I've had a lot on my mind lately and I'm hoping to do some heavy blogging to get it all sorted out. Forgive me!
I make no claims on being any sort of financial know-it-all. In fact, I consider myself a beginning level student, but I am so blown away with things that I'm learning that I. MUST. SHARE! I've mentioned before that we've been reading Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and since then we talk about Dave like he's a close friend. "Oh Dave says...."
Luckily, Luke and I have a lot of similar desires and financial goals and we started out that way even before we were married. We believe in being debt-free and have been able to start off this way and maintain that throughout our marriage. Dave has great philosophies on buying used cars with cash, only buying what you can afford and living within your means even if it seems embarrassing. Yes, that means telling your friends "Yes we did buy a 10 year old Saturn." or "Sorry we can't go out to dinner this week because its not in the budget" or "Yes we are living in a one bedroom apartment with a baby." Have you ever heard anyone say that? Not me. Or very rarely. What's one dinner on a credit card so we can keep up with the Joneses? Snowball that mentality and you can get into real trouble.
Ok, I'm getting off topic from what I really want to talk about. Dave recommends establishing a $1000 emergency fund. And quickly! Have a garage sale, sell something, he even recommends delivering pizzas if you have to!
We've hit some heavy rainy days lately and I'll share them just to illustrate my point. Luke's car needed some repairs in order to pass smog (actually that's still a work in progress that I'm hoping the journey will end soon!) But we've had to pour over $1000 into it. My laptop has bitten the dust, my car most likely needs new clutch and we are expecting our baby in 2 months and have yet to buy any baby gear!! Yikes!! Fortunately we believe in savings and these experiences more of a nuisance and just painful to say goodbye to our hard earned dollar. (Who doesn't prefer hoarding their $ than to giving it to auto mechanics?!)
But what I've learned from Dave lately is that car repairs DO NOT equal an emergency. This blows my mind!! Apparently cars will always need repairs. Christmas happens every year at the same time. Your kids will need new clothes. Not emergencies. These should be line items in your monthly budget! Having a special car repair fund in addition to your $1000 emergency fund? Genius! I think that is very wise and can alleviate the stress of these "rainy days."
I feel very blessed and fortunate that Luke and I have employment and I can really tell you that you can find a lot of peace in your life if you aren't living paycheck to paycheck. It IS possible!!