So this is why we need an emergency fund!

Everybody needs an emergency fund. Most of us crash from month to month just hoping for the best, totally unprepared for situations such as the car breaking down, sickness leading to a loss of salary, or a big household item needing replacement. I blogged the other day about how we are focussing on increasing ours this year with some determined saving. Three things happened at the weekend that brought this need into sharp relief. 

First, I noticed that the drain under the kitchen window was blocked. I poured boiling water and soda crystals down it but nothing happened. Mr S prodded and poked it for a while and it finally cleared. It appears that a piece of some kind of plastic packaging got blown under the cover. A minor issue. No plumber required thankfully. 

Later in the day the washing machine began to act strangely, making odd noises and refusing to spin. The machine was an inexpensive one we purchased five or six years ago and I feared the worst. I tried it on various different programmes but it then stopped altogether and  locked itself shut with a load of laundry stuck inside, including my daughter’s work uniform. Yikes! Mr S came to the rescue again. He managed to drain it manually and open the door so that I could retrieve the soggy clothes. We put it through a short cycle with nothing in it and it worked ok but still made a few strange noises during the spin cycle. I ran another load through and it seemed just fine. Mr S thinks the blocked drain backed up into it and temporarily messed it up. So another escape. No expensive call out or, even worse, new machine required!

Finally, we came home from seeing my parents to find the house freezing and the boiler off. This has happened several times over the past month so might be more serious. Each time we have managed to reset it, sometimes having to take some water out of the radiators to manually adjust the pressure. I will call the plumber this week to look at this. He is a friend now as we have been using him since he was newly qualified so we know he won’t rip us off. He has already adjusted it at no charge and thinks he might need to replace a sensor. Hopefully that won’t cost too much. As long as we don’t need a new boiler!

So we will work even harder on the contingency fund , just in case!

Changing the subject, DD2 showed a bit of girl power on Saturday, attending one of the many marches across the world aimed at the awful Donald Trump, showing him that the mysoginistic, intolerant and racist undertones that seem to be part of his thinking won’t be tolerated and aren’t acceptable. I wish I had gone – I love a bit of people power!

Have a good week everyone!

6 thoughts on “So this is why we need an emergency fund!

  1. Oh dear, a washing machine needing replacing right at the beginning of the year! But we have two months now where we don’t have to pay council tax which will, no doubt, help you.
    We are fortunate in that we are retired and have sufficient for our needs, thank goodness, and this was demonstrated two weeks ago (we managed to get through Christmas) when the dishwasher gave up the ghost but fortunately had the wherewithal to replace it. Since it was new, just over 7 years ago, we have been very careful with it, rinsed off all food residue before putting the crockery and pans into the machine, emptying the filter regularly (not that it needed it with hardly any bits in it because of our care) and every so often, put a hot wash through without any crockery in it, to give it a clean. But nonetheless, it died. Our domestic appliance man called and had a look in its nether regions and declared that a very slow leak had been happening for some time and had corroded the motor. And so we’ve had a new dishwasher.
    Then, our younger son said his Dyson had died therefore as we were planning on buying a lighter-to-use Dyson, we gave him ours and bought a new one (it might be lighter than the old one, but boy, is it difficult to manoeuvre! Husband now has to do the vacuuming, I can’t shift the blighter, especially over a new carpet (well, new last June.) I wonder if Mr Dyson has actually tried using one of his expensive machines? I think not!
    Then we changed a lot of our LED light bulbs for halogen ones, at enormous expense (we shelled out close to £100 for ourselves and some for our younger son who was also out of stock of light bulbs – and being a kind Mum and Dad didn’t charge him, what parents do?)
    So, it’s been an expensive January and we’re not yet to the end of the month … and today we’ve learned husband needs a crown on one of his teeth. C’est la vie!
    Which brings me to the point: yes, if it’s at all possible, make a contingency fund. Mechanical things will eventually break down. They will need replacing.
    Margaret P
    http://www.margaretpowling.com

  2. I was speaking to a Dyson engineer at the weekend and he said if the machine is still hard to push even when it is set at minimum suction to give customer services a call and they should be able to alter it for you. My son has one the same – impossible to push.

    • Thank you for that advice, Roslyn. It is set on minimum and the suction is really fierce. This is mainly on the bedroom carpet which is of a lower grade quality (although very good quality) than our other carpets in the more-used rooms, i.e. hall, sitting/dining room. Husband says this because there are fewer fibres and therefore more ‘air’ in a lower grade carpet, and the machine is actually sucking at the air (well, he didn’t put it quite like this, but this is the gist of it) therefore there’s a higher suction and it’s more difficult to move. But even on the minimum suction it’s still hard. So I will heed your advice.
      Margaret P

  3. Kudos to your daughter for marching…only one of the young girls I work with even knew what it was really about…my sister marched here in the states and I would have too if possible…

    I have been very good with money the past few years but can’t seem to get my emergency fund funded…I tend to want to move the money to student loans (which I may be paying until I retire since I went back to school late)…my retirement fund or extra on the mortgage…so there is money in the bank but not liquid…I am working on slowly getting the fund built up this year…my car is due for more work than I might be prepared to spend…

  4. Happy to know your daughter was able to go. I have been ill, so was home here and I’ve learned more about the various marches from bloggers in different cities and places around the world than from the American press as they seem preoccupied by presidential petulance…I’m glad all of these things are relatively easy to deal with at home and you’re spot-on regarding the emergency fund. Best of luck with your saving plan.

  5. Pingback: Still not buying it and getting stuff for free… | Shoestring Cottage

Comments are closed.