Are You Prepared for Money Emergencies?

How much do you have saved for a rainy day, huh? Anything? Not much? A little? How about, do you have enough saved if you lose your job and it might take three or six months or more to get another one? Well?

What if your car starts making strange thumping noises? Do you have enough saved to fix it? Or is it credit card to the rescue? 

We know. Saving money is boring, especially when there are so many gazillion interesting things to spend it on. 

But stop with the crazy living already. Living on the edge is not conducive to the simple life, the stress-free life, the easy life or the truly pleasurable life. It’s just not smart to live on the edge, and did we mention stress is not good for your health?

Here’s another thought that we hate to mention, but we have to. What if you’re in a bad marriage but you feel stuck because you have nothing saved – not even enough money for a good lawyer? Then what?

Here’s something else to think about: there are very few true financial emergencies in life. These things only become “emergencies” because people haven’t built up a decent rainy day savings account to cover them. Your car breaking down is not an emergency because eventually, most cars break down. That’s not a surprise. Losing your job is not an emergency because nobody gets a guarantee with his or her job. So losing your job is harsh and awful, but it’s not an emergency. And its not an emergency to get a last minute invitation to a fabulous event that requires you to buy something new to wear. The money for this new outfit should come out of your savings if you can’t pay cash for it (and “cash” also means having the ability to pay off your credit card each month).

Not to worry about getting your rainy day fund started. Here’s how to make it easy and painless:

  • Pay yourself first! No excuses! None! Zero! If you don’t pay yourself first, you won’t do it. You’re too blessedly human, just like the rest of us, and there are just too many temptations waiting to help you part with your money every single month.
  • Pay yourself at least 10 – 20 percent of your salary every month. I promise, you will not miss 10 – 20 percent of your paycheck, and at the end of 6 months or a year, you’ll have a nice big pile of rainy day savings.
  • Just do it! Now that you’ve chosen 10 – 20 percent as your regular payment, go online and set up an auto payment from your paycheck to your savings. Its very easy to set this up, but if you have questions, then call your bank’s online department and they will walk you through. Done and done and you’ll never miss it.
  • Save a big chunk. Even a small, $500 emergency fund can make a big difference. When you receive your check on payday, immediately transfer a set amount to your savings account. Some employers can do this for you, and if you don’t think you’re disciplined enough, then ask your employer to do it.
  • Keep the change! Instead of keeping change and small bills in your wallet, put your change in a jar or other container when you get home each day. You’re less likely to spend it, and over time, your jar will fill up. When it’s full, take it to the bank and put it in your rainy day account. You won’t miss this money, either.
  • Chill already! When you’re just dying to buy something you don’t need, give yourself at least 24 hours but preferably a week to sit on the idea before actually buying it. Do you really need that pair of boots? Can you wear something you already own to your cousin’s wedding? It’s okay to spend money on yourself every once in awhile, but cutting back on unnecessary ‘luxury’ items will help you save more for a rainy day. A good trick is to force yourself not to buy the first time you see something you feel like you have to have.
  • Shop smart. With the Internet, there is no reason to pay full value for anything. When I needed a new winter coat this year, I saw a super cute one at a regular retailer online. It took me no more than 15 minutes of Internet digging to find the same exact coat for less than half the price on another reputable site. You can cost compare for literally anything you need with a quick Internet search.

If you’re ready to take the big leap into real financial freedom (mmmmm- can’t you just taste it?), then click HERE to sign up for my upcoming financial freedom class. 

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  1. This is really doable folks. When I first started working many years ago, I was a single parent making about $425 take home pay (many many years ago). My rent was $200 and utilities were about $25. I managed to have $50 automatically sent from my paycheck to savings. There were admittedly some interesting meals the last week of each month. Work the percentages. While I hope some of the readers are not paying half their take home pay for housing, in our area it was and still is a reality. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere where the ratios are better, you really can slip 10 to 20% into your freedom fund.

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