I've written about having an emergency fund/financial safety net in the past. We've been working on building up ours, and had made decent progress.
Over the past few months, we've been hit by more than a couple less-than-planned for expenses. Nothing abnormal - just a series of fairly large bills that we couldn't have foreseen this time last year.
By the end of the month, those less planned expenses will have pretty much wiped out a good chunk of our emergency fund.
While it sucks to see the fund significantly drained, it's been a blessing to have the reserves to handle these expenses. If not, we'd be forced to take out debt for stupid stuff, borrow money family, maybe raid some of the retirement fund. Stress and worry where the cash was going to come from.
We haven't had to do any of that. We've been able to financially handle the costs as they come in. It's been frustrating, because it's a challenge to put money away in the first place. It's meant vacations not taken, meals not eaten out, purchases not made and so on. You know the drill.
So, it is time to start replenishing the emergency fund.
In my opinion and experience, having some kind of emergency financial reserves set aside is one of the most prudent and practical real life preparations you can make. If you don't have 'em, start setting something aside. Large or small...be consistent and it can add up quickly.
Anyone else have their emergency fund come in handy recently?
Edited to add: Along similar lines - folks often forget the power of contingency currency putting together bags, kits and so on. A handgun, a good blade and a couple thousand bucks can solve a lot of problems...