Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Essential Emergency Fund And More Decluttering - R2BC

Some minimalizing progress and some less good events that, with a bit of Pollyanna attitude, I can turn around to be a R2BC. I'm joining the R2BC linky over with Becky on Lakes Single Mum.

Decluttering Books

I wrote the other day about sorting out all my books and letting go of my academic dreams. In addition to all the academic books, I got rid of 20 year old guidebooks to various cities around the world, children's books that DD has grown out of and which we didn't love, various out-of-date reference books, and a few novels that I'm never going to read. About 100 books in all.

In addition to the books in the photo which are all being given away, donated, or possibly sold; there were also a pile of magazines and the city guides that went straight in the bin.

That seems incredible as I sort and donate books every year for the Yedidya Bazaar in March. Only two years ago I got rid of 200 books (although that was the first cull in about 25 years). I think it's a process and some books it takes you longer to realize and come to terms with the fact that you don't need them anymore.

Empty Furniture

I decluttered a whole chest of drawers out of its usefulness and sold it on facebook. The guy who bought it also took an old armchair down for me and put it by the bins. Within half an hour I saw a man stop and load it into his car.

I also have one empty bookcase but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet.

Gone to a better home in the back of a passing car

Not So Wonderful

I had a blocked sink so I had to get the plumber in. It cost not a trivial amount of money. On the other hand, he changed the crappy IKEA drain set-up underneath to a much more efficient arrangement that goes straight into the wall without the long, narrow pipe, which is the part that gets blocked.

I swallowed that cost and moved on. However, I was then alerted by a neighbour that my solar heated water boiler on the roof was leaking big time. Having established that the tank that was falling apart was indeed mine, I needed to get it fixed. I bought this apartment 16 years ago and inherited all the equipment on the roof. I've never had to fix or replace any of it, so it was time.

Yesterday they came with a new boiler, two new solar panels, and a new stand as the old one was rusted through. All new. All fully guaranteed for 5 years. All costing an absolute fortune. But I chose the best and not the cheapest in the hope that I won't be dealing with this again for another 20 years.

Emergency Fund

This is when you fully understand how important it is to have an emergency fund. And how important it is not to dip into it for months that are a bit tight or if you want to treat yourself. It's not for an impulsive holiday, a new sofa, or even the new fridge which I had to buy only a few months ago and which could be put on 12 monthly payments without added interest.

The new solar boiler had to be fixed asap as water was dripping into my upstairs neighbour's apartment. And I had to pay all of it up front. Luckily I have been paying small monthly amounts into an emergency fund all year.

Usually I need to use some of it to get us through the summer as I don't get paid for teaching my summer courses until the end of September and I don't get paid an August salary for teaching in school. I was getting excited because we didn't go away this summer and various tax rebates came in so I thought I was going to get through the whole summer without touching the fund. I had dreams of rolling it over for another year. Man dreams and God laughs.

It still makes things very tight for September as the emergency fund won't cover the full amount of the waterworks. But it makes it doable instead of impossible. So we'll do it and be cheerful about having the foresight to save for emergencies.


  1. Oh no what are. Shame about the repairs you needed done but like you say let's hope that another 20 years maintenance free hot water you'll get. Well done on the declittering, it is so satisfying. Mich xx

    1. Yes, there is a certain security in knowing that I have all new equipment on the roof. Every time water leaked from the roof and someone went up to check it out, i used to hold my breath hoping it wasn't my solar boiler. And I can't really complain after 16 years of no bother.

  2. Well done you on the decluttering and the wise use of the emergency fund. It never rains but it pours doesn't it. A friend of mine is getting set to retire so naturally her A/C unit and furnace both died, the garage door misfired and came down hard on the roof of her car, and her dad has been ill and that has necessitated a number of unexpected trips down east - about 1800 miles away! But, like you she had an emergency fund and has also decided to go for the quality products in the hope that it will indeed be another 20 years before things need to be replaced again! I will keep my fingers crossed that there are no more unexpected costs in your near future!

    1. Thanks Margie. Of course I now have no emergency fund left so there can't be any more emergencies until it's topped up again.

  3. Well done on the decluttering and books are so hard to let go of I find. Sorry about your sink and money troubles - both very annoying and know them both well!

    1. Well, I hope the troubles are over for now. And it wasn't a lot of hassle, just a lot of money. Thanks Kate.