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How We Started Our Emergency Fund

Original Post from April 2010:

I seem to be on emergency fund kick lately. Yes, we are working on adding to ours! I also want to keep the topic in the forefront for new readers as well since I strongly feel it is an important foundation.

Technically, we didn't have emergency funds before we were married. Our first one began from cash wedding gifts. My parents gave us $1000. Truth be told we didn't really need anything after all the other gifts. So we saved it. Initially, we didn't even call it an emergency fund.

It seems that we didn't have lots of wants starting out. We worked a lot. We paid off failed business debt and student loans. When we would get a cash gift, tax refund or other unexpected money, we saved it. I mean just because someone gives you $25 doesn't mean you have to buy something, right?

We also used to save all of our change. DH had lots of change. We would collect it in a cottage cheese container and take it to the bank for deposit in our savings account. Often the total was $25 to $30. This was nearly every month. Truth be told we use our debit card now and have an online bank, so coin collecting is in our past.

Our emergency fund did receive an inheritence windfall 5 years into our marriage after my father in law died. Yes, we did spend some of the money for a new furnace and carpet. The rest is still sitting in our emergency fund.

Actually, many of the emergency fund details are a bit fuzzy now. We have had one for our entire marriage and almost take it for granted. It has saved the day a few times: car repairs and deductible for a roof. Since I know several people without one, I know we are better financially for having saved that first $1000 gift.