9 Reasons you need that emergency fund.
After a long hiatus, I am back at it again. I will tell you my most recent ordeal.
This time i wanted to highlight again the importance of a 3-6 month emergency fund. A 3-6 emergency fund is supposed to cover ALL of your monthly expenses for that time period. Many will say “impossible,” others will say “not needed”. My experience is that life will have its way, whether you are ready or not, a forced time off work due to an unexpected situation (unemployment, injury, illness etc) will happen. It’s just a matter of time. In that time, the 3-6 month emergency fund will be invaluable perhaps life saving.
It was a sunny Sunday, warm weather and the mountain bike trail gods were calling me. I did a 2 hour ride in the AM without a hiccup. I came home, ate some food and back at it again to the trails for an afternoon session, this time with my family. Did a couple of easy trails with my wife/kids then decided I needed more challenge so left for a more advanced trail with jumps and drops. First few drops/jumps happened without a hiccup however hit a nasty jump with a gap but took off incorrectly and the landing, lets say was suboptimal. After i came to my full senses my left arm was useless as i could not move it and taking deep breaths was getting harder and harder. Being a physician i knew i was in trouble, possibly serious trouble. Sat down as best as i could, collected my stuff and started walking the exit of the trail and thankfully made it to where my family was. My wife as soon as she saw me knew we needed to get to the ER fast. Thankfully we made it to the ER, the result was 8 ribs, 1 clavicle fractured and pulmonary contusions/bleeding.
Here you can see in the first image from top the fractured clavicle almost peeking through the skin, where the pink 25.44 mm sign is where the other end supposed to be, the black circle is one of the 8 fractured ribs.
Below is the repair done by a skilled orthopedic surgeon a few days later after the injury, resulting in 1 plate and 13 screws.
I was admitted for observation 1 day then sent home. Surgery to fix the clavicle happened later that week when all had come down. Final toll was 2 weeks not being able to work and 3-4 months of not carrying anything over 10 pounds. My job entails typing and light physical work so i can easily fulfill this and not interfere in the recovery.
But what if I could not take 2 weeks off because of financial reasons or i did not have health insurance like millions in the US to get this fixed. This could easily mean financial disaster which easily takes years to recover. If your job is a physically demanding one you would not be able to perform it and risk being laid off should an injury happen. Sure you can fill out an FMLA form but what about the income?
That 3-6 month emergency fund will keep rent/mortgage paid, food in the table, necessary meds paid, all paid long enough for you to get back up in your feet.
An emergency fund should not be invested in the stock market, it should be kept in a savings account untouched.
I believe this to be a fundamental building block of your life As it provides a fundamental time frame while you are disabled.
I can say i am blessed to have such a supportive wife who sprung into action and who was by my side at all times, she is the real hero in all this.
Our 3-6 month emergency fund enabled us to pay the hospital bills, mortgage, groceries, gas while i recovered.
Till next time.