to kneel on hard bathroom floor
  • Extra bowl in case you happened to be on the toilet when the puke came
  • Long hair pulled back away from your face
  • Bathroom fan was on to clear the air
  • Glass of rinsing water within arms reach
  • Kleenex to blow your nose afterwards
  • Toothpaste already on the toothbrush

A stomach bug is an unpleasant experience, one that we don’t like to re-live, sorry if it’s kind of gross.  However, all of those things I listed make the nasty experience a little easier to live through.

Emergency Funds Ease the Pain

Obviously an emergency fund takes a little more preparation than the list above but it serves the same purpose.  Inevitably we’ll all run into an unpleasant situation that we hadn’t planned on:

  • Car breaks down
  • Being laid off
  • Unexpected medical expenses
  • Furnace breaks mid-winter

These are really nasty things but if you have some money tucked away in an emergency fund it can help take the edge off the disaster.  You still have to go through whatever crisis is unfolding but if you know that you have money to cover the cost, make a down payment, or even just get by in the mean time you’ll be much better prepared to handle the situation without having a nervous breakdown or losing your lunch.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Emergency Funds for the Financial Flu

  • Holly

    Have had a few of those recently and only wish I had been better prepared…stock market crased; hit a deer, totaled 2002 minivan; husband’s salary decreased by $12,000/yr.; leak in roof; water in basement. Trust those who advise to save…it will help you in the long run.

  • Single Guy Money

    Well put. I don’t know of any simpler way to explain the reason for emergency funds.

  • Darik

    Last fall, I was brought to greater financial consciousness, thanks to the folks on the Women in Red message board, who posted a frenzy of discussions about wimpy quasi-savers like me.


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