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I am riffing on this paragraph, posted by userid TamarianG:
So, there's my argument, and my exhortation: get something put aside for yourself. Even if it means slowing down your snowball for a couple months. Get yourself positioned so that at the very least you aren't devastated by the smaller speed-bumps you're going to encounter. Stop fighting the fire while you're feeding the flames, and get enough cash in hand to take care of yourself going forward.

Whereas I have benefited several times last year from using an emergency fund, my husband's growing impatience to make our windows more energy-efficient, my impatience to sand and revarnish our floors to make them crawling-baby-safe, and our recognition that one car may soon be done for makes me view my growing emergency fund and think "hmmm..."

I'm wondering if I should liquidate some of my heirlooms to get the emergency fund up lickety-split to three months' expenses so I can have the immediate gratification of pumping up that emergency fund, so nothing supremely dumb along the lines of last year's "I am laid off but am sure I will have another job in three weeks because I do not know we are in a recession and the dot-com industry has had its day, am also ten days pregnant but don't know it yet, am also sick of seeing $386 oil bills drop into my mailbox every six weeks, I know, I'll spend $4700 to buy a new furnace and convert to natural gas!!" doesn't happen again.

Thing is, if I sell those heirlooms I can pretty much count on not ever getting them back even as gifts.

I guess I could also forego or reduce my current funding of my tax-deferred plan, forego or reduce funding of my child's university fund, forego or reduce funding of my Roth IRA... any combination of or all of these options are unpleasant. I don't even know if they are as unpleasant as borrowing. It's just very difficult to weigh how unpleasant they are in relativity.
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