Our emergency fund at ING has $1300 in it. This isn’t even close to three months worth of expenses, but it’s $1300 more than we had on January 1, 2007. We had opened an ING account in January of 2006, but we had pilfered it a few times that year, and by the end of 2006, there wasn’t much in it. So at the beginning of last year, I decided that we were going to truly designate the ING account as an emergency fund. Which meant that anything short of a dire emergency didn’t merit a withdrawl. We’ve had a $100/month deposit going into that account ever since we opened it. So throughout 2007, each month the balance would grow by $100 (plus a little interest, which is a nice bonus). We just pretend that the account isn’t there, so we’re never tempted to take money out.
$100/month doesn’t seem like a lot of money. I can’t really say that we ever miss it. But $1300 does seem like a lot of money to us. The monthly deposit to the account is automatic, so we never have to think about it. So without much effort at all, we’ve grown a little emergency fund. Proof that baby steps repeated over and over will get us where we want to be.
Since we haven’t withdrawn money from the account in over a year, we’ve gotten to the point where we forget that the money is there, and just keep plugging away with our $100 contribution each month. So I’m hopeful that this year will be emergency-free and that we’ll have $2500 in the account by December. It’s nice to see our little puddle growing into a pool.