“How are you staying so calm?”

One month into our debt free journey and we have our first true emergency. We own a small house down south beside my sister, so we went south for the holiday weekend. Once we arrived, we turned the thermostat up and went over to visit with my sister. When we came back to go to bed, we noticed it was still cold.  My husband went down to check out the furnace and shortly came back up and stated he needed trash bags to put over his shoes and go back down. We were cold that night and slept in our clothes with the dogs snuggled up for warmth.   

We had 4 inches of water in the basement, although the water line was much higher. The sump pump went out, during all the intense rain this spring. We purchased another sump pump and cleared up the basement. We also installed a new dehumidifier, set the water heater back on its platform and my husband tried new fuses in the furnace but neither worked.  

Our second night we borrowed a space heater and at least were warmer that night. We discussed the possibilities, hopefully the furnace is just the blower motor. 

Easter Sunday, we went to brunch with our family and my sister invited a friend from the theatre. We had a nice conversation going, discussing work, and family during the meal. The discussion turned to small jobs around the house, and some projects my sister and her husband had planned this summer.  We explained to Dawn that we owned the little house beside my sister – where I was standing when she pulled up looking for their house.   

I related our weekend, the flooded basement and no heat, six-month-old hot water heater ruined.  Dawn asked, “how are you so calm about all this? Most people would be freaking out by this”.  I explained how we had started our debt free journey, and we paid cash for the new sump pump and dehumidifier and we have our emergency fund in place.  This also makes my case for having a gas fireplace – we would have backup heat in the event of a power outage. 

This emergency fund is the first time in my life I’ve had money in savings.  Sure, we might have to put our debt snowball on hold and re-build the emergency fund back up, but its comforting to have this option now. 

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