Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't Count Your Chickens!!

A little over a week ago I was deciding exactly how I was going to spend my tax refund. I hoped to pay off my smallest debt, put an extra $1000 in our emergency fund, and if there was any left at that point, I was going to pay it toward my next debt.

Approximately two days later I was in the hospital which lasted almost an entire week. Oops. While I do have insurance, I still will have to pay quite a bit for this I am sure. So, now my plan is to save all of that money so that when the final bills come in I will be able to pay the balance. This was not the plan for that money at all!!

The point here is that, while it is great to plan ahead, you have to remain flexible. This also is a great example of why an emergency fund is essential. Say, it was not close to the beginning of the year, perhaps in the middle of the summer, or as my luck would have it, they day after I spent the rest of my tax return! If this had happened at any other time of the year, I would need to use my emergency fund to pay for it. Even though I am bummed that the money I wanted to use to pay debt is going to have to pay more bills, I feel lucky that I will not have to deplete my emergency fund.

So, I guess you can count your chickens, but don't be upset if a few never hatch!

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