By: Revanche

My secret emergency fund

August 14, 2017

Our secret cash stash Our savings have been decimated by this year’s spending. The new place and the work required is classified as No Joke and that spending is projected for months. Labor and materials will eat all our cash and liquid funds (CDs). We’re selling some stocks because we’ve got some options expiring in six months. Now if I’d picked up the gift of foresight at the shop like I meant to, I would have exercised those options last summer and avoided the short term capital gains tax. But I didn’t, so I’m leaving aside 40% of the stock sale for taxes.

I haven’t felt this poor in a decade. Nor have I been this stressed about the state of the world, our country’s moral deficiency, or the future in … ever.

Why, you might ask, am I not crying in the designated corner for such heartbreak? Or perhaps gibbering?

Because I have a strategy! Because even though there’s not much I can about about the fact that enough people in this country are racist, sexist, and hateful enough to have elected an evil, morally bankrupt, utterly self serving, cancerous tangerine to office, I *have* been this poor before, seriously poor, and without any of the resources I’ve got at my disposal now. So the money problem I can do something about even while I worry quietly that our economy is due for a bit of a crash soon.

We have two good incomes. Back then, I had one small one and the energy of youth to press my career forward.

This is just a small challenge. A temporary setback.

However. The last thing I want to do is find ourselves in a position where we’ve spent down every last dollar and then surprise! Flat tires! Six in a row. That was 2007. There was much gnashing of teeth and many tears of frustration.

I’ve put up a sign: No surprises are welcome here. My long experience with money, and not having it, is that Murphy usually kicks the sign over, pees on it, and moves in.

Hence, my backup plan: even while we’re cracking open one CD after another, I’m “secretly” hoarding every penny and dollar I can get outside of our usual income. Reimbursements, bonuses, rewards are all fair game.

Every month we get $208 from our daycare reimbursements. Yoink.
Those Chase bonuses? Yoink.
My Swagbucks PayPal redemptions? Yoink.
MyPoints money? Yoink.
Reimbursements of any kind? Yoink.

Any and all little bits of income are getting stashed. It’s hiding in a separate account, complete with alias and trench coat disguise.

We both know it’s there. It’s small but growing, like a tiny revolution against the possibility of more debt as a side effect of swallowing the massive mortgage. If, by some great good fortune, we don’t have to use that to make ends meet, that’s money we can contribute to good causes in hopes that we will have a country worth living and retiring in.

That keeps me sane at night.

:: Do you squirrel away pockets of money or canned goods? How much extra cash helps you sleep at night? Are you supporting any good causes these days? 

17 Responses to “My secret emergency fund”

  1. We’ve been sticking travel reimbursements and random side income in the Wells Fargo account rather than our main credit union account. The amount did get pretty large, so now we pay small bills (music lessons, school donations, etc.) with it, but that doesn’t really make much of a dent.
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…DH’s company is back in businessMy Profile

  2. I did have one of those accounts, but we consolidated most of our accounts a while ago. That said, we’re deliberately sitting on more cash than usual “just in case,” and I’ve turned some (but not all) of my auto-reinvest settings off.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…Tales of a Gardening Wannabe: Flaming Tongues and a Roll of the DiceMy Profile

  3. These tough time just happen. Let’s be thankful that it’s not a regular occurrence for you. Just push through it and you’ll come out in a much better place.
    Try to get time off to relax once in a while and don’t stress out too much. Good luck..

  4. Yeah, I do. Spare change challenge, the distribution from the LLC, cash-back shopping rebates et al.

    Canned goods? Yep — and often, we stock up on “Senior Tuesday” for the extra 10 percent off. We can the garden stuff (carrots, beets, turnips) and the sight of all those pretty jars makes me think of summer. Also, DF buys flour by the 50-pound bag and sugar and beans by 25-pound sacks. When I’m feeling glum or frustrated, I go downstairs and look at all the food we have stashed. It makes me feel safe.
    Donna Freedman recently posted…Coupon ethics.My Profile

  5. Cindy in the South says:

    I keep six months of canned vegetables and fruits, dried beans, rice and spices. That is more because of Hurricane Katrina than anything. I have a solar cooker…lol. I also rotate my six month supply and eat out of it, in addition to fresh vegetables and fruits I buy from local farmers. I spend about a $100 a month on food for just me.

    • Revanche says:

      That’s a wise strategy! I’m very interested in the solar cooker – I’ve been trying to find something that would be useful in our emergency supplies.

  6. I’m sorry about the despair so many Americans are feeling under this presidency. Hopefully, people will respond by clinging more strongly to what they know to be right and ultimately be galvanized into effective action. As for your move, I know that when I’m in limbo, I’m more vulnerable to worries of all kinds. Once things have settled for you in your new house (and I know it’s not going to be quick), I believe that worry will lessen. Do I squirrel away money or canned goods? No canned food, but if an emergency fund counts, then yes. That’s only a very recent thing though – a Dave Ramsey step that I’m glad we’ve taken. May Murphy keep his distance from you!
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Elder Indebtedness on the Rise: Seniors of the Future, Be Proactive NOWMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I’m so frustrated by the evidence of how awful some of our fellow citizens are, and how much they believe that being different from them is reason enough to persecute, intimidate, and threaten others.

      I hope that everyone will do their part in making America a better place. We have a lot of work to do.

      Thanks for the good wishes!

  7. While we only have two savings accounts, I do have mental earmarks on all sorts of other “accounts” for this maternity leave. Ebates, Ibotta, Discover rewards, etc. When it’s all totaled up, it probably only amounts to about $500, but it’s a nice extra cushion on top of the baby fund.

    Fingers and toes crossed for you. Smooth financial sailing!

    • Revanche says:

      $500 may not seem like much in the face of a supersized mortgage but it is also pretty awesome as a lump sum of money!

  8. “…an evil, morally bankrupt, utterly self serving, cancerous tangerine…” That’s good. Very, very good. 😀

    I also worry about another crash, which experience shows is pretty much inevitable. Even though the net worth is fatter now than it’s ever been before…don’t you just know that as Trump is exponentially worse than W, so the crash of the Trump economy will be exponentially worse than the crash of the Bush economy.

    Having been forcefully (and, as it developed, permanently) retired by that last crash, I no longer have any spare pennies to stash aside. But you may be sure that I do stockpile nonperishable food, propane, and drinking water — that’s how bad I expect it to be. And even if it isn’t that bad, come the next recession, at least I’ll have something to fall back on when I can’t afford enough gasoline to drive to the grocery store where I can’t afford to buy enough food to last out the month.
    Funny about Money recently posted…What’s the truth?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Like a massive earthquake, I know we’re due for another crash, we just can’t predict when! And that’s just scary, so I guess we always keep the hatches battened down a bit.

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