A financial emergency can be devastating but it doesn’t have to be if you are prepared. Unfortunately, we were not prepared. But that is about to change thanks to Dave Ramsey and an emergency fund. I started his classes in June. I thought the emergency fund was brilliant, but I would start it after summer. We needed our play money during the summer. Then I could buckle down and attack our debt and that fund.
So here is a look into our 2 months. It has been a rough one. Really rough one.
It started out great. We had planned and saved for an end of summer vacation to New Orleans. We went with the kids and it was AMAZING! We had a blast. We walked a lot, rode rides at the park, played in the pool, saw a Triple A Game, and so much more. It was great and everything I wanted it to be.
Then it was time to prepare for school. Little man started prek and my daughter was heading to 3rd grade. Exciting, scarey, expensive. Every parent knows that the beginning of school means money. School supplies, uniforms or new clothes, hair cuts, shoes, and everything else that comes with back to school. I was so excited that this year I could afford nice things for my kids. I actually splurged on my daughter’s backpack. She always gets a cheap one and knows that mama expects her to be mindful of the price of everything. She as THRILLED this year when I said she could get a special backpack from Justice! I ordered all of her uniforms online. I found great deals, but was so excited that this year she was starting with all new clothing from great retailers. She felt beautiful and I was proud.
You see, after all those expenses, we were ok. We had enough for our essentials, but not for extras. But it was not a big deal right? We’d get back on track next month. Well…that was until… IT happened.
IT HAPPENED! My husband hurt his back at work.
That is when things got hard. We have an insurance plan that requires you meet a deductible before it pays anything. I’d love to tell you it is a cheap deductible. But it is not. It is in the thousands. When we got this plan I expected I would be the only one using the insurance so that was ok. My husband never gets sick.
So after a trip to the Emergency room, shots, medicines that did not work, more medicine, Chiropractor visits that made it worse, more medicine, Back Doctor appointments, brace, supplies, and more medicine we REACHED our deductible. Good right? NO! Remember we were low on funds after all the expenses. (Worker’s Comp is a joke btw) So this medical emergency took all of our essentials money. We had no money. Each new check, paid for his medical expenses. We did not see this coming! We were not prepared.
He has been off his feet almost every day since he hurt his back. He works as much as he can, but he has had to miss a lot of work. Again, NOT good.
I’ve had to prepare the kids for school alone, go to all the meetings alone, do everything at home alone, and oh yeah, I work full time too. GOD is the only reason I did not curl up in a ball and quit. I do not like being the only participating parent. We are a team, and I work best that way.
I shared all of this with you to show why it is SO important to have that emergency fund. I should have done what Dave Ramsey said and started saving right away. BUT I wanted to wait so we could fun stuff and give more to the kids for school. You know, nothing crazy, just enjoy our extra money. I kept thinking I could start that fund later. You know, since NOTHING ever happens unexpected right? WRONG! If I had started that in June, we would have had something to help us through this time.
So listen up, we are in a tough spot now and it is because I didn’t start that emergency fund right away. So guess what? Even though it is tight and we are paying more medical bills than I care to talk about, I am setting aside a little every month for that fund. I’ll try to update you each month on how we are doing with saving, paying off debt, working towards being financially secure. But for now, please take my advice and start an emergency fund.
If you haven’t or can’t take the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Class, here are his main suggestions about this:
- First and most important step to becoming financially fit is to start an emergency fund.
- Get $1000 right now
- Put it in a savings account or place that you can not touch except for emergencies.
$1000 is a big deal for most of us. So start saving this week. Set aside everything that you can. If you did $50 each week it would take you 20 weeks. That is about 5 months. You can do that. Then you’ll still set aside $50 each week but it will go to paying off debt. If you can set aside more, GO FOR IT! Just do it now!
Do you have an emergency fund? How did you do it? Any tips for the rest of us?