Saturday, 5 March 2016

Why It’s Important to Have an Emergency Fund

This week I learned why it’s important to have an emergency fund ready and available. G’s paycheque was messed up.

Back in May the payroll systems switched. G said it was a headache at first but once he got used to submitting his claims it was easy. Not only easy but the payout of overtime is down to around 2 months of waiting instead of the minimum of 6 months we were waiting before. Don’t remind me of the 8 months it took to get G’s raise…

Fast forward to Wednesday's paycheque which looked like this:

Notice all those lovely negatives? That new system was being really generous and giving everyone too much money for overtime, on call and shift differential claims. So then this paystub shows up with a wall of scary negatives dating all the way back to June! 

We had no warning that this was going to happen or the amount it would be. Poor G went into the office Wednesday (one of his days off) to compare his accepted claims, with the original paid amount then this new deductions. Oi. He was there for 5 hours. In the end he confirmed that the amount of hours he entered (and were approved) were correct but they had indeed overpaid. But he also found one court date that they originally paid but took back the full amount earned. He sent in a ticket (he even gives tickets to the payroll dept lol) to see about getting it resolved or at least an explanation.

If you add up all those deductions up it comes to $1619.81. If this was a regular paycheque for G we would have only been left about $400. Luckily, he had a payout and it evened this paycheque out for us but I had heard of them leaving people stranded like that. One lady I know was telling me about how when her husband did an isolated posting and their rent from the Crown owned housing they lived in was taken directly off the paycheque. Everything was fine and dandy until a year later when the payroll dept noticed they charged them too little and then took all the money off at once. This was a single income family with two little kids, and they were left with very little for two weeks...

We were lucky enough to have it not really affect the pay it still made me extremely aware how important an Emergency Fund is. G works for the Government of Canada – the Government people! I know I shouldn't bite the hand that feeds us, but seriously? Had this happened to us a few years ago when we had nothing saved, it would have been a disaster.

So thank you Emergency Fund. Although there have been times I pondered if we should do something more with you, I’m glad we resisted. You never know just when you might need that little bit of cushion and piece of mind.

- M


  1. What a great post! I think people often think that they won't have a big emergency - there job is safe, etc. but this just shows that you can have an emergency in the unlikeliest of ways (payroll screw up).

    1. Thank you! & that was exactly my thinking before: something like that would never happen to us. Just when you get too comfortable... lol