When Real Life Happens- Tips to figure it out

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Our refrigerator stopped working, then other things kept breaking. We used our emergency fund, but I realized 4 truths and tips for when real life happens
Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Isaac Esteban

Guest Post: Mandy

The Tuesday before Labor Day, our refrigerator stopped working.  We were very blessed to discover it quickly and salvage the food in it.  Due to the age of the fridge, as well as several other factors, we ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth the expense of fixing it, and we would be better off getting a new refrigerator.

While unplanned and expensive, we have worked hard to have an Emergency Fund, and we were able to cover the expense.  The funny thing about Real Life is that it never seems to only be one thing at a time.

5 months prior, our hand-me-down dryer died a most ungracious death. I tried to fix it, but had to ultimately admit defeat.  Our held-together-with-bailing-wire (literally!) washing machine wasn’t far behind, so a new one of those got purchased as well.  And our garbage disposer started leaking really badly that same week.

Once again, I wasn’t very happy about the outlay of cash, but I was very grateful that we could get the things we needed to take care of our family.  I have been thinking about this experience a lot, and I have come to realize 4 truths.

Tips for when Real Life Happens

1.  “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”

The old adage “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” is a real principle, and it really does save you money.  But it is no substitute for a good emergency fund.  When you have worn something out beyond repair, and you have been saving for a rainy day, you have the means to replace it, and are able to do so with a grateful heart instead of being filled with worry or fear.

2.  Make sure it is a true “need”

Always do your best to make sure you have a true “need” before spending your emergency fund.  It is fine to “want” something, but you need to budget and save for it separately.  When faced with a major unplanned expense, find out if there are less expensive alternatives.  Brainstorm ideas and solutions.  Council with your family members.  Take the time to really think things out.  But when it comes right down to it, and it is a true need to spend the money, and you have done your best to be wise, then spend it!  After all, that’s why you have a savings account.

3.  Replenish

When you have an expense arise that taps your emergency fund, replenish that money as soon as you possibly can because before too long, something else will come up.  Use a little bit of your food storage each week to help free up some cash for the emergency fund, sell some items on Craigslist, or take any overtime opportunities that come up at work.  Do whatever you can as quickly as you can so that you are prepared.

4.  This is real life

Things break, expenses arise, and problems need to be solved. Complaining about it only makes things worse, and worrying doesn’t fix anything. Move forward with optimism.  Sometimes it is really hard to see the positive, but constantly stressing out about things will only make you, and the people around you, miserable and anxious.  Don’t pretend that everything is perfect and problems don’t exist.

Don’t miss life’s joys as you are dealing with life’s challenges.

Real Life happens, what have you been able to accomplish when “real life” happened?

Further Reading:

How to budget for One Time Expenses

Get your Finances in Order

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Thanks for reading!


This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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