A Break In and a Breakdown: Why We Need an Emergency Fund

A Break In

My son smashes around a dark television room in a Best Buy in his Hulk costume. He is watching The Hulk crash around New York City at the end of The Avengers. The Hulk’s younger brother, dressed as Captain America, chases him around the room. My husband and I laugh at the fun inspired by the screen three times as large as our youngest Avenger. We leave the gigantic television room and pick out a Tom & Jerry DVD to watch from our suburban’s DVD player. I have a long drive with a good friend and her two kids planned for the next day and I want to be prepared.

We gather the boys and head out into the dusk to load up into our green suburban. I load Captain America while Daniel helps The Hulk into his seat. I hear The Hulk yell, “What happened to our car?” Daniel turns his head to the front of the car and blurts out, “Our stereo has been stolen!” I open the passenger side door and find the glove compartment hanging open. Nothing has been taken from the glove compartment, but Daniel discovers all the DVDs have been stolen from the middle console. At first I can’t find the little green backpack that I use as a diaper bag, but I later find it in the backseat. The dashboard is cracked and has a hole in it.

We are shocked and feel violated.  Daniel and I are both grateful that we didn’t have anything else of value in our car.

Daniel leaves on a trip in three days and we don’t have a lot of extra time, let alone time to deal with getting the car fixed.  With regret I cancel my plans with my friend so we can get our car stereo repaired the next day. Daniel fills out a police report online. We remember our insurance is liability coverage only so we will be paying for all the repairs.

A Breakdown

Three days after the stereo was repaired our suburban decided to stop working hours before Daniel left for his trip. We rented a small car for me while Daniel left town and we got the suburban fixed. It is now at a garage to have it’s fuel pump ensemble replaced. It’s not an inexpensive repair.

The timing of the break in and the breakdown hasn’t been great. We haven’t had much down time between Daniel’s trip to San Francisco and our upcoming trip New York City. I’ve been annoyed with all the time it has taken to manage these two events.



Making us whole again requires quite a bit of money. We replaced the stereo and added an alarm system. When our car died we bought a new battery and hired our mobile mechanic to check out the car. He found the problem, but he couldn’t fix it and we paid for his diagnosis. Now we are paying for a tow truck and the repairs. Then there is the cost of the rental car. When we get back from our trip we will have to pay for the body work to fix the door lock and the dash from the break in.

So why am I not freaking out?

God Provides and an Emergency Fund

I am not freaking out, because of two things. Daniel and I have been through so many unusual situations in the past we have faith that God will provide what we need. A car is just stuff. A car is transportation. As long as we have a way to get around we will be okay.

The other reason is I am not freaking out is because we have a sizable emergency fund. Since we’ve become debt free we moved on to the next baby step of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. We have the money to pay to have everything fixed. Of course we would rather not spend the money in our emergency fund. We will have to replenish what we’ve spent, but we are making a plan for filling the emergency fund back up.

Saving for an emergency fund is not exciting. I’d much rather spend money on a trip. This past week has reminded me why having an emergency fund is vital. Losses happen and cars break. It’s a fact that emergencies will occur and we need to be prepared.

Do you have an emergency fund? What has been your experience when you had to dip into your emergency fund?

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