A: I donâ€™t think you should use every bit of cash youâ€™ve put away for emergencies, but if some of that money is sitting around earning 1 percent interest, why would you borrow and pay 7 percent to 8 percent interest? The smart thing to do is to use the cash you have to cover the repairs but also get a home-equity line of credit. You should pay little or nothing to open it, and that will give you the comfort that youâ€™ll have a backup plan in case something goes wrong and you need a fast infusion of cash. After you make the repairs, you can start saving again for tuition and other emergencies. Until you need the money, you will save the difference between what you would earn by having the money invested and the interest rate on the loan.