Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Emergency Fund

So, when you're good at math and that sort of thing, family finances come pretty easy. With my vast actuarial experience, I have created spreadsheets galore predicting our financial future under different scenarios and documenting our past. Its kind of a hobby for me, much like cross-stitching or gardening might be if I did either of those things.

I seemed to have run across a problem, though. While the "documenting our past" worksheets are doing a great job and their accuracy is amazing, those predicting the future ones have been failing miserably. Apparently my life, the universe and the stock market are unaware that I even have these spreadsheets.

June has been one of those months when life hasn't quite matched up with the spreadsheets...and we are only half way through. Some of it has been intentional. The PMS-induced painting frenzy earlier this month was probably not a strict necessity. And, I probably should have included the Cub Scout day camp in the original numbers. Still, we might have recovered from these deviations without incident.

But, then the came the storm. I'm not alluding to anything here - it was an actual storm with wind and rain and lightning and flying tree branches, some of which apparently landed on the street. In fact, one in particular landed on the very street that my husband takes home from work. Now, for a little back story:

When my husband was a teenager, he had an incident in his father's T-bird involving a tree branch. At the time, the tree branch had looked innocent enough, but two blown tires later, he had a true understanding of the danger that tree branches on the street really hold.

So, back to the story. As my husband approached the tree branch, his gut screamed, "Don't hit the tree branch. Anything but the tree branch. You will pop your tires. Volvo tires are $300 a piece. Don't do it. Save the car." So, he swerved....and he didn't hit the tree branch. He hit the curb. Hard. And, guess what? Curbs can do bad things to tires too. And struts. And other parts I can't even remember the names of. But I do know one thing. This definitely wasn't in the June spreadsheet. It wasn't even within the realms of the wriggle room I leave in the spreadsheet. No manipulation of numbers was fixing this.

Then it occurred to me. This was an unexpected event requiring immediate attention - the very definition of an emergency. Wait! I have a spreadsheet for that! And, somehow, out of this disaster, I felt a sense of calm and satisfaction. Because, there was a budget for this very thing - the emergency fund. Now, let's just hope that July and August go well. After all, I don't have another emergency of this magnitude in the budget until at least September.

1 comment:

Christina Munyan said...

Wow Kara...your idiosyncracies are not to be messed with.