Hey, remember this little gem from last week? The Emergency Fund vs. the Credit Card Debt. If you missed it, the gist of the post was mainly my thinking process on how I decided to pay off my credit card debt at the expense of my emergency fund.
So imagine this – it’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m sitting with literally one dollar in my emergency fund, waiting and planning for the day that my emergency fund will be replenished.
The BF calls me on my phone and I accidentally hang up (this happens way too often, by the way). I try to call him back, but my phone’s screen won’t light up – in fact, it’s gone completely black. I tossed it up to the age of my phone and I gave it a few seconds to try and catch up to itself – usually this works. After waiting a minute or so, I tried hitting the home button on my phone but the same thing happens: my screen is completely unresponsive.
Cue the montage of me hitting the home button repeatedly (with Blackstreet’s ‘Don’t Leave Me‘ playing in the background, if you must). At first, I slowly and methodically pressed the home button every 15 seconds. Then every 10 seconds. Then every 5 seconds. Then all of a sudden I’m uncontrollably tapping away, all while begging the phone to work, trying to negotiate with it (because, obviously, I’m the Phone Whisperer).
Now this was when I started to panic. My contract with AT&T isn’t up for renewal until next July, which means if I need a new phone, I’m going to have to pay for it, you guessed it, out of pocket. Also, with all that’s happening in my life right now – the job search, my friends’ wedding, etc. – I needed a working phone ASAP. This means I didn’t have the time to research phone prices on resale markets or anything like that. My best option would be to buy a phone straight from AT&T for full price.
That Damn Murphy
I’m sure most of you know what Murphy’s law is. It’s an old adage that goes like this:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Well, of course. OF COURSE! Right when I post about depleting my emergency fund, of course something like this happens!!!
After several minutes of freaking out, complaining, and feeling defeated,
I pulled myself together and came up with a plan! Okay… I sat and moped for half the day.
Eventually, I came up with two choices. A) put the purchase on my credit card or B) take money out of my Roth IRA.
Neither of these options were attractive to me. On one hand, I had just gotten out of CC debt and would hate to turn around and tell y’all that it was all a fluke and this whole “using my EF to pay off my CC debt” thing backfired. On the other hand, I really, really did not want to touch my Roth IRA. Sure, there are no penalties to withdraw from my own contributions, but still – I wanted to keep that money untouched for as long as possible and a broken phone just felt like a lousy excuse to touch it.
Fortunately, the BF and my brother both suggested I do a phone reset. I know more than half of you are probably thinking to yourself, “Uh, DUH! Why didn’t this chick think of this herself???” In my defense, I’m not the most knowledgeable when it comes to technology. So, my brother looked up the process and I tried it out and low and behold, my phone is working!
Set up that emergency fund, y’all. If mine still existed, buying a new phone would have been no problem and I wouldn’t have went through this crazy rollercoaster of emotions.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t regret paying off my credit card debt. But now I’m even more motivated to replenish my emergency fund. I got rid of my credit card debt because it stressed me out. Now, not having an emergency fund is stressing me out. #dilemma
Hopefully by the end of this year, I can say that I’m both credit card debt free and that I have my emergency fund up to at least $1,000.
Did you ever have an emergency or scare and didn’t have an emergency fund? How did you deal with it?