NOTE: This is a proactive, not reactive viewpoint.
There are some things you simply cannot plan for, but we can all acknowledge that things aren’t designed to last forever. I know it can be a scary thought but it doesn’t have to be. Instead, see it as a key piece of information that can serve you in life, it has served me well.
Every payday I deposit $50 into a separate savings account just for emergencies. It’s not a lot of money, but emergencies don’t happen every day, or even every month, so the money has time to accumulate. I can’t tell you how happy I was that I had this account when my car broke down a week before my vacation and the repair was going to cost almost $600 (and I needed my car to get to the airport). Or when a bird decided my exhaust duct would make the perfect home for her family and I had to call someone to remove the birds, the nest and clean the duct ($300).
Don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t enjoy paying for any of these things; however, having a little stash sure did soften the blow and ease the stress.
For me, a big factor is to forget (as best as I can) the emergency account exist. I “forget” this account by setting up automatic deposits or transfers. This means I don’t have to deal with the account until an emergency actually happens. This is the best practice for me. From experience, I know when I try to deposit or transfer money into my emergency account on my own it doesn’t always make it.
Life happens to all of us. It’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN. Acknowledging this allows us to put precautionary measures in place to limit the disruption of our lives. Remember that vacation I mentioned, that $600 car repair would’ve really put a dent in my plans, but instead I was able to move on as if nothing happened.