What would you do if your phone fell out of your pocket while you were ice climbing a frozen waterfall and it toppled over the side of a very steep and icy hill so you needed money to repair or replace the phone?
That very specific and pretty ridiculous ‘phone emergency’ happened to me last year, if you can believe it!
I remember freezing, midway up the frozen waterfall, not because of the cold but because of the fear of having broken my phone. I looked back and down, horrified, as the phone cracked its way down the hill we had hiked up in Canmore, Alberta.
Just moments before, Mike had suggested I leave my phone with him during my ice climb so it didn’t fall out. “I’ll just zip up my pockets!” I had replied dismissively, and then proceeded to forget to zip up my pockets, lol.
Accidents happen. Emergencies happen.
So how prepared would you be in the event of an emergency—silly or serious?
I’m teaming up with ATB Prosper for another series of (sponsored) blog posts this year, aimed at increasing Albertans’ financial literacy (along with my own!), showing you how easy it can be to save, why you should be thinking about saving, and hopefully encouraging you to actually do it or do more of it!
Full disclosure: Mike and I wouldn’t really describe ourselves as great savers or budgeters. We really do our best and are comfortable with where we are at financially, but know there is seriously a lot more we could be doing. I also recognize that some people may not be in a position where they really put aside an emergency savings fund. For us it’s more about doing what we can, when we can (some months we don’t put anything into savings, other months we’re able to put a little, other months, a lot).
“Small steps” when it comes to saving is sort of our financial motto. So, I’m fully aligned with what ATB is trying to do—educating and making it as easy as they can for Albertans to save.
This month’s financial literacy topic, if you haven’t already guessed, is on emergency savings!
Do you have an emergency fund? If you don’t, or if you don’t have much in it (hey, I’m right there with you!), hopefully this blog post gets you making some changes, or thinking about making some changes!
Here are four ridiculous but real emergencies a savings fund can help you with, along with a few ways you can build up your emergency fund through ATB Prosper.
1. Your phone might fall out of your pocket and get destroyed while you’re doing winter activities. Maybe you are ice climbing like I was, or maybe it happens while you are snowboarding or skiing down a mountain. Maybe tobogganing down a hill or skating on a frozen lake. Maybe it falls into the hot tub as you are taking your après ski selfies! IT HAPPENS!
2. You’ve been up early working all day and you haven’t had any time to eat anything or even sip a glass of water. When you stop in to visit your parents at the end of the day, you suddenly faint. Your parents are so scared they call an ambulance. The paramedics come to revive you, test you, and then tell you that you just needed to eat some food and drink some water, but your parents are stuck with a bill for calling the ambulance. In Alberta, that is $250 for having them come to check on you and close to $400 had they actually transported me to the hospital. Yes, this also happened to me! Apparently, I am prone to really ridiculous, but realistic emergencies.
3. Your dog might get into the cat food, overeat then get so bloated you need to bring her to the vet but it’s the weekend (of course!) so regular vet clinics are closed, therefore you need to go to the emergency vet (which is extra $). As with the phone falling from midway up a frozen waterfall, this too, happened to me. Our sweet beagle Olive, who is obsessed with food, stayed with her grandparents while we were on vacation and managed to get into the cat food bin. Instead of stopping when she was full, she proceeded to literally eat every single piece of kibble in the bin. When we picked her up, she had ballooned out (it looked quite scary!). And, of course, when emergencies happen with pets, it’s usually on weekends and holidays, so we rushed her to the emergency vet for support. She was fine, in the end. However, it was an expensive and ridiculous emergency.
4. Someone might decide to break into your car, steal nothing, but leave you a glass mess to fix, for no reason! This happened to my friend! She regularly parks her car on her driveway in a safe neighbourhood—why should she think that anyone would try to break in and steal anything? Well, IT HAPPENS, and apparently for no reason! The thief literally took nothing from the vehicle, but she had to pull from her emergency savings to pay for vehicle’s window repair services (though did end up driving around with plastic wrapped across the broken window before she was able to get the repair done).
Pretty ridiculous, right? Yet, I bet you could tell me your fair share of silly scenarios that have happened to you, that you were not expecting, that required you to shell out or scramble to find money to pay for whatever it is that happened.
That’s why you should always try to have an emergency savings fund!
From the silly to the serious, sometimes an emergency fund will help cover ridiculous things, other times, it can help for moments that have a huge impact on your life—like unexpected loss of a job (I really hope this doesn’t ever happen to you!!) or unexpected house repairs.
ATB Prosper is Alberta’s first digital investment experience that lets you create a personalized investment portfolio based on your personal goals, while taking into account your tolerance for risk, timeline and current financial situation. The best part? You can open an account with as little as $100.
- Your ATB Prosper account can be used to help save for emergencies.
- An ATB Prosper TFSA can help you earn money on your money saved tax-free. You can cash in your TFSA, without penalty, when unexpected emergencies come up.
- Your small contributions can add up over time and give you a sense of comfort and preparedness. And when I say small, I mean small! ATB Prosper allows you to build your emergency fund steadily and securely with as little as $25 a month, while giving you the option to withdraw your money at any time.
And I’d love to hear more about silly “emergencies” that have happened to you (and hope that the serious emergencies stay away!) Feel free to leave a comment on this blog post or on my social media.
And stay tuned as I share more financial literacy tips in the new year!
Disclaimer: I am working with ATB in a paid partnership to help highlight its ATB Prosper investment experience and help educate Albertans on financial literacy and reasons you should save! This has no impact on opinions stated in this post. I have an ATB Prosper account and am always looking for ways to build up my financial security.
I also really hope you aren’t facing or have to face a serious emergency anytime soon!