Expect the Unexpected

At the end of the mowing season in the Fall, our lawnmower died.  In the past few weeks both our washing machine and dishwasher have died and our car needed $500 in repairs. Yesterday when Mark and I rolled out of bed we found that our bed sheets were so threadbare that they were tearing!

Goodness! When it rains it pours!

While all of that is a lot to deal with in a short period of time, I’m grateful that we have a “rainy day” fund to deal with the “expected but unexpected” expenses.  Dave Ramsey calls it the “emergency fund.”  We used to call it “the credit card,” and that got us in lots of trouble.

An emergency fund is a security blanket for your finances.  It helps you plan for the what-you-know-will-happen-but-you-don’t-know-when-it-will-happen things in life. Appliances wear out. Cars need repair. Houses need maintenance.  These are the realities of life.

Tuck away a little bit of money with each paycheck and you’re on your way to making sure you have enough money stashed for the realities of life.

Start somewhere. If you’re not currently saving for an emergencies, start with a set amount each paycheck.  Even $20 or $30 a paycheck can get you started in the right direction!

Automate your deposits.  If you can have the money pulled directly out of your paycheck and put into your savings account…do it!  If you can’t have it taken directly out of your paycheck, set up an automatic online transfer from your checking to savings account each time you get paid.

Increase when possible. If you’re putting away $50 a paycheck and you’ve got a little extra money at the end of the month, increase your emergency fund by $10-$20.  It may not seem like a lot, but those regular deposits add up!

What about you? What strategies do you use to save money for the emergencies of life?

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4 Responses to Expect the Unexpected

  1. Lori says:

    It has been raining on our family for quite some time…someone recently mentioned that “it can’t rain forever” and we are eagerly anticipating the sunshine! In the meantime, we have been blessed by the teachings of Dave Ramsey. We began following his program several years ago and had about 18 months of living expenses put aside in our emergency fund. We never anticipated needing it, however, here we are in month 13 of unemployment. This period of time has been extremely stressful, however, we are so glad that we followed the DR program and had no debt (other than our mortgage), lived well within our means and had funded our emergency fund. In these uncertain times, we’d recommend that everyone jump on the Dave Ramsey train!

  2. Money is so tight most the time that some weeks all we can save is $5. But God bless our little tax deduction. When the refund came in, we paid off two debts then put the rest in savings. That build it quickly. Then my husband has been making a lot of bonus at work. I’ve been putting $100-200 into savings each week for those weeks where I can’t even pay all the bills let alone the broken things.

    It does seem to pour when it rains. And once it starts, it doesn’t want to start. I don’t even want to talk about how bad things got July-November last year. Hurricane Sandy may have been a very destructive event but the overtime pay it brought to my husband when he got sent to NY to help restore power, helped dig us out of a horrible hole. Between that and the refund, our emergency fund it now fully funded.

  3. Theresa says:

    Our family is on the Dave Ramsey train. :~) We were blessed to be in an FPU class just after our twins were born and then later, actually became FPU coordinators! In a matter of less than 3 years, we paid off over $30,000 in student loan debt, have an emergency fund, all the while going down to one income when the kids were born! (My husband does not make 6 figures so it has taken a lot of cutting back and using coupons and just being aware of where the money was going to pull this off!)

    We actually get to meet Dave Ramsey next month at a Coordinator Meeting in our area and then attend the the Living a Legacy night. I would also recommend Dave Ramsey—absolutely!

  4. Victoria Figueroa says:

    We have tried living below our means a few years back by claiming no dependents on our paychecks a few years before our child was born. When we get out return at tax time we have it deposited into savings. This method forced us to save and worked well in helping us save for a down payment for our home and to build an emergency fund.

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