Thursday, January 27, 2011

It Will Oil Be Alright

The last two weeks were hard weeks. Have I been complaining a lot lately? Yes. Yes, I have. Don't worry, I'm scheduled for a mind tune-up soon.

Speaking of tune-ups...

One of the things that made things less fun the previous week was the dreaded "Check Engine" light. My husband was in Peru (no, he really was), therefore, the "Check Engine" light glowed a lonely glow while I ignored it and tended to my two little girls. I did not check the engine. By the time the kiddos were in bed each night, my brain was out like a light (a light that is not on, if there is any question).

Yesterday, my husband was motivated to take in the car for a check-up when I reported my drive home from the store was characterized by fun but unnatural jerking whenever I pressed on the accelerator. As I pulled into our garage, I suspected the large stain on the garage floor might be related. And, yep, the "Check Engine" light was still on.

The guy at the shop checked the engine. It was not there. OK, it was there, but it was hidden under black sludge. Had I checked the engine earlier, even *I* would have known something was terribly wrong, as everything under the hood had been hit by Exxon Valdez. Apparently, a couple gaskets had blown, and I had been driving around with Old (Oily) Faithful spouting his oily innards.

"No problem," said the mechanic. "We can fix it up, and the car will be just fine!"


"It will be around $1200."


Um... Yippee?

What would you do? For a lot of people, such news would be not only a car emergency but also a money emergency. Who the heck needs two emergencies like that at once?

Guess what? An Emergency Fund takes care of your money emergencies and, interestingly, also takes care of car emergencies! When something happens to the car, you are only inconvenienced, instead of devastated.


Emergencies of various types happen to all of us; they're not a matter of "ifs" but "whens". So, get going! If you do not have an Emergency Fund, start one and get it to $500 or $1000 as quickly as if you know an emergency is due in the next two months! Start an automatic deposit into a savings account, even if it is only $2 a week. Sell stuff. Get additional part-time work. You know how to find money, go find it! Now, this beginner Emergency Fund won't cover EVERYTHING that comes along, but it WILL buy you time later when you get about the business of eradicating any debt you have.

Let's go, let's go, let's go! The sooner you get on the path, the sooner you will be able to later beef up your Emergency Fund to cover most anything that comes your way. And won't that be a convenient thing to have when the storms roll in?

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