Reason #45,682 Why It’s Good To Have An Emergency Fund

My mother-in-law died two weeks ago.

It’s sad, but I’m not going to get into the emotional devastation that comes with the death of a loved one here.  At least, not today.

Today, I’m going to talk about the money, but not the funeral expenses.

I’m talking about the expense of taking over her stuff.  When she died, she was living in her own home, paying her own bills.

Now, we have a small stack of expenses we weren’t planning for.

She had 2 cars.   She actively drove one, and kept storage insurance on one that was parked in the driveway.  Combined with the homeowner’s insurance, that’s $110/month.

One of the cars has a loan.   The car is worth $4000 more than the loan, so it’s not worth letting the bank repossess it.   That’s another $200/month.

The gas and electric add $50 to the monthly tab.

Setting aside money for the property tax adds nearly another $200 per month and the first half is due next week.

I rounded the numbers off here, but that’s $562.58 that’s outside of our regular budget and doesn’t address some bills that we paid off instead of arguing with bill collectors while we straighten out the estate.

This is the kind of scenario that makes me happy to have an emergency fund.  We are able to pay the property taxes and keep the lights on because of it.  A few years ago?   The car would have been gone and the house dark within a month.

Now?  The emergency fund covers the immediate expenses and we have some breathing room to adjust our budget.   For example, the money we were setting aside for our next car is now being earmarked for paying off our surprise car loan.

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    1. I am so sorry!!! Good point about having padding. Please tell your wife she has my very best wishes.

    2. Yes, of course it’s good you have an emergency fund to take care of these things. Having one is a non-negotiable fact in our household.

      However, she had no cash for you to use to pay these expenses with? No insurance? (Really,it’s not necessary to answer that – it’s just a rhetorical question, because not everyone does have these things).

      Very sorry to hear of your loss.

      • In Minnesota, it takes up to 6 weeks to get the death certificates, which means the bills need to get paid for 6 months. There was a bit of cash, but not a lot.

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