Emergency funds: I am foolish

A post about emergency funds has been rattling around in my head, about how I wasn’t sure they were necessary. With 0% interest credit cards available, if you have good credit, can’t you invest your money instead? Fall back on the credit card if need be?

Probably I feel this way because I’ve never managed to have enough money to put anything aside, and now, debt repayment feels more urgent, and so does catching up on retirement. I can do without an emergency fund, right? I want the answer to be “of course! You’re fine!”

Except I made a miscalculation, a huge, terrible, awful miscalculation, regarding taxes, basically minutes after I emptied out my savings to pay for the new bathroom and I spent yesterday afternoon seriously, seriously melting down. I shouldn’t have started the bathroom before being sure about the taxes. But I did. And now I’m somehow $7000 poorer than I thought and how did I end up here? I’m smart, I’m capable, I make decent money, I screwed up.

So here we go, digging ourselves out of an even bigger hole than before. I guess thank God we had been aggressive about debt, because it would have been impossible to manage this otherwise. It still feels impossible.

We have space on the 0% card for it, but how in the name of all things holy are we supposed to find an extra $700 a month to pay it off? I’ve worked and reworked and reworked our budget. I’m not going to stop paying into retirement, although that was my first solution. The next 2-3 months are going to be hard. I can make up $700 with freelancing but it will be difficult, and then in 2 months some other money frees up, and it gets less difficult. Each month will be slightly easier, and by summer it won’t feel so bad.

Estimated net worth: much lower than expected. Estimated net self-esteem: in the deepest depths of the deepest caverns.

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