We have decided to make a little change to the bimonthly giveaway this time around and instead of giving away a number of small amounts, we are instead going to give $100 cash to help someone start (or reinforce) their emergency fund. When it comes to getting out of debt, one of the most difficult aspects many people have is getting that emergency fund in place, but it really is an important factor to succeed in your long term financial goals. There are plenty of ways to enter and I truly hope that we can help one of you get that emergency fund in better shape:
Of course, you should stop with entering this giveaway. Most people could probably benefit by spending a bit more time making sure that their emergency fund is adequately funded. Are you one of those people?
I found that the biggest hurdle for me when I needed to create my first emergency fund was starting it (and then consistently adding to it). When the main goal is to get out of debt and there are so many other bills and expenses which need to get paid, it’s easy to ignore the emergency fund. My guess is that this is the case for many people. The problem is that you end up ignoring the emergency fund at your own peril, and Murphy’s Law is bound make you regret not making it more of a priority. here are a few things that you should do today if you are one of those that has been ignoring your emergency fund:
1. Decide a emergency fund goal amount. My fist emergency fund was $500. Once you reach that minimum, set a new goal. Then another until you reach the point where you feel confident that your emergency fund is enough to withstand any possible emergency.
2. Figure out a way to reach that goal as quickly as possible. I funded my first emergency fun by selling stuff around the house. Chances are you are going to have to go beyond your regular income to make this happen, but that shouldn’t be a reason to give up. Yes, it will take effort, but having it in place will make reaching your financial goals so much less stressful.
3. Don’t forget about it. The emergency fund is something that should be added to on a consistent and regular basis. The more you are able to fund it, the more secure you will be in reaching your financial goals.
I have been quite thankful that I have had an emergency fund in place a number of times in my life. It includes one time when my car decided to break down in the middle of nowhere and required a several hundred dollar tow to get it to the nearest gas station (this was even with AAA). Or the time I had a tooth broken at the nerve during a basketball game and dental insurance that still left me with a $500 dental emergency bill. In both cases, the payments were painful, but I had the money to take care of them right then and there without stressing about how I was going to come up with the money.
Do you have an emergency fund and have you ever had to use one in the past?
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