I was reading this post over at Out My Window about financial set backs and making strides to move forward financially only to find yourself moving backwards occasionally. I think that happens to everyone. It seemed like when we first started getting out of debt using Dave Ramsey's system (ie: save $1000 for a mini emergency fund then do the debt snowball on your bills) that our emergency fund was being raided for literal emergencies on a regular basis. On the one hand, it's depressing to feel like we were never getting ahead, on the other hand, at least we had an emergency fund to use instead of going deeper in debt using credit to cover a crisis.
We are still in the same situation although since we have got rid of most of our debt and do keep adding to savings each month, each small financial crisis doesn't have us wanting to throw up our hands in defeat and go back to digging ourselves into more debt.
In the past few months we have had several "crisis" that required a financial fix. One daughter's half brother died unexpectedly so everyone pitched in to help cover the cost of a cremation and funeral ($500), hubby had a heart attack and I was running back and forth from the hospital to home and back each day--about an hour each way (an extra $150 in gas), one of the grandkids, his wife, and infant daughter decided to throw everything they owned in their barely running car and move across country, they were flat broke when they got to our house so we helped them out a little ($500), we got a surprise letter from the HOA saying we needed to paint all of the fascia around our house and had four weeks to do it in ($350) and now that I look at the house we decided we need to paint all of the window trim to match because it looks really bad not matching (that will be another $300...who knew painting stucco cost much more than regular house siding?), then we decided to get all three toilets fixed as one seemed to be starting to leak around the wax ring ($150), then immediately needed to repair the insides of the toilets as well ($25 for parts)...the list of emergencies seem never ending!
However all of these financial set backs seem to have a silver lining. It's horrible that the daughter's half brother died so unexpectedly but it was good to see the entire family (and hubby has A LOT of family) come together to help out. It's horrible that hubby had a heart attack but it was a simple fix (relatively speaking, angioplasty and stents are a simpler fix than open heart surgery) and insurance covered every dime of the costs. We were super worried about the grandson's plan (or apparent lack thereof) but they are now settled on the opposite coast and had a travel experience they will remember forever (oh to be young carefree). I was annoyed to get a letter from the KGB...uh, HOA, but the new paint does make the house look better, it's better to keep up on home maintenance instead of letting the wood get more and more weathered, and the fresh look may make the house sell faster when we decide to move. And finally, the toilets definitely needed to be done and the plumber guy said that if we hadn't caught the minor leak now the one toilet would have eventually rotted through the floor!
So we continue moving forward as best we can, being frugal where possible, covering financial disasters but looking for the silver lining, and enjoying life no matter what it throws at us!