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Pet Emergency

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A pet with a bandaged paw.

My wife and I have always enjoyed our family of cats. We particularly enjoy their feline antics and high snuggle factor. For the longest time everything was fine, until one Sunday morning.

We were awakened with a noise that sounded like something on the late night horror show. As we rushed down the stairs to the kitchen, we were startled to see “Pookie” curled up on the kitchen floor moaning and groaning. We had no idea what was bothering him. We scooped him up and took him to the pet emergency center. After an overnight stay, we returned to find him with a little bandage around his wrist and a veterinarian with a big smile. “He’s just fine!” the vet boasted. “Just a little dehydrated. We gave him fluids intravenously. He’ll be good as new by this evening.”

Naturally, we were relieved, until we saw the bill: $750! It was our first unplanned emergency expense.

We were able to recover from this financial setback by moving funds from our vacation savings without having to rely on a costly credit card. With the situation resolved, my brow still furrowed at the fact that I had to dip into my fun account to take care of this. I mean, I had been saving for an upcoming vacation that could have been compromised had the bill been any larger.

It was at that moment that I committed to starting a dedicated emergency savings account. We started by seeding the account with a lump sum, then each pay period we each contribute a fixed amount. This was seven years ago. Today, we have a substantial amount saved that we can use to cover just about any emergency.

The use of credit is not the best option for handling emergency situations, but neither is tapping into savings accounts designated for other purposes. That’s my motivation for establishing an emergency savings, and I’m sticking with it!

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