My little $1000 emergency fund which has been sitting in a savings account for more than a year just took a $600 hit. I am not happy. It caused near physical pain when I had to withdraw the money from that account today. Bummer.
Right now we are living on a pretty tight budget since I am not working. A month ago, I noticed that our cell phone bill with TMobile was averaging $100 a month for not a lot of service (two lines sharing 1000 minutes a month, plus we had to pay extra for text messaging and internet). Then I noticed that TMobile now has a $30 per month pre-paid plan which includes 1500 talk and text minutes plus internet. For two phones that is only $60 per month, a much better deal than we had. I did a quick calculation and found that by discontinuing our contract cell plan we would save $40 per month. Due to the hefty $200 per line cancellation fee, it was a big $400 payment at once but the contract still had many months left and after ten months of using the prepaid plan we would then be ahead.
So I went ahead and cancelled the contract and switched to the pre-paid plan. I got the final bill today with the two cancellation fees and the last month's phone bill plus tax which ended up to be about $540. I am happy with our pre-paid plan but paying that big bill all at once made me run to my emergency fund because the income I make (about $200 a month from AdSense and website updates I do for a couple of clients) only covers my monthly bills (cells at $100, tithe at $50, and $50 spending money).
Hubby also had to reach into his emergency fund today to send his daughter $500 so both of our little emergency funds are now even smaller. We didn't want to take the money out of our travel/resettlement fund since we will be having some big airfare bills coming up in a few months as well as the possibility of first/last/deposit for an apartment at the end of the year. Hubby's monthly income (about $2000) is used for our monthly spending (food, gas occasionally, entertainment, lunch out occasionally, sundries, etc) and the rest is put aside for our annual and semi-annual bills (storage unit, car insurance, grandson's education, etc).
As it stands now...
- I am a bit freaked out that $500, an amount I would pay for a purse or pair of shoes in my previous life, is such a big deal.
- We need to put $600 back in my emergency fund ASAP.
- We need to put $500 back into hubby's emergency fund ASAP.
- I need to see how creative I can be. At this point we have nothing to sell on CraigsList or EBay for some quick cash and working at a regular job is a bit out of the question since we will be leaving in about a month.
So now I am pondering my options to make some quick cash (which should make an interesting blog post). I'll let you know what happens.