This Huge Expense Made Saving for an Emergency Fund Well Worth It

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KEY POINTS

  • Saving up an emergency fund is challenging.
  • Although it takes effort, it's well worth it to give your future self more options.
  • I was able to use my emergency fund to save my dog's life.


Saving for an emergency fund requires effort, but it can save you from having to make more major sacrifices later.

Saving up an emergency fund with three to six months of living expenses is really challenging. It can take time to amass so much money in a high-yield savings account. And as you're putting aside money for a rainy day, you'll have to sacrifice in the interim.

But, while it undoubtedly takes a lot of effort to put so much money away, it can be well worth it. In fact, while I didn't enjoy the process of sending my spare cash to the bank to save for emergencies, I was very glad I had the money when I had a huge pressing expense that I was able to pay for without question.

My emergency fund allowed me to save a life 

Sacrificing to save for my emergency fund paid off completely when my dog was rushed to the emergency vet's office because she could not breathe. 

A consultation with the emergency vet and a veterinary cardiologist revealed that she had mitral valve disease which had sent her into congestive heart failure. Her heart valve was not working properly, and her heart was enlarged as a result. 

Her cardiologist explained that medication could help but wasn't a cure and that she'd likely have only around eight to twelve months left. When I asked him how to cure it, I was told that there were two surgeons in the world who could do it -- one was in London and the other in Japan. The surgery was also very complex because it required a heart/lung bypass machine, a large team, and around 10 days to two weeks of aftercare as the heart healed from the procedure.

Obviously, the cost was not inexpensive -- especially considering we had to pay for flights, take two weeks off work, and pay for accommodations in London along with the procedure. But because of my emergency fund, I did not have to hesitate about saying I wanted to pursue the surgery and I was able to immediately move forward with saving my dog's life. 

That was close to four years ago, and my dog is going to turn 16 soon. She has been off all heart medications since her surgery, and she is in great health. She wouldn't be here if my emergency fund hadn't been there. 

It's worth the sacrifice to be ready for whatever life sends your way 

My emergency fund was there for me in a true emergency situation and it was a huge relief to not have to worry about whether I could take the steps necessary to save my family member or not. I didn't have to try to borrow at a difficult time and I wasn't forced to refuse care because I didn't have the money.

Obviously, this situation was highly specific, but it's inevitable that almost everyone is going to face some type of pressing expense at some time. It's a lot better to cope with this type of difficult situation if you have the financial resources to solve the problem -- and your emergency fund can ensure those resources are there when you need them.

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