Friday, February 20, 2009

SAVING FOR AN EMERGENCY

Sometimes owning a home or a vehicle can cause you problems....and money. Something unexpected happens and suddenly, you have to spend money that you weren't planning on. In our case, carpenter ants have decided to move into our home and yesterday my husband's car died. So now, we have to spend money to get rid of the ants (anybody want them?) and to fix the car.

It is for times like this that you want to have money saved in the bank. This is so that, in case of a situation like a job layoff, a home or car repair, etc., you will have some money to fall back on. Then you won't have to go into debt (or get further in debt) by putting it on a credit card.

To do this, you'll need to decide how much money you want to save in the event of an emergency, and you begin saving for it. The thing that scares alot of people about saving for an emergency fund is the amount. Years ago I read somewhere that you should have at least a month's salary saved up. Some people recommend three to six months.

For many people, the thought of saving even one month's salary is a daunting task. Not to mention six months.

I don't think I have never read Dave Ramsey's books but I keep hearing about him. I heard somewhere that he recommends having $1000 for an emergency fund, which I think is a great idea. Even saving up for that amount can be difficult for many people. When you're pretty much living paycheck to paycheck, how do you come up with extra money?

Also, it's so much easier to spend money on something when it is staring you in the face. It's alot harder to save for an "emergency" that hasn't happened yet. You like to hope that maybe there just won't be one! After all, it will never happen to you, right?

Many times there are things that can be cut out of the budget in order to save money, but it hurts! Give even the faintest whisper that someone should give up their daily Starbucks or diet Pepsi (gasp) and you may find yourself in an argument. Suggest that someone drop cable, cell phones, the internet, or the newspaper in order to save money and you may have a problem on your hands.

Dare to even suggest that someone give up their extra car to save money and you may find yourself alone in a room, talking to yourself. Suggest that someone scale down their home and buy a smaller one in order to have smaller payments to save money and it's on....

Do I need my own car? Well, no, I don't (don't tell my husband I said that). It's not like there aren't buses around. I could drive my husband to work if I needed a car that day. It is just that it's convenient to have my own car. Many of us don't even question owning two cars. I need one because it is convenient to have one. It would make my life more difficult not to have my own car.

Are you wishing you could start an emergency fund but wonder how you could afford to do it? Why not take a little notebook and write down everything you spend money on for the next few weeks. Everything. No matter how small. That will let you know where your money is going.

Ask yourself, "If there was a serious need in my family and we needed money right away, what could I cut out of our budget? What could I live without, no matter how inconvenient? What changes could we make in our spending habits?" If the budget cannot be adjusted ask if perhaps there might be a way to generate some more income. When you find your answers then maybe you'll find the beginning of your emergency fund.

11 comments:

  1. We have the Dave Ramsey emergency fund in place. Great post! We are in an emergency now...our fridge is freezing all our food. Hate it when we have to use our emergency money. LOL

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  2. Mimi: When the kids were little somehow they'd turn the knob or bump it and then our freezer would start trying to freeze our food too. Just look on the bright side - you have two freezers....most people only have one, lol!

    I hate spending our emergency money too...sigh.Now we'll have to build it back up.

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  3. We've been saving up for emergencies for about a year now and we feel pretty good about what we've done. Thanks for sharing this with your readers. Everyone needs to have something put aside for emergencies even food. I came over via The Secret is In the Sauce.

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  4. FANTASTIC post! WOW!
    We have just started to really budget ourselves and keeping envelopes aside of the money we are willing to spend a month on certain yhings.
    It's a great way to realize how much money we are blowing all the time.

    ps LOVE the new look!

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  5. Wow! That was quick! Thanks for visiting my blog. Good to know that we have those things in common. I didn't notice before but I did just now that you have code up for grabbing your button. I did and put it in my blogroll in pictures widget.

    Have a blessed weekend! Our family is going to camp with the youth until Tuesday. I'll have lots of pics to share hopefully next week when we get back. I'm looking forward to a great time. My hubby and I are facilitating a session on purity. Please pray for us and the youth as we minister. Thanks.

    Wow! This was a long comment. I guess I got excited!

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  6. We have the Dave Ramsey emergency fund in place too. Not long after we fully funded it we found out our car needed $2000 in repairs. That was not good news, but at least I knew we could pay for it.
    Toni
    http://thehappyhousewife.com

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  7. This is such a timely post for me. We have been talking and talking about having the "DR emergency recommended fund" and yet we keep finding other places for our money. This is timely b/c we are about to figure out how our tax return is going to divided up.

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  8. Great post! Love that Dave Ramsey...gives great counsel!

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  9. Just stopping by from SITS to say hello! =)

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  10. I completely agree that saving for an emergency fund is a fantastic and very useful thing to save for. Of course there are many ways to save and you idea about the car is a good one.

    In fact, I actually sold my car in December and now only get by with my bicycle. I have ridden the bus twice in two months, not jumped on either a train or in a taxi and I just don't miss any of those forms of transport (yet)!

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  11. Hi,

    Yes, I totally agree about having an E=Fund in place. With over 4 months of living expenses saved and a regular savings account; it makes all the sacrificing and frugal living worth while when things come up and costs money; like fixing the car, etc.

    BTW-I'm new to your blog. Will visit often!

    Sheena

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