Thanks to all the sympathies from my Facebook Friends over the recent passing of our beloved refrigerator.
In Baby Step 3, FPU members are taught that they are to fully fund a three to six month of expenses emergency fund. For us, saving this amount took a long time because we went all the way to six months.
Something happens to you when you save for those emergencies: your definition of emergency slightly changes. We joke that we want to have an Emergency Fund for the Emergency Fund.
I wanted to document a real life experience that is not uncommon to what you have faced before and tie it back to what Cindy and I have learned through FPU.
At Least It’s Cold Outside
Yesterday, Our blessed refrigerator, that conveyed from the previous owners nine years ago, went on to her great reward. The Maytag Man came out and pronounced her DOA – massive compressor failure.
We had noticed on Saturday that things were beginning to melt in the freezer and that the refrigerator was getting warmer. We placed items in ice coolers and others on the porch. At least it would be cold this week, barely topping 36 degrees.
After church on Sunday, Cindy took me shopping for new refrigerators. She already knew what she was looking for: side by side, white with the textured finish, no digital read-outs. Sure, we opened every other refrigerator, but, that is how she shops.
Ask for a Bargain
Sunday’s shopping spree was not really about shopping – it was reconnaissance. We wanted to know how much a refrigerator would cost (anywhere from $600 to $2200). Between the features that we were looking for and the measurements of the refrigerator nook, we eliminated most units that cost over $1000. The one we settled on was at Lowes for $799 (they also offered free delivery and take away).
After the repairman left on Monday, Cindy took the EFCB (the Emergency Fund Check Book) to Lowes and went through the purchasing process.
Week 8 of FPU is called That’s Not Good Enough, and we learned not only where to look for bargains but also how to ask for one. Cindy told the sales person that she did not need financing and was going to be paying cash for the purchase: would she sell it for $750.00? Yes! With Taxes, Titles and Tags, Cindy bought the refrigerator for $787.50.
Cindy’s only regret was that she did not ask for a bigger bargain!
But was it an Emergency?
Certainly we had a need for a new refrigerator, but, it is not what I would call an Emergency. However, fortunately, we were able to go and purchase one with cash. Would we have been able to ask for a bargain if we were just putting in on the credit card?
What if, like most Americans, we had just finished putting Christmas on those same credit cards? Instead of having a fun afternoon on Sunday, spending time with my wife, there would have been a lot of stress and anger.
And that, my friends, is life. As the saying from the 80’s went - “Stuff happens.”
The question is, are you prepared? Do you have a plan?
Visa certainly has a plan: their plan is that you don’t have one.
And guess who will always be there to catch you in your emergencies?