This month has been rough on our budget. A couple of annual subscriptions came up (roadside assistance was one of them), which was ok because we anticipated the costs. Even our trip down south was covered in advance.
However, we had to have maintenance done on both of our vehicles this month, and the associated costs were much more than our budget can handle. Fortunately, we were in the process of building up an emergency fund.
This is money which we have set aside for emergencies or other necessary, but unexpected expenses. I hate having to use the emergency fund, even if we have expenses which fall into this category. However, having to put $800 on a credit card for car repairs is not a good option either. It feels like we lost a much bigger bite than this…
It wasn’t just our car repairs. A couple of other things came up last month, and I anticipated being able to cover them from my side business. I initially put them on a credit card, only expecting them to stay there for a few weeks and not accrue any interest. When the expected income didn’t materialize, I was forced to take even more out of the emergency fund.
Overall, we took $2,000 out of our online savings account! At first it really hurt to do this, because we only had about $2,500 set aside. However, considering that we are trying to pay off over $100,000 worth of debt, it doesn’t make sense to keep putting money into savings while piling on more debt with car repairs and other unexpected expenses.
At this point, I just thank God that He allowed us to build up our savings to the point where it covered these expenses. I know that no one wants to be forced to tap into savings, but that is part of the reason why we save. I’ve been in positions before where I was plowing everything into debt repayment, and when an expense came up, I had to rely on credit cards to pay for it. In fact, that is how my first attempt at becoming debt free failed many years ago!
We are going to try to build back up our emergency fund and continue to pay off debt. Our debt repayment will go a little slower at first, but at least we will be protected from small, unexpected expenses in the future.
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