The Day My Fridge Died
Posted by Lisa | Filed under Lisa
For every 10 things I anticipate I will need a stash of cash for there will be at least one financial curve ball that nearly hits me in the face. One morning about 3 weeks ago, I woke up and opened the fridge and boom, without any warning at all, warm milk. Yesterday my microwave just up and quit. Do I have an emergency fund? Yes. Do I have an appliance replacement account? No. I suppose I should. But seriously – I’m saving for some major purchases right now and working to get rid of that very last bit of consumer debt so I’m not exactly rolling around in extra cash at the moment.
We spent the day the fridge died, running around from store to store trying to find a fridge that was reasonable in price. Now, I understand that a fridge probably qualifies as a need, so I should have been ok with using money from our emergency fund to cover it. But honestly, I’ve worked so hard at getting that to where it is that I would almost rather go into debt then see that balance go down. One of our major upcoming purchases is a new kitchen. So here we were looking at all the fridges trying to anticipate if we would need a left swing vs. right swing, stainless vs. black or white, top or bottom mount freezer. The list went on because we didn’t want to be buying another fridge in 2 years when our kitchen was being redone. It was a lot of pressure and we were nowhere near ready to make a decision. Luckily for me, my friend/neighbour had gotten new to her kitchen appliances a few days earlier courtesy of her mother in law who was moving into a new home with brand new appliances. I remembered a tweet where she mentioned that she would be selling her old appliances. For $100 we picked up a fridge that was a bit smaller than the one that broke and it’s the wrong the colour. But I’m so glad that we weighed our options and didn’t rush into a brand new purchase. It’s exactly what we need right now and it gives us flexibility to make other choices later on.
We got lucky this time but this is where I start to feel defeated in personal finance. I get frustrated with myself because technically they were foreseeable expenses, even if both appliances went without warning. I don’t feel like replacing appliances are worth digging into the emergency fund for. But I would have, if another option hadn’t presented itself. I feel like I’m doing what I should – saving, paying off debt, planned spending ‘pots’ for large purchases and putting money aside in a ‘Christmas pot’. But there are countless other expenses, expected or otherwise, that I will just not have had enough money to do anything about. I’m learning that you have to make some adjustments along the way and that no matter how much planning you do, sometimes you just have to pick your pots, roll the dice and see what happens.
Have a great weekend!