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emergencyfund

4 Repairs to Account for in Your Emergency Fund

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An emergency fund is a personal savings account that typically contains enough money to pay for three to six months’ worth of household expenses. Emergency funds are important for individuals and households to have, as emergencies can rear their ugly heads in the blink of an eye, leaving them in dire financial straits.

Although most personal financial gurus urge people to account for nothing more than their household’s bills in their emergency funds, it’s wise to account for repairs that typically require prompt attention. Here are four common repairs that you should account for in planning for your emergency fund.

The Replacement of HVAC Units

Most homes across the United States feature central heating and cooling systems. Central air systems consist of just one HVAC unit, which ventilates, cools, and heats all of a home’s air by itself.

Since we’re so used to air conditioning throughout the summer and heating in cooler months, unexpected HVAC unit failure is one of the most annoying problems we can face related to home maintenance.

Although most malfunctioning HVAC units can be repaired, they sometimes need to be replaced entirely. The cost of an average modern HVAC unit and its installation typically costs between $3,500 and $7,500.

Timing Chains Are Necessary for Regular Vehicular Function

Timing chains are parts of modern motor vehicles’ engines that are directly responsible for making sure that their engines’ valves move at the right time. Without the proper function of timing chains and belts—chains are on the inside of engines, whereas belts are on the outside—vehicles won’t run well. Sometimes, they won’t start at all.

The labor and materials for timing chain replacement typically cost anywhere between $500 and $1,000. Make sure to budget for this in your emergency fund.

Water Heater Failure

Although nobody truly needs a water heater in their home, we’ve become so used to them that living without them is difficult.

If your home’s water heater fails, professional plumbers like Clearwater Plumbing typically charge anywhere between $800 and $3,000 for the installation of the water heater and the unit itself.

Computer Failure

If you work from home, you almost certainly use a computer. Computer repairs take time, though they’ve often cheaper than the outright cost of new computers. Depending on what type of computer you need, such replacement costs could range from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand. Emergency funds are unarguably important for households to maintain. However, most emergency funds don’t account for emergency repairs such as the four mentioned above. Don’t forget about any of these in planning for your fund’s funding.


Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2


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