In December of 2010, 5 days before Christmas, unusual weather conditions in my hometown resulted in a higher water table — a water table that invaded my home and every other home on my street. We were fortunate in that most of the water accumulated in our crawl space. Some of it spilled over and ruined the carpet, and damaged some of the drywall in our downstairs. We were luckier than some in terms of the flooding, but the whole thing was expensive, especially since we didn’t have flood insurance.
Because we had about six inches of water, we needed someone to come and vacuum all of it out of our home. That alone costed us $700 as man-hours are counted, along with the cost of pulling up the carpet padding, and the cost of leaving equipment to help dry the area.
Additionally, in order to prevent this from happening again, we had a plumber come and installed a sump pump. With the cost of materials and the work done, that was another $700.
But the expenses didn’t stop there; we needed to replace some of the drywall, have the carpet cleaned, and did a few other things. We spent close to $200 on the supplies alone. However, we were fortunate that one of my husband’s relatives was able to help us fix things up, so we didn’t pay as much for repairs. Additionally, we had a number of things ruined. The stuff we had to throw out as a result of this mess came to a value of around $500.
But that’s not all. We had industrial dryers and a de-humidifier running for days straight. By the time that was all said and done, our power bill for the month was massive.
This experience is the perfect illustration of why it is a good idea to have an emergency fund. Few of us can just pull out the checkbook and write a check for $3,000 without it putting a strain on the monthly budget. I am glad that my family has an emergency fund that can be used to help us meet our expenses in situations like this. It has been a great help to be able to draw on money saved up in the past to meet these unexpected expenses.
While the whole situation was stressful, at least we didn’t have to worry about how we were going to pay the bills. Of course, we had to rebuild our depleted emergency fund and have it ready for the next unexpected expenses.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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