My first year overseas (working) I got my emergency fund back up. I also had my first moment of having to call my parents to help because my credit card had expired and I didn't have money in my bank account to afford train fare home. When I made the call for a "payday loan", my mom asked if my card was maxed. I was horrified. I had an ~10K limit, I couldn't fathom being maxed out. Not having access to credit hurt because I've always used it as my back up without it hurting me.
A 2004-2005 trip that culminated in a six-month contract more or less wiped out my emergency fund. Turned out to be a good thing when completing my FAFSA for grad school. Through school I managed to get my emergenct fund back up to a decent amount in preparation for my move this summer. I was happy.
Today, I'm even happier. Post pay-day and paying rent, utilities, and accounting for some upcoming payments: credit cards and overpaying student loan I made a transfer to my Ultimate Savings account that put me above $6K. Woohoo. That's not the that's recommended but it's almost six months of rent which ensures I won't be homeless while job searching should it ever come to that.
I'm watching the Suze Orman show and a caller has a $1,200 payment for her car. That's more than my rent.