I dreamt about finances on Friday night, which was odd for me because my dreams typically revolve around a very different subject matter. I’m almost positive the source of my dream was my increasingly frequent thoughts about the status of our emergency fund, and the fact I mentioned them in my roundup post last Friday.
In my dream Vonnie and I were talking to a financial planner who was telling us the same thing I stated in my post on Friday. Each budget period we should set aside a fixed amount of money into our emergency fund and not touch it unless we absolutely had to. We were having this conversation while looking at a calendar. My wife stated that she understood what the planner was saying, and then pointed at December 25th and said, “So we’ll have money tucked away for Christmas presents, right?” The financial planner scowled at both of us and said, “No, if you want to save for Christmas presents, you cut your spending and save even more.”
At this point I woke up, and started thinking about our finances and how much we really need to build a true emergency fund.
I thought about our most recent failed attempt to fund an emergency fund. I recently received an extra lump sum in my paycheck for submitting an idea at work that will result in a patent application by my employer. It was a great start for an emergency fund. Then the battery in our van needed to be replaced, which we decided constituted enough of an emergency to use some of the funds. Last weekend we went to St. Louis for the Financial Blogger Conference and used the rest of the money so that we could really enjoy ourselves.
We didn’t need to use those funds.
We had enough in our weekly budget to buy the battery when we replaced it, but we didn’t want to have to squeeze something out of our weekend activities. We had enough funds for what we planned to do in St. Louis, but we wanted to have extra funds available “just in case.” We went from “just having the funds available” to justifying the spending of all of it because we don’t get away just the two of us very often.
So again our emergency fund sits at the big goose egg.
So at 3:25am on Saturday morning I challenged myself to do something about it. From now on as part of our bi-monthly paycheck and bill paying process we will put $100 into our emergency fund. My goal is to have my baby emergency fund at $1000 by the time we complete our debt management program on February 28th. In order to do that, we’ll have to come up with an extra $200 in addition to our now regularly scheduled emergency fund contributions between now and then. Each Friday I’ll provide an update on the state of our emergency fund as part of my I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup post.
If I miss an update, or it doesn’t increase like it’s supposed to, I expect all of you to give me a big “What’s Up?”
What’s the state of your emergency fund? Are you having trouble building up your fund just as we are?
Will you challenge yourself to build it up over the next 4 months with me?