Many of us are paying the price of the excitement we once felt over having our first credit card until it took us down a long dark hallway of spending for things we could not afford outright with cash. Thinking back now, if only we had learned to budget our money and save for that rainy day. Funny thing is, money was not a subject that people talked about openly – however, if the Jones’s suddenly bought a new car – they were the envy of the neighborhood, and others had to get one just to keep up with them. No one stopped to ask how they did it, with cash saved up or with credit!
We should have just been happy for them, and satisfied with what we had. Many of us learn to late, and now as we pay off our cards and move to be more debtfree at the beginning of our retirement years I can only imagine what that emergency fund would look like if instead of credit cards we intentionally put money aside each pay week into an interest bearing savings account that we never touched. Back in our earlier days, we were paid weekly – just $10 a week (52 weeks each year) – would be $520. the first year; after ten years, that would be $5,200 – keeping that up for fifty years, throughout your working life before retirement, would total out to $26,000 alone – this does not include the interest thst would be accruing along the way.
Now, that is setting aside only $10 a week out of each paycheck and never touching it; what if instead of the $10, you did that with $100 – now, you would see well over $260,000 plus all the interest acruing. How foolish I was to not see that sooner, or be advised how to save. I have come along ways financially in being able to at least make ends meet, one of the best investments of this year was Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University program. I am working the baby steps and maintain a starter emergency fund of $1000. Its not easy, but one thing for sure is we must be forever mindful of budgeting and tracking our dollars to make sure they are doing the jobs we set for them to do.
If something comes up unexpectedly one month, it is nice to know you have money to turn to for that expense. However, this is my new credit card and every month if I have borrowed anything from myself I must put it back the following month to keep it up to the $1000 mark. It makes one think, do I really need this before you tap into the fund. My new goal is eliminating all my debt expenses, building the emergency fund 6mos to a year worth of expenses, and doing the “I AM DEBTFREE SCREAM!” I pray to God I have the opportunity, and want to help others achieve it with me.
So, once more I ask, DO YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND? If the answer is ‘no’, I encourage you to start now and get your first $1000 into an interest bearing savings account that grows and that you are not tempted to touch often.