I have an emergency fund, stowed away in a Tax-Free Savings Account and fed by biweekly auto-deposits on payday. It’s a bit of a bother to withdraw anything from it, as I have to go to my financial institution to sign a paper and then don’t get the money in my account until the next day.
As much as I hate to actually do a withdrawal, and would rather just sit back and watch the balance go up and up, I’m glad the money is there. In the last seven days, on the recommendation of my garage guy I replaced a weakening car battery to see me through a particularly cold bit of winter, and replaced a furnace part so that the unit would run properly and not get stuck in low gear. Legitimate emergencies, legitimate uses of the account, and far better than letting interest accrue on my credit card.
Oh, and I bought mittens. After half the winter wearing acceptable but not especially warm gloves, I finally found a decent pair of mitts in a sporting goods store. I could have kept looking for something cheaper — half a dozen other stores either had none at all, or at exorbitant prices — but these were marked down 30% and still came under budget. Time is money, and to me it’s worth it to get something warm and comfortable that I can use for a few years.
Sometimes it just doesn’t make any sense to cheap out, to waste time shopping, to delay the service call, to try to do without for another week. Better to get it done, get what you need, and eliminate that particular stress from your life.