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  1. Hoorays for your deck! We have 3 small decks and now I’m a bit paranoid 🙂

    A $7500 set back isn’t the end of the world for your neighbor. If he’s looking to sell it’s much better to deal with it now then later.

    We’re holding firm to the 23K emergency fund. I was like Mr AE too. I flopped back and forth about our emergency fund too. I now like to think I’m paying 23K for peace of mind.

    A water heater runs about $15,000 and should be replaced every 15 years…I found this out after we brought our house! If it wasn’t for AirBnB I think I would rent 😉

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Lily. Good luck with the water heater. $15K seems like an awful lot of money for a water heater. Is it a solar water heater?

  2. Glad your porch is in good shape- it looks like a beautiful house!

    I like the 3-6 month E-Fund, but we don’t have a pension or social security so it would have to cover all our expenses if we were to lose our jobs.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Julie. Our model is called the Charleston and the double porch has a lot of charm. Mrs. Groovy feel in love with our home largely because of that feature. Now, as long as I stay on top of maintaining it, we’ll be in good shape. Thanks for stopping by, Julie. It’s always a pleasure hearing from you.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Got to tip my had to Tim Ferriss and YouTube. Tim Ferriss pointed out the Kevin Rose video and YouTube had the kangaroo video in the sidebar of the landing page of the KR video. I don’t know which video made me laugh harder. The racoon spiraling out of Rose’s hands? Or a ballsy Aussie delivering a stiff right to the chin of a marauding roo? Great freakin’ stuff.

  3. I’ve had a rough month. Thousands of dollars down the drain. My brother was supposed to visit me (plane ticket paid for). He broke his foot.
    Then I was supposed to fly back home. I injured my back and can’t fly.

  4. Phew, glad your porch structure is okay. This post and comments once again confirm to me that there is no magic emergency fund number. A single income family will probably want to use an entirely different formula than a dual income family, not to mention kids, life stages, health, living areas, etc.

    Perhaps there is a minimum but even that could be debated. Quick access to funds when you need them, whether they are in a savings account or other asset fund is what matters most, right? Some of us might call that an emergency fund, others maybe not. Ah, personal finance.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great summation on the difficulties of crafting an appropriately-sized emergency fund. Damn, there’s so many variables to consider.

  5. I think the “most expensive system in the house” rule makes a whole lot of sense. That said, it’s wise to know the age of the systems in your house and the age at which they typically fail.

    For the house we’re selling, we finally had to replace the furnace this spring (aged 18 years). The water heater, AC unit, oven, microwave, and refrigerator are all the same age.

    Many of those systems typically have a 10-20 year life, so I wouldn’t be shocked if 2 of them went kaput in the next year.

    Based on that, it might make sense for the new homeowners to target the most expensive combo of those two and start proactively saving for replacements for the rest. After that though, they’re probably sitting pretty for another decade!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Awesome, Chris. I love it. Have an emergency fund that can handle the double-whammy of your home’s two most expensive systems failing simultaneously and you should be in good shape.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Exactly, BOAS! A good emergency fund also allows you to sleep at night. Like you, “I am a worrier and over planner.” And thankfully, Mrs. Groovy doesn’t give me an push-back on having a larger-than-necessary emergency fund. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  6. Ouch, this hits close to home. A few nights ago we discovered that there was water on our pantry shelves. It appears that the pipes that carry water to our shower upstairs are leaking and the water seeped through the pantry walls. We still need to get estimates but it going to hurt for sure. Glad you got away scott free though.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Lucked out this time. Water is such a devilish foe. It attacks secretly for years without you even knowing about it. And it usually brings its two best allies for the attack: mold and insects. Yuck! Sorry to hear about your water leak, Mrs. BITA. Good luck. I got my fingers crossed that you discovered it soon enough before real expense damage was done.

  7. I’ve heard that some folks actually have a separate e-fund just for their house. I keep it all as one fund, and I have enough to cover my most expensive component (thankfully I’m not responsible for the roof in a condo). But I can still imagine situations where you might need more, even if they’re not as likely. I think the amount of your e-fund needs to come down to your best judgment, based on things like insurance deductibles, job and health situations, and some of the factors Brian mentioned. It’s hard to boil it down into one hard-and-fast rule.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Excellent summation of the problem, Gary. As you so rightly pointed out, insurance deductibles, age of your house and car, and job and health situations–these are critical to determining the right size of an emergency fund, and these factors vary greatly between people. And I would add one more variable: what amount of money allows you to sleep at night. The is surely no “hard-and-fast rule” for emergency funds. Thanks for stopping by, Gary. And thanks for clarifying the matter. As usual, you put things into perspective in a few succinct sentences.

  8. I think there are many factors they set the size of e-fund. Home ownership, family size, family age, overall net worth etc. Never expected to lose my job or be out of work for 8 months, but glad we had a nice cash reserve.

    Love the videos as always. Was that a paint can top you picked up? Boxing the kangaroo made me laugh out loud.

    • Hey, Brian. I think we can all agree on two things when it comes to emergency funds. The proper size depends on a number of personal variables, and it’s best to err on the side of caution. And I’m with you, my friend. That man vs. kangaroo video is hysterical.

  9. Lucky you….

    Good angle to define the size of an emergency fund. I would think replacing the roof might be the most expensive. No idea on the price for that.

    • Haha! Mrs. Groovy said the same thing. It would be close. We have a very simple roof, and it has only one layer of shingles. So I got to figure that adding another layer of asphalt shingles should cost less than $12K. I’ll find out for sure one day.

  10. Holy buckets. That right hook to the kangaroo was AWESOME! And man, the raccoon guy – I don’t know if I would’ve had the guts to pick that sucker up – guess it was just instinct, huh? Speaking of wild animals, our neighbor shot a 59 pound beaver last month. The thing was ginormous!

    • Haha! That roo was both stunned and pissed at the same time. I had no idea they were so big. And I certainly didn’t know a beaver can get up to 60 lbs. That’s scary.

  11. Ouch, I am happy that you got away with that one. It is a great idea to keep your emergency fund equal to what your biggest home repair might be. We have remodeled and updated most of our house. I have two concerns. Our furnace is 25 years old and will have to be replaced in the future. That will be about $6k. My big concern is that we live in the country and have a septic tank. If that goes, it is code to replace it with a sand mound. That is $16k. With my luck, they will both go at the same time 🙁.

    • Timing is everything with a house. Our house is 10 years old, so our roof and mechanicals are still in good shape. I’ll really start to worry around the 15 year mark. Good luck with the furnace and the septic tank. Those two things are the bane of every home owner.

  12. Jeff D

    Mr. Groovy quick question? How long do you spend picky up trash? The bags full, set amount of area, time? Inquiring minds want to know. I’m up for it if you’re in northern IL, maybe after visiting Miss Mazuma or Penny in Chicago. My wife and I do it already when we go for walks around the neighborhood. Have a groovy weekend.

    • LOL! I’m not a great speaker, so I often have to take a number of takes. On most shoots, I’m usually picking up trash for 20 to 30 minutes. And I’d love to pick up trash with you. I’ll let you know when we’re heading into the Chicago area. Between you, Penny, Miss Mazuma, and deep dish pizza, it should be a very memorable trip.

  13. Love that your deck is OK! Dodged a big expense there for sure! We are buried in house expenses right now as we are prepping our house for sale and fixing up our next house! Glad you got on Penny’s case too 😉 Maybe it’s us teacher folks who fail to track net worth!

    • Haha! Had to raz Penny a little bit. But giving her condition, and giving that teachers are so overworked, we’ll give her a pass on this one. Good luck on house prep. I’m sure you’ll rise to the occasion and make the realtor’s job easy. Thanks for stopping by, Vicki. It’s always great hearing from my Western New York friend.

  14. Whew, you guys lucked out there.
    I hate water issues. They cost a ton of money to fix and it spread like crazy.
    Our cash fund is a bit higher because we have 3 properties. It’s a good bet something big will go wrong every year…
    Happy Father’s day.

    • You are so right, Joe. My brother had several rentals on Long Island and every year he had a costly repair or upgrade. Home ownership is so much fun! Thanks for stopping by, my friend. And happy Father’s Day to you too.

  15. ha ha well sorry to hear you kicked your own butt, so glad you don’t have to pay for anything…yet. Good luck with that when it does happen! Kidding. Being ironic since you just commented on my last post. 🙂 Your neighbor must be pissed that his house was the one with the damage, eh? I WAS (per my post) going to add more (currently at 14k) for my emergency fund, but I realize I have more ways of getting money within a couple days and it’s earning more interest somewhere else, so leaving it as is.

    • Yeah, TJ, isn’t happy. But he’s glad he’s aware of the problem. And he’s fairly confident that the first estimate he got was high. Thanks for stopping by, Tonya. And thanks for sharing your emergency fund strategy. It’s always great hearing what financial rock stars are doing.

  16. I go back and forth on how much we should keep in an Emergency Fund, after the storms last weekend I landed on the absolute minimum being whatever your insurance deductibles are (I would say either HomeOwners or Medical) – you never know when you will need to pay to get something fixed.

    Hope the other contractors put in some lower quotes, seems like a lot for a deck that size.

    • Apathy Ends- I agree here! We are currently finishing up funding our Emergency Fund to the amount of our Medical Deductible. It gives us peace of mind to know that a medical emergency will be covered.

      And Mr. Groovy- I just picked up Tools for Titans at the library last night… I’m glad you liked it, I can’t wait to start!

      • Hey, Mrs. AR. What’s really surprised me so far about TOT is that the people I didn’t think would be interesting turned out to be very interesting. TOT is a lot of fun. Let me know what you think about it when you get a chance. Cheers.

  17. So you consider your living expenses held in cash different than your emergency fund? We have three years living expenses in cash (since we’re early-retired) but not an additional emergency fund. We’d use that same cash for a short term emergency that came up.