Are Car Repairs an Emergency?

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Dear Dave,

My wife and I are on Baby Step 3 of your plan. When we have standard car repairs, I want to use the emergency fund. She says that kind of thing isn’t an emergency, and we should just put it off as long as possible while saving up to fix the problem. Who’s right? — Ryan

 

Dear Ryan,

Sorry, you’re both wrong. Cars break. And since no one will invent one that lasts forever and doesn’t break down, standard car repairs shouldn’t be viewed as an emergency. Maintenance and repair of your vehicles are an ongoing expense. It’s just part of owning them. That means you should have a category in your monthly budget for this sort of thing.

Now, an engine blowing up or the transmission going out would be an emergency. Hopefully, you’re not talking about something of this magnitude. But you’ve got to rework your budget to where you have something designated each month for car maintenance and repair. That way, you won’t be dipping into your emergency fund just to cover the basic wear and tear that comes with owning a car.

Take the next step today, and adequately fund this area so it doesn’t continually come back to bite you in the wallet and sabotage your emergency fund! — Dave

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About Author

Dave Ramsey

America's trusted voice on money and business, Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His four New York Times best-selling books—Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover, and EntreLeadership—have sold more than 7 million copies combined. His latest book, EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches, debuted at number one on the New York Times best-selling list.

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