Last Monday, I logged onto our checking account expecting to see my husband's paycheck sitting there. I noticed our mortgage had been paid, but there was no paycheck. I called my husband to see if he knew anything about it. He didn't, and since we don't normally check our account on payday, we weren't sure if this was unusual or not (did it normally post later in the day, we had recently increased his 401(k) contribution…did that affect it, etc?).
However, after asking around at work, it was determined that my husband's pay schedule had been changed, and we were not notified prior to it happening. If we lived paycheck to paycheck, we would have been scrambling…our mortgage had already been paid after all with no paycheck in the account to support it.
But, thankfully, not only do we have an emergency fund in another account, but we also keep a buffer in our checking account against something like this happening. Yes, we earn a very small percentage of interest on these buffer funds, but it protects us against overdrawing our account (and hefty overdraft fees) when something unexpected like this happens.
Do you keep a safety net in your checking account as protection? How much do you think is enough of a safety net?