Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Emergency Fund Comes in Handy


Tuesday night I had event after work and didn’t get home until 8:00. It was hot. I looked around our messy living room, dropped my stuff then went to turn on the a/c. Right then, P came out of the bedroom with a pretty ominous look on his face. I paused about 3 steps away from the thermostat and said “What?”
He told me he arrived home about an hour before, went to turn on the A/C, and heard it make some weird noise. He went outside just in time to see our compressor explode and spray black oil on the yard.
He had been on the phone calling around to have someone come out look at the unit, and give us a quote to fix it. While waiting, we started talking about possible scenarios, and the most extreme was that we would need to replace the entire unit and ducking in the house, which would run about $6,000. That was a number that I did not want to hear.
The a/c guy (someone who works for P’s company) came by, looked at the situation and gave us the low down.
He could:
A.Fix the compressor
B. Install an entire new unit.
Bottom line, nothing could be done Tuesday night, so we got to spend the night in our home, in Texas, in the middle of summer, with no A/C.
 I was super excited when I checked the weather and saw that at 8:00 PM it was still 98 degrees outside. Being the cheap couple we are, we decided not to stay in a hotel room, but sleep in our house. We had all the fans on, and slept on top of the comforter. Neither of us slept well. When I woke up in a puddle of sweat on Wednesday morning, I jumped out of bed to go to the gym just so I could be in the A/C. I was quite depressed when I walked outside to find it was cooler outside than in our house.
To fix and install the compressor with labor would run around 400.00+labor, and the total would come to around 800.00. Or, he could install a new unit for around 600+labor, which would run us around $1,200-1,300. He pointed out that there was already a modification on the a/c to help it start every time. Apparently, someone who owned the house previously had problems with the a/c unit and chose to fix it with a cheap option. By the way, this was not something that was brought up in our home inspection last year when you bought the home.
The other kick in the gut---our home warranty expired 30 days ago. We bought our home in June of 2012, and as part of our negotiations, the sellers paid for a 1 year home warranty that we could renew if we chose. We chose not to renew because we have heard some pretty bad things about home warranty companies, and we prefer to self insure in these situations.
In the end, we decided to get a new unit. It came with a manufacturers warranty, it would be a new energy efficient unit, and would last for at least 10 years.
Yes, we just dropped a whole bunch of money we were not expecting to, but we didn’t have to go into debt. The emergency fund transformed a potentially stressful situation, into an inconvenience. We don’t like having to dip into our savings, but this is what it is there for. It is to help in an emergency.  
I am just so grateful to be married to a husband who values fiscal responsibility, and places a premium on systematic savings and planning.

Have you had to dip into your e-fund lately? What for?

4 comments:

Brooke said...

those warranty companies are a pain in the tush.

our biggest expenditure is taxes. not exactly an "emergency" but it sure does hurt to see the savings account go from a lot to a little in such a short amount of time.

M. at Making Sense of Cents said...

Ugh that really stinks! A friend of mine had to replace her furnace in her house and I think the lowest price they could find was $6K. Insane!

~Carla~ said...

Aww.. that's a bummer. But at least you had it right? Thankfully we haven't had to use our EF for quite a while.. hoping it stays that way! ;)

Denise said...

your emergency fund did just what it was meant to do - you should be proud of yourselves for having it :)