Give Me Back My Five Bucks

A not-so-frugal start to 2013

I haven’t had to use my Emergency Fund since 2010, when I was looking for work. But this week, I will have to take out about $1,000 to cover some costly (and unexpected) expenses.

First, my MacBook Pro’s logic board died. The repair cost is going to be just over $600, and I’m going to be without my computer for a week. I really wanted to get a new laptop, but at this point, it’s just not worth it. My current MBP is fine, and if I were to get a new one, I’d be paying over $3,000 instead of the $600 it would cost just to fix the one I have. Perhaps in 2014 I can look into getting a new computer.

Second, my car windshield cracked. I was moving a bed to a friend’s house when the car in front of me made a sudden left-hand turn without using their turn signal. I had to slam on my brakes … and a piece of wood slid from the back of the car all the way to the front and cracked the windshield. My deductible is $500, and the quotes I have been getting for the repair are around $400.

Thankfully, I should be able to get that money back into my EF relatively quickly. But it’s still a pretty crappy way to start off 2013.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Jay says:

    Well, I guess that’s what it’s there for…

    A $600 computer repair would probably be enough to tempt me into a new purchase, given the availability of MBPr. Good willpower!

    I hate to sound like my father (seriously, you have no idea) but this is concern and not criticism!
    1) Possibly you need to leave a bit more room behind the car in front of you?
    2) I always roll my eyes when my father tells me to secure all things in the back/trunk… and this is the first I’ve heard of his dire predictions bearing fruit. With worse luck, that could’ve been your neck/top of your head! I’ll be moving some things from my back seat to my trunk today!

  2. Ashley says:

    This is not a un-frugal start to the year. This is frugalness as it’s finest.

    You’ve have the good sense to stuff your emergency fund for this exact reason. Now you should be super happy that you’re able to deal with life’s messes without it effecting your standard of living.

    Way to go! Here’s to having easily cleaned up milk spills.

  3. bk says:

    $3000 for a laptop?

    which model!?

  4. So what is the life expectancy for a Mac Book Pro? $3k seems like a lot of money, but if they far outlast PCs that’s another thing.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      My MacBook Pro is 3 years old, but I was an extremely heavy user. At any rate, this is the first time I’ve ever had problems with a Mac computer before, and for me the price is worth it compared to a PC. For others, maybe not.

  5. Liquid says:

    That sucks when the repair is just under the deductible :0( Good thing you have an emergency fund for unplanned situations like this. If you make your $85K-$90K goal this year maybe you can tread yourself to a new MBP in 2014 :D

  6. katherine says:

    I hate making claims through insurance in Ontario, they will find any silly reason to raise rates, so i typically don’t claim whereever possible.
    I do think MACs are the best computers, they can last a long time, they are far less likely to get any computer virus’, and are ideal for web designing/imaging.
    but yes expensive.
    Anyways, yup, that’s what emergency funds are for.

  7. Ashley says:

    Sorry to hear you’re not having a great start to the year. The logic board in my macbook went about 6 months ago too. Fortunately, even though my computer was 4 years old, Apple covered the part and labour because there were certain models that were known to have logic board issues. Have you already taken it to Apple to see if they will cover it?

  8. Bo Manry says:

    All in all, that’s not too bad. When my unexpected costs come, they tend to be at least double that. It seems to be everything happens at once, right?

  9. When it rains, it pours, huh? These are the exact reasons why having an emergency fund is so crucial. You don’t want to have to use it, but you are glad it’s there when you have to!

  10. Ouch. Sorry to hear about Murphy visiting you so early in the year. :(

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