Tagged With: emergency fund

How to know when something is really an emergency

I’ve talked a lot about emergencies, those unfortunate aspects of life that you have to deal with sometimes, ones that often require a monetary outlay (dipping into your emergency fund, if you have one). I’ve made comments as to things that can feel like emergencies that actually aren’t. The example I often use is that … Continue reading »

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What to do when you have an emergency

Emergencies happen. We can minimize our exposure to incidents as best we can, but there are some things that we can’t control. That’s why they’re emergencies. We can debate what counts as an emergency. For example, I don’t believe wear-and-tear car repairs are an emergency, because if you own a car, you know that you’re … Continue reading »

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The debt blunderbuss, or can you have an emergency fund and still pay off debt?

There is a financial cage match article that I can’t write: debt vs. the emergency fund. It’s not hard to see why there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to question of what comes first before the other. How much debt you have and how long it will take you to pay it off matters. If it will … Continue reading »

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Can you use your retirement account as your emergency fund?

  My high school algebra teacher always had some sagacious advice for our class. “Open the door before you walk through it.” That sort of thing. This always elicited a laugh from us, which I suppose was the point. Though laughs aside, there is an order to operations. Walk before you run. Shallow before deep … Continue reading »

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This is how much you need for your emergency fund

  An emergency fund, as I’ve talked about before, is a fundamental part of any sound financial life. You want to get to the point where you could live for six months on what you have socked away. (Retirement accounts don’t count here, as there are huge penalties involved for tapping them.) But most likely … Continue reading »

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How to have an emergency fund when you’re still in debt

  Some of you have already paid off their debts and are well on your way to becoming wealthy enough to feel safe, live easy, and accomplish anything. But some of you are knee-deep (or neck-deep) in debt, possibly living paycheck-to-paycheck. The living is anything but easy. I get it. Last time, I talked about … Continue reading »

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When your life changes, change your emergency fund

  An emergency fund is a vital tool, not just in your financial situation, but also for your sense of emotional grounding. But no kidding. I like to joke that a fully-funded emergency fund is like anti-anxiety medication, but without any side effects. And what do I mean by “fully-funded”? I mean six months equivalent … Continue reading »

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Why the Home Depot and Target breaches aren’t an argument for using credit cards

  Another month, another major retailer announces that their internal records have been hacked, and their customer credit/debit card accounts stolen. This time it was 60 million accounts, making it the biggest breach ever. I was at dinner the other night when the discussion of the latest breach at Home Depot came up. I was … Continue reading »

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Why overdraft charges are okay (but unecessary)

  Overdraft charges are the great irony of banking. You get charged a fee when you try to make a purchase and you don’t have sufficient money in your account. It would almost be a joke if it weren’t so humorless. Nonetheless, I can’t say that I’m against them.

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How would you handle a loss of income?

  The local free paper in town recently did a story on the local homeless population, interviewing a few of them and getting their own individual stories rather than treating them as one faceless mass. Today, I was reading the letters to the editor in the actual paper, and surveyed the usual gamut of reactions, … Continue reading »

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