Emergency Fund Chronicles: The Weekend Tow

How often do you think to yourself about something you know you should be doing to make your life better, but you just fail to carry through with the neccesary action? This is how many people treat their emergency fund for whatever reason and I just can’t seem to understand it. I recently had a personal experience where my emergency fund saved me from further trouble. It happened on a typical weekend out. I went from enjoying myself, to being quite disappointed in a matter of minutes.

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Over the memorial day weekend, I went out on a Saturday evening to South Street in Philadelphia, Pa. I parked under a sign that clearly designated the location that I had parked in as a motorcycle and bike spot. My lady had to use the bathroom so we proceeded to go to a store that had allowed us to use the restroom down the street. When we came back I added change to the meter, completely forgetting that I was not really supposed to be parked at the spot in the first place. We then headed to get food drinks.

You can probably guess how the rest of the story ended. We leave and walk out to go to my car and walked two blocks past the block I had originally parked. When I realized how far down the street I actually was, I knew I had been towed. It took almost 30 minutes just to get in contact with the Philadelphia Parking Authority after finally, two police officers took the time to track down a good contact number for the PPA. I called and of course my car was there, thankfully it was an eight minute Uber ride.

When I got to the tow lot, I had to do a bunch of running around to verify documents and pay the fee. The fee was an exorbitant $175 and they only had my car for all of an hour. To add insult to injury I still had to pay the $51 ticket, bringing the total to $226. Thankfully I had enough funds in my checking account after a night out to cover the tow fee. My emergency fund, which I keep in a capitlone360.com is linked to my Wells Fargo checking account. I can transfer the funds to my checking account from my emergency fund to replenish what I had to spend. The only drawbacks is that it takes two business days for the money to arrive in my account. Or I could transfer the funds to my capitalone360.com checking account and have the funds instantly. It’s all a matter of preference, while also being dependent on my finances at the time.

Without an emergency fund or “e-fund” as I like to call it, many people would likely resort to using a credit card or borrowing money. In a situation like this, it can be more costly the longer it takes for you to retrieve your vehicle. On top of the that if your vehicle is not completely legal and up to date, your car will not be released. To my Broke Finance readers, please read street signs and start saving three to six months worth of living expenses to handle that unexpected emergency even if self-inflicted.