Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Is It Raining Yet – 5 Situations When Tapping the Emergency Fund is a Must

We’ve all heard the phrase “I can’t live without it”. For many people, those are the exact words that landed them in debt in the first place. Looking back over time, however, we find that not only could we have lived without it, but we would have been better off if we had done so. When it comes time to put aside something for a rainy day, it becomes necessary to know the difference between a downpour and a cloudy day that would get much brighter if only we could go spend some money.

Having Principles

The whole point of an emergency fund is to insulate yourself from one of life’s true disasters. No matter how large or small your fund is (or how big you want it to be), it’s going to be back at zero in record time if you keep raiding it for impulse buys.

It All Starts With No

“No” is the magic word for emergency funds. Want to tap into it? No! Now that you’ve rejected the idea, try and justify the reversal of your default answer. By starting at “no”, you greatly increase the possibility that you’ll stick with it.

There’s Always An Exception

Of course the whole point of a rainy day fund is to be ready for when it rains. The trick is in knowing what that means and when to permit withdrawals. If you suffer a freak series of car accidents or breakdowns, the answer might be yes. The injuries suffered from auto accidents can range from death and incapacitation to spinal damage that does not manifest itself for days after the collision. Those injuries can turn into expensive medical bills, and that’s if you recover quickly.

If someone breaks into your house and steals all your tools, you’ll need to say yes– but if your tools have the words “X Box” printed on the side, then you should probably wait.

If your refrigerator finally stops making that weird humming noise and the milk goes sour, you’ll probably need to tap the reserves before all the frozen food melts. But you should have been saving up anyhow, since you knew that weird noise wasn’t normal. It was going to go bad eventually. If you lose your job and need to keep the electric bill paid until you find another one, this is exactly the sort of thing which emergency funds were intended for in the first place.

To sum up, your emergency fund is designed to get you off the metaphorical shipwreck and safe on the shore. If you use it for anything else, you are probably making a mistake. You can’t start to save and invest seriously until you have the homefront properly taken care of.


Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

Find Us on Social Media

Please be advised this week April 22-26 IFCS is unable to accept clothing donations as we are preparing for our Mother’s Day program. Clothing donations will be accepted again Monday, April 29 at 8:00am. As always, thank you for your support! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

A shout out to Todd who is always willing & ready to help secure food for The Market. Thanks Man! That's a few pallets of milk, pork and vegetables you see there 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

We are joining forces with Arapahoe Libraries to offer career services workshops. Our first event is May 7th 4pm-6pm at IFCS' Englewood location. Join us and make your cover letter and resume stand out from the rest! ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

IFCS On Twitter

Looking for a job? We are joining forces with Arapahoe Libraries to offer career services workshops. Our first event is May 7th 4pm-6pm at IFCS' Englewood location. Join us and make your cover letter and resume stand out from the rest!

Don't forget we are helping moms on #MothersDay. Click the link below to find out how you can be a part of making it a special day!

Please help us help others! We decided on donations to fill the shelves of the Food Market. Organizing a drive is a great way to see firsthand how community support is vital to reducing hunger. Learn more at
#charity #dogood #endhunger #colorado #littleton

Load More...

Key Sponsors

Our Affliations




Sign Up for our eNewsletter

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust

USDA Non-Discrimination Policy

IFCS follows the USDA non-discrimination policy. Learn more by clicking here to read the statement. (PDF)