On Jan. 24, Barilee Grace Shepherd arrived two months early.  Chasiti and Timothy wrote in a blog post that their primary focus right now is to ensure that their new daughter has the best medical care.

Neonatal intensive care medical bills can be very expensive. The Shepherds have medical insurance, but they are not sure how much they will pay out of pocket once Barilee goes home.

Before the team’s surprise arrival, we spoke to Chasiti and Timothy about how their $2000 emergency fund has helped them stay on track.   

“That $2000 emergency fund has come in handy. We’ve used it a couple times,” Chasiti said. “We put it back and then used it again. The first time we used it, we used it for our air conditioner. And the second time we used it, it was for me. I kind of messed up some money so I used the emergency fund and then put it back.”   

“Sometimes things come up. Today, for instance, I got a bill in reference to my three-year-old being sick last year. I had to tend to that bill that was just an unexpected bill,” Timothy said.

eCO Takeaway Tip

Once you have your emergency fund in place, make sure that you only use it for its intended purpose. Before removing cash from the fund, ask yourself:

–        Can the expense wait until next month?

–        Could the expense be added to my budget—instead of taken from my emergency fund?

–        Will I regret removing this money later?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, wait and save up the cash. If you answered no, don’t feel guilty about using your emergency fund; that’s what it’s there for! But don’t forget to make a plan to replenish it in the near future.    

Follow all the teams and learn from their financial journey at ecosavingsrace.org.