Friday, June 14, 2013

Building the emergency fund and weekend plans

We've had a couple of very big expenses over the last month or so - first, my car was hit while parked, & the extremely rude person didn't leave a note. So, $1600 for repair bills. The second expense is ripping out some carpeting at our vacation house & replacing it with a wood laminate. I can't imagine who thought it would be a good idea to put carpeting at the entry to a house at the beach. Sand, sand, and more sand. I am not a carpet person anyway, but it's really in rough shape. So, the carpet removal was a planned expenditure - and then the car was damaged.

The carpet removal/laminate work is supposed to come in just under $2,000. *fingers crossed*. I've been working to rebuild our emergency fund after we paid the big expenses. (and, technically, the carpet work hasn't started, so we've only paid half.) As of today's payday, I was able to replenish the emergency fund a bit, and we're back to $10,000, which is my minimal amount for comfort. My ultimate goal is to have this account at $30,000 by the end of the summer, in anticipation of potential work changes.

How will I get to $30,000, you ask? That's a question I've also been asking myself. ;-) And, how did I come up with $30,000? Well, we own two homes, and M works for a small company. Having a big safety net is the only way I feel comfortable making a change, and I also need to have my 401K loan paid off by that time (currently at $42,000).

In terms of getting to $30,000 by the end of the summer & paying off my 401K loan, here's my plan:
  • Standard monthly 401K loan payments between now & the end of the summer - $3,000.
  • Stock award vesting at the end of August. Current value = $42,000.
  • Estimated bonus (post-tax) = $10,000
  • Current emergency fund balance = $10,000
  • Payout on vacation days = $5,000
This puts me within $2,000 of my goal. Barring any other unexpected expenses, of course. And, those always show up when you need them the least, don't they. ;-) I'm hopeful that my bonus might be a little higher, but don't want to plan on that. I'm still trying to figure out the other $2,000. More on that later.

And, on to the weekend! This is the second weekend in a row that M is out of town, & quite frankly, I'm already exhausted. He came home late on Sunday & left Wednesday morning. He's gone until Sunday again. Yikes. Here's what's on the list of things to accomplish this weekend:

  1. Make homemade zbars.
  2. Make carrot muffins
  3. Make banana bread
  4. Return a bathing suit at the mall that didn't work out.
  5. Get all Father's Day/birthday stuff for M sorted out.
  6. Call my dad for Father's Day!
  7. Karate lessons
  8. Swimming lessons
  9. Get in two workouts
  10. Work in the yard (oh my, is there a lot to do!)
  11. Figure out menu for the next couple of weeks, & ensure we don't buy too much produce, as we'll all be out of town Monday-Friday of the last week in June.
  12. Get in one yoga & one pilates workout.
  13. Having friends over for dinner on Saturday
I think that will be plenty! What are you up to this weekend? How are you doing with your emergency fund? Is it fully funded? If not, what are your plans for beefing it up?


  1. Your EF is fantastic! Mine is only 1k and so far, it's safe. I'm very glad. It makes a huge difference in terms of nerves. And wow, you have a LOT to do! Have fun in between baking pans this weekend. Those carrot muffins sound really good.

    1. Well, the EF needs to be big, given our mortgage commitments. And, definitely helps me feel secure & happier. :-) Thanks - the carrot muffins are awesome!

  2. We feel better with a larger EF too -- about 45K as we own multiple properties as well. As a new reader, I want to say how much I feel for you with your recent diagnosis and the impact on you as a career woman, your family as well as on future planning. I hope you will be able to find more flexible work that will allow you to maintain a healthy lifestyle without having to give up your vacation home.

    1. Thank you - I truly appreciate that. It's been a very difficult and emotional few months. I've dedicated and invested a lot of myself in my career, and it's very hard to reimagine myself. That said, life has a funny way of pushing you to make decisions that you've contemplated in the past. Before, the money was always too good to give up without an awesome reason. now, my health clearly trumps all of that. And yes, we'd love to keep the vacation house! It's clearly at the bottom of the priority list, but it's hard to give up something we both worked so hard for. It feels "unfair"? I know that's incredibly selfish & silly, given that we've been very blessed in life, but it makes me sad to think that my illness will force all of those difficult life decisions at once. I'm trying to take them one at a time.

    2. I can only imagine what has been going through your mind and emotions. Know exactly what you mean by "unfair". Don't feel it is selfish & silly at all. You've made it your home and have built history/memories in it vs something like a car. And the intention was to have it part of your lives for a long time.

  3. It sounds like you're on the right path and have a solid plan. Is the stock award vesting an annual event or is that a one time thing? Do you have to pay taxes on it? Are you planning on around 9/1 for the start of a new job (if all things go well)?

    1. well, it's an annual event, but I will walk away from all of my unvested stock when/if I leave. Yes, due to the nature of the award, it's actually taxed at 50%. I'd like to have things lined up & going before school starts (after Labor Day here) as I'm trying to not have childcare next year - work my hours around school hours. We'll see if that's feasible.

  4. Our ef is fully funded (12 months of basic living costs) which is a good job as hubby's job is under the threat again - the consultation process started again today. Hopefully he'll be fine, but you never know.

    We're (very luckily) off to Lucerne this weekend, hopefully hubby can forget about work for a few days!

    You have a lot planned this weekend, try not to do too much x

    1. enjoy Lucerne! That sounds fabulous, and just like the break your husband needs. Fingers crossed that all goes well with the consultation process.

  5. I can see why you need such a high EF... I think the amount of everyones EF's are so unique. I'd *LOVE* to get mine up to $10K, but that will probably be a far way off for us... my issue is that I like to add it in $1K increments. lol! And i'm tryinig to build up our TFSA too.. so our EF will sit where it's at for a while i'm sure.

    It looks like you have a busy weekend ahead of you! Hope you enjoy it! :)