Saving Money: It's not "if" but "when" STUFF happens.

Saving Money for Emergencies: Your Second Step Toward Financial Freedom

Your first paragraph ...Saving Money: Everytime I try to save...

So you've finished your spending plan. You're reviewing it regularly and making adjustments to stay on track. But doesn't it seem like just when you start to make progress STUFF happens?

You know, the car needs a new transmission, sewage backs up in the basement and you have to replace the drain, or your daughter calls from college needing money.

So the question is not what do you do "if" stuff happens, but what do you do "when" stuff happens? How do you keep a budget when STUFF happens?.

Saving Money: Set up an emergency savings account.

The solution is plan for emergencies. Anticipate the unanticipated! Set up a savings account specifically for emergencies.

Although there are many money saving ideas, the simplest method is to include a line item for emergency savings in your spending plan.

  • On each payday take a part of your pay check and put it into a separate savings account for emergencies only.
  • Ask your employer if they have direct deposit. If so, allocate, if possible, 10% of your pay check to be direct deposited into a savings account for emergencies. If you can't do 10% yet, then start with $5.00. The point is to develop a discipline of saving.
  • Continue to add to the account until you get at least $1,000 set aside in a savings account for emergencies. This money is only to be used in case of an emergency. If you have to use it for an emergency, then start the process over and replenish the account.

For your emergency savings, you only want to use a savings account, not a certificate of deposit, money market account, mutual funds, or treasury bills.

You will need to be able to get quick access to your emergency savings. After all, if its an emergency, you don't want to have to wait several days to get to your money, right?

Saving Money: There is something about money in the bank...

When you first start saving money, it may be difficult. But once you see the balance growing, it feels good and you will not want to touch it. There's something about having money in the bank that's liberating and motivating.

This may seem like a small step, but it's really setting the stage for the financial discipline you'll need later. I'm actually setting you up to get comfortable with waiting for what you want instead of using credit to buy on demand.

Saving Money: For everything else there's Mastercard...!

Without realizing it, you may have developed the habit of immediate gratification. Understand that the major credit card companies have developed a marketing machine that encourages you to buy impulsively using credit.

Remember that commercial by MasterCard? "...Spending time at the ballpark with your kid, 'priceless', for everything else there's MasterCard".

The subtle message in the ad is "spending time with your child is so important that you shouldn't be concerned with how much it costs, just put it on the credit card and pay it later".

Well you can spend time with your kid at the local park actually playing baseball for free. You don't have to go to the professional ball park, and get into more debt, in order to spend time with with your kid.

Develop the discipline of saving money toward a goal. In this case, start saving money for emergencies.

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