Get an Emergency Fund

Every [tag]financial advisor[/tag] and [tag]debt reduction expert[/tag] will say you need an [tag]emergency fund[/tag]. Some like [tag]Dave Ramsey [/tag]say you need $1000 in the [tag]bank [/tag]before you start your debt reduction [tag]snowball plan[/tag]. Others like [tag]Liz Pulliman Weston[/tag] will say $500 is good. I agree with Ramsey in principle but the reality is most can only afford to find an extra $500, so I say anything you can put into the emergency fund will help when “[tag]Murphy’s Law[/tag]” hits.

Take it from me when you don’t have the [tag]money[/tag] is when “Murphy” will show up. So Weston gives a couple of great ideas on how to start up and fund your emergency fund:

• Tax re-fund
• Don’t buy any thing accept for the necessities for a month and put the saved money away
• Sell your stuff. Yard sales, e-bay, sell your stuff for cash!
• Save your change. A penny saved is a penny earned
• Go through your bills and cut out services you don’t need.

We have done all of the above to get more cash into the house hold. The most recently I called my cable company and was able to cut $20 a month or $240 a year. We are looking at the cell phone next.

Again when there is a will there is a way. So make it happen.

The Party's Over

So a co-worker of mine mentioned that [tag]February[/tag] tends to be a slow month for [tag]retailers[/tag] because most [tag]Americans[/tag] are recovering from the “hang over” spending they did during the holiday. [tag]Credit[/tag] usage during the holiday is as much apart of the holiday season as the [tag]Christmas[/tag] tree itself. This is unfortunate.

I say this because our family used to be one of the millions of [tag]American family’s[/tag] who bought gifts that weren’t in the budget and relied on Credit to get what we wanted. This year 2006, would be different. We had a game plan. Start saving early and start shopping early.

The game plan, put $50 a month aside for Christmas. In theory we would have $600 to spend on [tag]gifts[/tag]. We tried to look for “[tag]deals[/tag]” through out the year, particularly at Costco. We started buying gifts in late summer. By the time December rolled around we had 95% of our gifts purchased! And it was all done with cash no credit!!

What did we learn? [tag]Reduced stress[/tag] by planning ahead. We didn’t go into debt for the holidays. Established a game plan for next year, which worked. We already have a couple things we want to buy at [tag]Costco[/tag] next week for Christmas gifts.

This post wasn’t meant to be we are better than you at all. In fact we are just like you but this year we really wanted to make a change, which started with a spending plan. This rolls into the biggest part of having good credit, create a [tag]livable budget[/tag] where you can afford to [tag]pay off debt[/tag] and not just pay the minimums. This allows for timely payoff of credit and fosters [tag]responsible spending[/tag].