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Planning for Unforeseen Expenses

I have been very careful in planning out my budget the last few months. I have been tweaking it every month to more accurately match what I spend my money on. Also, I’ve been contributing money to my emergency fund every month, just in case something happens. Generally, I am in great health. My only hospital visits have been when I fell onto a speeding treadmill, a concussion suffered in high school playing basketball and for a broken toe because my roommate dropped a couch on me. For all the sports I played for 20 years, I was never seriously injured, and I am very grateful.

Humans Plan and God Laughs

As healthy as I am, there are certain things that just can’t be avoided. When I took that fall on the treadmill, I chipped my front tooth badly, and have had a little work on it the past 11 years. On Saturday, I was eating a pretzel and somehow, my tooth chipped again. A pretzel, really?? I played football earlier in the day, why couldn’t it have happened then? At least I would have had a nice story to go along with it.

Today I am going to the dentist to have my tooth fixed temporarily, and later in the week, I’ll get a more permanent solution. It’s not the worst thing to have ever happened, but it will definitely cost me. My insurance will pay for half, but the other half will have to come out of pocket. As much as I hate to do it, I’ll be taking the money out of my emergency savings. This is really exactly why I have this savings, so I am grateful to have learned enough the past few years to know that saving for unforseen expenses is probably in my best interests.

It won’t take long to replenish my savings, but while it may sound like this money will come out of savings, it really has a larger impact. Had I not chipped my tooth, I would have left my savings as it is, but now I will have to pay a few hundred dollars to build it back up again. While the money to pay the dentist comes out of savings, the money to pay my emergency fund comes at the expense of my other accounts. I won’t be able to save in one of my other funds, or I won’t be able to pay as much to my student loans as I would have liked.

Budgeting can only do so much.

There’s no category for “Emergencies.” By setting aside money the past few months, I have been able to avoid a much larger catastrophe. Planning saved me from having to go into credit card debt. This isn’t a major setback and I will still be able to reach my savings goals for the year. Who knew that a $3 bag of pretzels will end up costing me hundreds of dollars? It’s a good thing I planned for something like this.


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