Life happens day after day; the car breaks down, you get an unexpected Doctor’s bill, your hours get cut at work and you can’t make the rent or house payment. How do you handle these emergencies financially? You need an Emergency Fund of at least $1,000 to $1,500. These funds should be in a separate savings account. They should not be touched except for emergencies.
February Behind the Scenes:
If you had an emergency and needed $700.00 for a car repair today, do you have the funds without using credit cards? Many people don’t have funds to handle even a small emergency like a car repair and must turn to a credit card or payday loan. If you charge $700.00 on a credit card and make payments of $25.00 it will take you 39 months to pay it off (over 3 years) and you will pay a total of $950.00 due to interest.Having an emergency account, greatly decreases the stress in dealing with these types of emergencies.
In fact, having an emergency fund is initially more important than paying off debts. So, find a way to build this up fast. Make minimum payments on your debt short term to stockpile cash for your emergency fund. Why is this important?
If you don’t have an emergency fund,
you will continue to go into debt
for every emergency that occurs.
Keep inspired by using this Emergency Savings Printable. Print it out and post on your refrigerator, on your desk or in your planner. Color in each level until your account is fully funded. Then save this page for your finance binder (more about this next month!) and as a reminder of your journey and the importance of an emergency savings account.
In addition to setting goals each year, think and plan out how you will continue to learn and grow every year. Be a lifelong learner by adding skills, interests and knowledge every year. Not only will this expand your mind, it will also inspire others, allow you to develop new relationships, make you a more interesting person and can even help develop your career and personal story.
Many years back, I decided I wanted to become a better speaker. Whether just being able to talk at church, in front of a group at work, or someday become a professional speaker; I recognized that I needed more skills to be able to speak effectively in front of a crowd. As a child, I was very shy, but as an adult I’ve realized I have a lot to say and share! To expand this skill, I read about a local group that met at a nearby library called Toastmasters (http://www.toastmasters.org/). Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. I joined and over the next year, I jumped in and learned how to prepare a speech and to speak confidently to groups. But there were many more benefits: I built additional self-confidence, formed new friendships and came more-and-more out of my shell. Since this time, I have given countless speeches on parenting, faith, finances and other areas to many groups of people.
So, what do you want to learn this year? A new language, a new craft, a computer program, how to change a flat tire, start a blog, to grow your business, to start a side hustle, learn to cook, start a new career?
Pick one thing and take the next step. Find a class, a course on-line, a book at the library or a mentor who can teach you the ropes. The sky is the limit. Be a lifelong learner!