Do you have $1,000?

Do you have a $1,000 that you could get to if a small emergency happened?  I have been hearing and reading more and more stories lately of people having small emergencies and not having the money to cover them. They either have to put it on a credit card, raid their kids accounts or borrow money from a friend or family member. $1,000 stashed away would make it a nuisance not an emergency.

Do you need new tires for your car? Did your stove break? Does your husband need emergency dental work? Did your daughter break her eyeglasses? Did a pipe burst from the cold and you need a plumber NOW? Did your dog eat something and you have to get her to the vet? Life happens and we need to be prepared for life to happen. Sooner or later your car is going to need work done on it. I have 4 older cars. Our newest car is a 2006. I know sooner or later one of the cars is going to need work on it. Having $1,000 in my bank account means I can handle most car repairs. We need our cars to get to school/work. If we can't fix our car then we can't go to work.

If you have kids, sooner or later one of them is going to get sick or hurt. We have good health insurance but I still have copays and deductibles. My daughter was having stomach issues 2 years ago. She was in pain and was losing weight. We went to her pediatrician (copay), she prescribed her a prescription (copay). Next month we went back to the pediatrician to see how she was doing (copay). She had lost more weight. The pediatrician sent us to a specialist (copay). He ordered bloodwork (deductible). Went back to the specialist (copay) and he said she needed to go to the hospital for a Endoscopy(deductible). After that we had to go back to the specialist for more test results(copay) and they gave her another prescription(copay). If I had to worry about how I was going to pay for all of this while I was already a mess about my daughter's health I don't know what I would have done. $1,000 made it all a health emergency not a financial one.

Over the winter we had a bad snow storm on a Thursday night/Friday. It happened to be on a payday. I have direct deposit so I didn't even know that the checks didn't arrive. That is, until some of my coworkers started to get upset. My boss said there was nothing that could be done because planes weren't landing. The checks should be in the next day. Well that didn't happen. Sunday we don't get deliveries. Monday I'm back in the office and as soon as I get there I am getting a dozen calls asking whether checks have arrived. One coworker shows up and starts yelling at my boss that he needs his check. He has no food in the house and they better pay him. He starts going on and on. He works part time at my job. His check could not have been over $400. I am not saying that he doesn't deserve his money. He worked for it. But we cannot control the weather or airlines. Our home office and my boss were calling everyone trying to get the checks. We were not the only ones that didn't get them. $1,000 in the bank for this coworker would have made this not an issue.

Several years ago our dog got hurt. She tore her ACL. She could not walk on her leg. Off to the vet we went. They did x-rays and other tests. They told us she needed surgery. We paid for the original visit with the $1,000 we had set aside for emergencies. We had to wait a month before Oreo could have surgery so the swelling could go down. We quickly scrambled to save the rest of the money. If we didn't have that $1,000 already, we would have had to put it on a credit card. Because we had it, we were able to make some cuts and we paid it in full. My vet also offers a cash discount so that helped too.

So everyone agrees that having a $1,000 for an emergency is a good idea. But how do you get that money together if you don't have it. Well,  you are going to have to make some cuts to your budget. Can you cut your food budget this month? Eat what you already have in the house. Good bye takeout this month. Can you have a garage sale and make some money that way? Did you just get your tax refund? Can you or your spouse pick up a few extra shifts until you have the money? It is only for a short while and will be worth the work. Here is a list from  Dave Ramsey on some ways to get $1000 quick.

What is an emergency? Needing another pair of shoes is not an emergency. At least not for me it isn't. Getting take out is not an emergency. You must have something in your house to eat. You have to decide what you consider an emergency. My list will be different from yours. Those are the only ways you should be using the  $1,000 after you get it. If you do use it for an emergency please get it back up to $1,000 as quick as you can. It seems in my house things always break at the same time. You don't want to wait 6 months before you fund your $1,000 because you may need it sooner. Take the first step and make a plan to get $1,000 by the end of the month. You can do it. I know you can!

Do you have at least $1,000 for an emergency? How have you been able to save yourself and family because you had it? How did you get the money together in the first place?


  1. Hi and a great subject and everyone should have an emergency fund as like yourself multiple electric appliances break down in our home at once too.

    We recently had an emergency where our mattress just suddenly collapsed and as my husband has back injuries it was a had to buy it now item for $1199 for his comfort and well being. As we had $2000 in our emergency fund in the bank it was a simple matter of purchasing it on our credit card and paying the card off as soon as we got home from our emergency fund.

    As well as keeping $2000 in the bank we also have an at home cash emergency fund of normally around $500 - $1000 as well. This also has come in handy such as just recently the battery went in our car at home. When the roadside assist club came and replaced it we simply paid cash and saved ourselves another $5 in Eftpos fees.

    In our budget we have allowed $20 per week to go to our bank emergency fund and also the same amount to go into our cash at home emergency fund. We don't miss the funds as we have been doing this for a while now.

    It gives us peace of mind to know we can handle just about any emergency situation that comes up.


    1. I'm glad you had the money to buy the mattress. I would definitely call that an emergency with your husband's back. That is great that you put money every week into your EF. It does add up fast. We are very thankful for our EF.

  2. I heard recently that a large percentage of Americans(half?)couldn't scrape together $400 if they had an emergency. For me, $400 is a small emergency(like a busted pipe or a minor car repair)and not even a substantial emergency.
    Living paycheck to paycheck is very stressful and I prefer not to live that way if it can be avoided(and for most people, it can be).
    But we have become more and more a consumerist society so it's hard to buck the system and actually delay gratification and not spend.

    Some people only "get it" after they are caught unawares in a financial emergency and some people never "get it" unfortunately.

    We have lived a very long time with an emergency fund at this point(I can't even remember a time now when we didn't have one(yes, I am older than dirt!)....since at least the early '90's?
    As soon as we started earning enough to cover our basics Hubs and I started putting money aside for emergencies and to replace a car. We lived with two student loans and a car payment back in the day and didn't like it, so we did without to fund an EF as soon as we could.

    1. I read a similar article. I would be so stressed everyday without my EF. I know plenty of people who don't "get it". They don't understand why we drive older vehicles when we have the money to get newer ones. I don't understand how they don't have an EF.

  3. I keep a grand in cash hidden in my house. No one but me (and my beloved sister in case I am unable to access it) knows where it is, so I don't have to worry about it being "borrowed" and not replaced.

    1. It is good to have some cash on hand. After Super Storm Sandy my neighborhood was without electricity for almost 2 weeks. I had to lend a friend cash so her husband could get gas for their car since most banks didn't have power.


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