This question was asked on the Wise Bread forums. Not only did it trigger an emotional reaction in me, bringing the fear up to the surface, it actually triggered a physical reaction. The adrenaline came into play, my heart started beating faster, I started feeling afraid. If just thinking about the situation can have that sort of effect on me, I shudder (literally) to think of what the actual situation might do.
My biggest financial concern is if the car dies just enough that we have to do major repair on it. This would wipe out our emergency fund before we have a car fund saved up to buy another one. The one car our entire family can fit into is in shaky shape and… it worries me. If we wiped out our emergency fund fixing it than we wouldn’t be prepared for any other emergencies that came along. We would then have to resort to credit to fix those emergencies and then? We would be right back where we started: no emergency fund, credit card debt and monthly payments.
Nothing else could have this catastrophic of an impact. If the other car died, we could do without. If a major appliance died, we could fix it out of the emergency fund and still have a generous lump in the account. If we had a major medical issue, well we live in France. If one of us lost our jobs- again, we live in France. (When my husband was unemployed he had the right to 760 days of unemployment at about 80% of his salary or â‚¬960 per month.) We rent our house, so any major repairs are our landlord’s responsibility.
But if this car dies, or needs major repairs, than we are paddle less for sure. The only answer is to keep plugging away at building our emergency fund.
There are no guarantees as to when or if an emergency will happen. If there’s one emergency, there aren’t any guarantees that another one won’t follow hard upon its heels. It’s the incertitude that gets me; as a planner and a plotter I like to know what’s going to happen in advance. Of course, with life, you can’t.
What’s your biggest financial fear? How are you preparing for it, if you are preparing at all?