What would you do in an emergency?

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Last night I was faced with a problematic situation.

Not the I-need-to-use-my-emergency-fund type of emergency, but an I-could-be-stuck-here kind of emergency.

I had to make a last-minute trip that I was unprepared for. The fuel level in my car decreased faster than expected, and I had to make an emergency trip to the petrol station.

The station in question was pay at pump/card only, and was unmanned. The machine malfunctioned and wouldn’t proceed to release fuel, leaving the card transaction hanging, and subsequently wouldn’t work at any other pump.

It kept telling me that the sale was cancelled and my card had reached the maximum number of transactions. I panicked; there was definitely enough money in there, but I had no fuel.

What was going on? Had my card been cloned and my account wiped out? How was I going to get home? I had no fuel!

As it turned out, it was an issue with the machine at the pump and the computer finally sorted itself out, leaving me free to get my fuel (although I ended up late for a meeting as a result).

But it made me think – what would I have done if the problem hadn’t rectified itself? If my card had continued to be refused? I think I would have had to resort to using a credit card; as I haven’t cut them up yet. They’re still in my purse. Not as a risk of temptation but because even if I cut them up, I know I could just call the credit card company and ask them to send me a new one. Perhaps, on a subconscious level, such an emergency is why I’ve not cut them up yet?

So, what would I have done if I didn’t have a credit card? My husband was with me and although he didn’t have his card, there was no money left in our joint account, only in the account with the card that wasn’t being accepted.

What would you do?

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