Enjoy this post from my blog friend Natalie. Emergency funds are extremely important, especially in the case of a medical emergency where you have to pay a large amount out of pocket.
A few weeks ago, I had one of the scariest things happen to me.
My long-time partner and boyfriend began to start getting really sick. This wasn’t just a case of a fever and the sniffles.
The symptoms were a little bit more serious than that. He began to get severe stomach pains along with a completely loss of interest of eating or drinking.
I will spare you the more gruesome details but it got really bad. It finally ended with his fever spiking to almost 103 degrees and me rushing him to the emergency room of the hospital.
My boyfriend is one of these people who you would never consider being sick. He is one of these people who barely gets a cold. In his work, he works with carpentry materials to help repair homes in the area. This line of work also requires him to lift heavy materials and do lots of physical work. His physical health was so good that it knocked us all by surprise.
Suddenly he was extremely lethargic and could not even get out of bed. The once fun-loving person that I knew was being taken over by some invisible and frightening ailment.
The night I finally took him to the emergency room, my boyfriend was in a state of panic.
His fever was out of control and he could barely stand up. He was also in a state of panic because of the costs that would be incurred from all the emergency room bills. I told him to basically shut his mouth up over those types of thoughts as his first priority should be his health.
I didn’t fault him for having thoughts like these.
We just happen to be a couple that care a lot about money and we both work hard to be financially stable. When something like this happens, many would feel unsure about how they will pay such medical costs. This is certainly true in the United States.
My boyfriend was lucky enough to be immediately seen by the medical staff. They ran a series of tests and discovered that his colon was very inflamed. Under the doctor’s orders, his health had been deteriorating to the point where it was decided that being hospitalized was the only option.
My boyfriend’s reaction went into further panic as he realized what this meant especially for the finances.
I tried to convince him of otherwise as I knew stressing out could only make his condition worse. He was placed in a hospital room where he could be monitored by the professional staff.
For the next couple of days, my boyfriend was given several procedures and medications that at first did nothing. I went to the hospital every day and tried to console my boyfriend through this difficult time.
He once again expressed his fears of the cost of being in the hospital. I let him know that there is not enough money out there to replace someone’s health. I also reminded him that we had an emergency fund that was precisely for occasion like this as this was a bona fide emergency.
You just never know when the proverbial crap will hit the fan and require you to have liquid assets available.
We had absolutely zero notice that something like this would happen. Medical situations are one of those things that usually pop out of nowhere and can be very destructive if you are living on the financial edge.
The truth is there are too many people out there that are living paycheck to paycheck. Too many people do not think of having a form of savings as a priority and nothing could be further from the truth.
I once had a friend that had some major complications due to her high-risk pregnancy. She never took the time to save as she felt it more important to buy nicer handbags and other pricey things.
As a result of no savings or health insurance, she winded up with over $15,000 in medical bills.
The resulting stress on her psyche and family caused her even more health problems and later more health bills. She applied for government assistance and was given some help after a big battle with paperwork and authorizations. She could have avoided a lot of stress if she had saved something in advance.
As I write this, my boyfriend is still recovering from the hospital and will hopefully be home soon. He finally accepts the fact that it will not destroy us financially since we have a savings fund and health insurance that has a set limit on what we are liable to pay.
Being able to concentrate on what is important is such a relief in times like these. It has literally helped me sleep at night. I can’t imagine what we would be doing without it.
Having an emergency savings account (Do you know how much you should have? – I have a related post on this on Diversified Finances) is of utmost importance especially in a world that guarantees nothing.
Taking the initiative to do something for your financial future is crucial. Learn from my own story because you just never know when you will need money now. My boyfriend and I are able to focus on plans to get him back to normal health and that is what is important. Please take the time to prepare for life’s unexpected pitfalls so that you don’t end up in the financial hole.
This is a post by Natalie over at Everything Finance. Everything Finance is a site about just that, everything related to finance. You can get information about investing, saving money, insurance, shopping, blogging, CD rates, and making money online.
W and I have joint finances. We have a mortgage together, cars in both of our names, and all of our money goes into one pot. We’ve been doing this for years now and haven’t had a problem with it ever.
However, different couples do different things. Some split everything their whole lives. Some split expenses according to income. Some just throw everything into one pot. There’s no one right way that fits all couples.
This couple does things a little differently from us in that they split their bills. Not evenly though, and that’s where this reader question comes in. I’ll let her question take it away now.
“Hello! I enjoy reading your blog and have a question I hope you can
help me out with!
My boyfriend and I are moving in together and likely our first move is
going to be him into my small condo. We decided this is a good
temporary option for us (for as long as we can make it work) because
our ultimate goal is to buy a new house, hopefully while keeping my
condo as a rental and we are starting to think about saving for our
wedding as well.
I bought my condo almost two years ago to be comfortable financially.
I never saw myself getting into mortgage payments I couldn’t afford on
my own, so it’s totally manageable. I think the stubborn part of me
still doesn’t want someone to pay my mortgage for me, so in initial
talks with my boyfriend, I said if he just paid all the bills, I’d be
fine with it. I’m not a fan of nickel and diming to split everything
down the middle and the idea of him writing me a check for rent and
his share of the bills weirds me out!
Obviously I’m still saving money if we go with the original plan and I
get an awesome new roommate, but I don’t want to end up resenting the
arrangement. The difference is about $450 a month and he makes 25%
more than me.
What are other options without ending up leaving passive aggressive
notes around asking for payment? Thanks!“
Let us know in the comments below. All help is appreciated! Also, please be kind. Keep in mind that this is a reader question.
Today’s post is by my awesome staff writer Jordann. Enjoy!
This is, a bit of a sticky conversation, but one that I think is worth having.
A few weeks ago, my cat, Mia, got sick. She’s four years old and has been remarkably healthy so far in her life, requiring almost no vet care other than spaying her at six months of age. So when she started puking, me being the responsible pet owner I am, I dutifully took her to the vet. You can read about the whole saga here.
Mia is back home, safe and healthy now, but the whole experience set me back around $600. No big deal, that’s what the emergency fund is for.
Now that the whole thing is over with, I’ve started thinking about the what ifs.
What if the worst had happened?
What if she’d really been sick?
What if it had been a lot more expensive?
How much would I be willing to spend on my pets in order to bring them back to health?
After all, they’re family members. Their health and well being is important to me. If one of my pets got really sick, and needed life saving but expensive treatment, how much would I be willing to spend on them? I’ve heard stories of pet owners spending upwards of $10,000 on treatments, but I also know pet owners who wouldn’t spend more than $500 to save a pet. Where do I fall on this scale? What’s my threshold?
I think, to really answer this question fully, there are a few things to take into consideration.
Just typing this out is making my insides squirm, I hate thinking about my pets being sick.
One of the things I would definitely have to take into consideration when deciding how much I’d be willing to spend in a veterinary emergency, would be the odds of survival. If the life saving procedure costs $6000 and only results in a 30% change of success, I’m not sure I would go for it. If the procedure would 100% cure my pet, on the other hand, I’d be much more willing to spend the money.
Right now I have a $2k emergency fund while paying off debt. If my pet got sick, anything beyond that, would have to come out of my various sources of untapped credit. That’s not an awesome prospect and would probably make me think harder about spending the money.
In contrast, if I was saving to buy a house, and had $40k in cash sitting in a savings account, I would probably be inclined to swipe a bit of that to pay for any emergency procedures.
Again this sounds terrible, but I would be more inclined to spend a lot of money bringing a young dog or cat back to health than one that is more than 10 years of age. At that point, I think poor health just becomes part of the equation. I’ve met pet owners that have spent thousands on chemo for older dogs with cancer, and I’m not sure how I feel about it.
There’s also pet insurance to take into consideration. While having pet insurance can definitely take the sting out of high vet bills, most plans only have a maximum threshold of coverage (say $1,500 per illness), so odds are you’ll probably still end up forking over some of your own cash if your pet is seriously ill. If you DO have a pet that you think will be prone to illness, I would definitely recommend pet insurance as an option.