BLOG – Unexpected Emergency Holidays (2 minute read).

Two weeks ago I booked a one-way ticket to London. 3 minutes later I checked-in online and a couple of hours later I boarded the plane.

My Dad was having open heart surgery and I wanted to be there before, during and after the major – sometimes sadly fatal – surgery.

I’m lucky. I have a jam jar or envelope system – 11 online bank accounts. One is for health. One is for emergencies. It means I always have cash in the bank for unexpected and emergency expenses. When I get paid, normally every 6 or 8 weeks (I have my own transport planning and behaviour change consultancy) I divide my wages into different accounts; food, bills, fun, health, emergencies, luxuries, savings etc etc.

I’m lucky. I don’t impulse shop and I don’t ‘buy just for the sake of buying’ (I broke those habits in 2014!) and as a result I’m fortunate enough to be able to save a % of everything I earn. Recent surveys by UK, Australian and USA banks and financial institutions have shown that around 80% of all adults couldn’t put their hands on $800 or £500 cash in an emergency.

I’m lucky. I’ve been able to work remotely from the UK. Normally 2 or 3 hours each night after hospital visiting time. I have friends and colleagues who don’t have time to spend time with their parents and family. Most people I know have full-time jobs and can’t take time off work. They tell me that 24 days of paid annual leave each year doesn’t stretch very far.

I’m lucky. We were able to stay near the hospital and visit Dad every day. Plymouth – Britain’s Ocean City – is the only major heart surgery and acute care hospital for the south west of England. Most families we met in the Intensive and Acute Care wards were travelling 3 or 4 hours in the car each day. We were able to book and pay for a holiday cottage by the sea and have an unplanned family holiday – of sorts – during a very tiring and stressful time.

Am I lucky?


Am I well prepared?


Is it just that I’ve identified my passions and priorities and changed my spending and transformed my savings because financial security (money for emergencies and unexpected life changes and being able to spend time with those who are most important) is really important to me?

I’ll let you decide.

Thanks for reading

Until next time…