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Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

Last post Tue, Mar 11 2014 11:36 AM by ann. 28 replies.
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  • Sun, Feb 17 2013 9:11 PM In reply to

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    Tracy - great job - sometomes, just getting started is the hardest part...

    Good Luck!

    Hannah

  • Sun, Feb 17 2013 9:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

     .s. I think I know what you all mean there loud and clear.

    Cindy ---
  • Sun, Feb 17 2013 11:06 PM In reply to

    • ann
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 25 2008
    • Posts 42

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    Dear All:  It's strange that this thread should get bumped up today because it was just what I needed to read.  I actually have achieved a fully funded emergency fund at last, one that could cover me for a year without a paycheck if I lost my job  - yippee!  It wasn't easy and it wasn't quick, but slow-and-steady eventually wins the race.  I did it by paying myself (i.e. the fund) first from each paycheck, then I pay the usual, regular bills, and what's left is what I live on until the next paycheck. 

    So here's how this thread helped me today:  I have a great looking sofa but it's uncomfortable.  My boyfriend calls it the "cement couch".  Because it's President's Day Weekend the furniture stores are bombarding us with advertising and offering great deals.  So, I came "this" close to doing some serious shopping to buy a new sofa.  However, I would have had to dip into the emergency fund.  Now, I've never taken a dime out since starting it so I can't believe I almost talked myself into taking out a huge chunk (I want a really good quality sofa this time) for something that is far from an emergency.  Anyway, the moment of madness has passed.  I reminded myself that it will be President's Day again next year, and there will be great deals then too.  So I'll buy a sofa then when I've saved up the money for it in an additional fund. 

    Congratulations to all of you who've climbed this particular mountain and best wishes to those who are still climbing.  I hope my story is at least a little inspiring.     

  • Mon, Feb 18 2013 9:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    Hannah, While I was in nursing school, we were on food stamps. You can't have more than $2,000 in assets. After paying my mortgage, there would never be money for a car repair, house repair, or appliance repair, so all that would have to go on a credit card. It seems the government would want you to save more, but I can understand that they want you to spend it on food if you have it. Now I am working part time, and have more money coming in, but also no insurance now. Now that I can save some money, and I am exposed to lots of germs every day, I really want to ave a month or two of expenses as soon as possible. I am balancing that with paying off debt.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2013 9:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    Tracy - that sounds like a struggle and a balancing act for sure. Glad you are able to start saving something though-one step at a time right?

    Good luck!

    Hannah

  • Fri, Mar 7 2014 12:48 PM In reply to

    • ann
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 25 2008
    • Posts 42

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    Tracy,

    Just wondering how you are doing.  Did you manage to put a useful emergency fund together over the past year? 

  • Fri, Mar 7 2014 2:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain


     Dear Ann,

    I was able to start a retirement fund at the bank, I put $2,000 in a 401K.  I have $500 in savings.  First retirement savings since I got divorced.

    In October, I went to a different job and lost 4 work days a month.  This decreased my income and I did get state health insurance in January.  I work with patients with hepatits and MRSA, so it is important I have health insurance.  Talking to my fellow nurses, it is very difficult to get it at work. The peace of mind is priceless.  I also lost a lot of child support in January, about 20%, and with court costs, lower income and child support, we are finding it tight. 

    I had more money in the bank in October, it is less now, but I am at a better job.  I was in a nursing home and I am now a mental health nurse.  Neither well paid, but I do like my new one much better.  The residents smoke there and I am allegic to smoke, but I am happier and really like being able to get my job done, and use the bathroom and eat something during a 9 hour shift. At the nursing home it was very hard to leave the floor. Ever.

    I am not currently looking for a different job, I still work on call at the nursing home and at the schools as a nurse and para.  I had started doing art therapy in the home, that is my master's, but with the driving my accountant pointed out I was actually paying to do the work. My Schedule C zeroed out and then some, so I have cut that way back. I have 2 extra days this week, will go towards groceries and our higher than normal utilities up here in MN.

    So, working on savings, yes. Funded, no. 

     

    ps edited to add that I needed to buy a different vehicle this year, I replaced a carpet that was 30 years old, and I have paid tuition for my son in college, all expenses that I had kind of thought I would need. Carpet and tuition paid, I do have a car loan on the SUV.  The SUV has worked so well this wnter with our very cold and snowy winter. 

  • Sun, Mar 9 2014 10:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    our emergency fund has replaced the roof on the main house a new heating and air system .  replaced 3 or 4 hot water heaters , and once paid for a trip to Texas when Daddy was ill ..

    it gives me great deal of comfort that our fund had remain in place

    Gayla57

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Frugal Food and Cooking and in Slow Cooker Foods



  • Tue, Mar 11 2014 11:36 AM In reply to

    • ann
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 25 2008
    • Posts 42

    Re: Climbing the Emergency Fund Mountain

    Tracy:  Congratulations on starting a retirement fund, savings at the bank, and getting a better job.  All steps in the right direction, even though other circumstances have made things tight.  I'm amazed that nurses don't automatically have health insurance, let alone that they have difficulty getting it.  If you get sick who looks after the sick patients?  That makes no sense at all. 

    Keep stashing as much away as you can, no matter how small.  There were months when all I could put in the fund was $5.  The thing about doing it anyway, even with a tiny amount, is that you get into the habit of it.  When the time comes that you can save more, you do it without a second thought because the habit is already in place.

    It really does add up quicker than you would believe and, as Gayla said, it gives great comfort to know that you have a fund to fall back on when needed.  It's always "when" not "if".  Sigh.

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