2008 Emergencies and Expenditures: YTD

Emergency 1
With the run up to the birth of our second daughter, we were doing everything we could to pile up cash in the emergency fund. We did pretty well too. We knew that insurance would pick up a lot of the bill, but that we would have ~$2,400 in out-of-pocket expenses and that those would come due within a month or so of the birth - assuming baby and momma came out healthy, and they did. Thanks to our foresight, we weathered that storm and had plenty to spare.

Emergency 2
It wasn't long after, that our newborn needed a few rounds of tests and specialist visits. It was found that she had a tumor of unknown type. It was benign but needed to come out. She's doing great and got an excellent diagnosis. Out of the some $11,000 in medical bills, we came away with about $1,400 that was our responsibility. It took another hit, but the emergency fund still came out standing.

In between and since these two emergencies, we've been working to rebuild our emergency fund. With it in constant flux, I've not been updating it under the 'Full Disclosure' tab on the right. My apologies, but it just hasn't been worth the effort. We'll be better about that going forward. Our target is roughly $9,000. Not insurmountable, but it's been really tough to get traction in the first five months of 2008.

We should be done with our doctor bills this month, as the last few are getting sorted out now. We should also be done with doctor bills for the year, as we have exceeded our 'member responsibility' amounts for the year, and have entered the 100% coverage zone. But now that we are done with these emergencies, we have moved on to a capital expenditure.

Capital Expenditure 1
Since we bought our house, we have been living with an unserviceable, underperforming well. Our two options, of equal initial cost, are:

  1. Drill a new well
  2. Hook up to the city water
Since we're not big fans of the local chlorine-water, this is not a tough choice. Our 'House Repair Fund' has enough to cover some of the ~$3,400 bill. Since this is also 'emergency-avoidance', the balance will come out of our already stressed emergency fund. I say emergency -avoidance, since our current well has the potential to stop working at any time. If it quits during the winter months, then options 1 and 2 are out until spring. I don't even know what option 3 would be. So we're drilling a well!

The emergency fund concept has by far been one of the most valuable lessons that we learned in FPU. As we refocus on replenishing it, we'll have to see if we need to do more than we have been to get it back into shape.

Ok, so after going through the budget, we been able to bump our monthly amount to the emergency fund from $570 to $775. After the well is done, we should have just shy of $4,000 in the emergency fund. If we can kick in $775 each month, it will take about 7 months to replenish - assuming no more big emergencies.


Mom @ Wide Open Wallet said...

Goodness! Well, can't think of better things to spend your E-fund on. Congrats on the good health of your baby girl!

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