Emergency Room - Here we come!
Written by Lisa Toews-Daugherty
Last weekend, our youngest daughter cut off the tip of her pinky finger while slicing cucumbers with a mandolin. She’s 12, loves to cook, and I was teaching her how to use this new piece of kitchen equipment. Not well, as it turned out. We couldn’t get the bleeding to stop, so we headed to urgent care.
As we waited for the doctor, Kathryn turned to me and said, “I’m so sorry, really sorry. I know it’s expensive.” She kept saying it over and over through tears. She’s worried about how much seeing the doctor is going to cost, while I’m worried about how much it hurts and how soon we will be able to see a plastic surgeon. My husband, Jay, and I both reassured her that we have insurance and can pay for it. At that moment I was so thankful that yes, we do have health insurance; and yes, we do have money set aside for emergencies like this. It was one less stressor in a stressful situation.
Now, I don’t always follow best practices when it comes to our finances – Jay just shakes his head when I get 6 months behind updating my accounts in Quicken. But we are absolutely always up-to-date when it comes to maintaining a rainy day fund. For us it’s enough to cover the out of pocket maximum on our health insurance, our auto insurance deductible, most unexpected home repairs, or 6 months of fixed expenses. We have a dedicated savings account so we don’t spend it and I set up a payment plan to replenish the account when it falls below the threshold we have agreed upon. It’s the one thing I’m 100% methodical about.
Knowing we have a safety net helps me to sleep at night. I can’t always prevent accidents in the kitchen, but I can be prepared should they happen so that while we are sitting in urgent care, I can focus completely on comforting our daughter when she needs me.