I think a major car repair qualifies as an appropriate use for an emergency fund. On the eve of a short trip to visit my folks, we took our car in for an oil change and check up at a fairly trustworthy auto repair shop. We left the auto shop with a bill of about $800 for assorted repairs, including a gas leak over the engine. Not good, especially before a modest vacation.
But we didn't have to borrow money from friends, family or a credit card. We tapped into the emergency fund and the repair bill did not feel like such a big burden. We'll work extra hard to replace the depleted funds.
My new goal is continue saving and to replace the auto-repair funds by February 20. Deadlines and concrete goals provide real-time, real-money targets for achievement. Deadlines motivate me. If I work on an extra article or two, over the next 15 to 30 days, I should be able to repair the emergency fund. That's at top priority.
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