Author: Lori Volheim
What’s in your wallet? Is it less than $1,000? Auto repair shops, heating and cooling companies, and even the dentist are almost always companies you didn’t plan on needing, until you really need them. Repairs, replacements, or procedures usually happen quickly and often require immediate payment to fix.
Dave Ramsey, personal finance author and creator of The Dave Ramsey Show, states that you need $1,000 in an “Emergency Fund” for emergencies such as these or “if you suddenly lose your job or your HVAC breaks in the dead of winter” (www.daveramsey.com). Ramsey also suggests building up to a three and even six month emergency fund that could pay your bills because “it’s good to be prepared in case a big emergency hits”.
But what if you just can’t save that much money? One thousand dollars doesn’t seem like much when there are so many things in life that cost so much more and require your money NOW. Even if you’re not in a financial position to keep three to six months of savings on hand, you can still start with $1,000. Dave Ramsey says having just $1,000 on hand when you really need it will give you “Peace of Mind” and “if you have $1,000 in an emergency fund, you won’t have to go deeper into debt when the inevitable comes your way”.
So, what exactly qualifies as an emergency? Ramsey says you need to ask yourself three questions:
Is it unexpected?
Is it necessary?
Is it urgent?
According to these guidelines, that flat screen television you’ve been eyeing for months that is now 50% off does not qualify as an emergency. However, a root canal would qualify. So would needing new tires for your car or the letter from your child’s school asking for money for costumes for the school play or lots of other little things that creep up when you least expect them.
Once the emergency has been taken care of, the goal is to put all unnecessary buying on hold and build up your Emergency Fund back to $1,000 and leave it in a place where you can get to it if you need to. Unless you have an actual emergency which meets the above guidelines, the goal is to never touch your Emergency Fund. Ramsey says it is there to serve as “your insurance policy against the unpredictable” (www.ramsey.com).
Want to learn more about Dave Ramsey and his steps to financial health? Go to www.daveramsey.com and check out his website. Synergy Insurance Group is a proud sponsor of the Dave Ramsey Show which airs on local radio stations and is available anytime on iOS or Android through the app.