A testimony from Lisa
In June 2013, my father passed away. It wasn’t totally unexpected. He had diabetes, his health had been declining, and earlier in the year his doctor said his kidneys were failing.
However, I was still shocked when my brother called me to let me know my father passed away. That week was stressful as we hurried to make funeral arrangements and clean out my father’s apartment. But the biggest stress was the financial burden of the funeral that fell upon me and my three siblings.
My father was not good at budgeting his money, and he didn’t have a life plan. He had very little money in the bank. He had no life insurance. He rented an apartment, and the only assets he had were a washer, dryer, fridge, and an old car. Recouping enough money to cover the funeral costs was not going to happen.
As we began to research the cost of a funeral, we looked for ways to minimize the financial burden by choosing options that were less expensive. The funeral costs still totaled close to $7,000, which is inexpensive compared to most funerals.
We reached out to my father’s three brothers and asked if they would help out with the funeral. Thankfully they each said that they would contribute. With seven people contributing money, that meant we each needed to pay $1,000. But before the funeral could happen, the total cost had to be paid in full up front.
One thousand dollars is a large sum of money for me and my family. Thankfully, my husband and I had an emergency fund, and we were able to pull from it to cover our portion of the funeral. If we didn’t have an emergency fund, my siblings would have had a greater financial burden to carry.
You never think that something like this will happen to you until it does unexpectedly. What a blessing it was that we made the decision years ago to build up an emergency fund.
Now we are working on adding back that money to our emergency fund just in case the unexpected happens again. Some months, we only have an extra $20 to add to our emergency fund. Other months, we are able to put in more depending on the month’s expenses that need to be paid.
What’s important is that we are trying to set aside money each month, and we know that every little amount helps us get closer to our goal. We hope that an experience like this won’t happen to us again in the near future, but if it does, we will at least be financially prepared.
Lisa is a stay-at-home mother of two girls, and a wife to an amazing husband. She loves cooking, organizing, playing the piano, ballroom dancing, and providing money-saving tips and deals for families on her blog, Saving Cent by Cent.
Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.
Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!