So, you want to get out of debt and give your family a brighter future.
Congratulations! That’s fantastic!
Realizing that changes need to be made in your financial picture is the first step towards freedom. Unfortunately, now is also the time that many people think, “I’d love to do that, but there is just no way!”
I know this feeling quite well. I’ve been there. I remember when I thought there was no possible way to do anything any differently when my husband brought up trying to pay off debt 12 years ago. And I was right. If I was caught up in living like the Jones’ (and I was), then there wasn’t any hope when it came to paying off debt.
After a lot of patience on his part, I started to think that things could be different in 2016. I learned about the Dave Ramsey plan, and started applying it. Now, we are “Dave-ish,” and don’t follow his program to a T. We have worked on creating our own “program” which works for us.
Early on in our journey, I learned that an emergency fund was so important. If an emergency fund isn’t in place, then you are likely to go right back into debt when a big need arises.
An emergency fund gives us wives and mamas a sense of security. It honestly helps me sleep better at night. Sure, I could claim to “depend on God” when we didn’t have savings due to spending money unwisely, but it is so much better to actually be a good steward of the money He has given us. This year the income I personally make from my Etsy shop has decreased tenfold. I make outfits for special occasions, and a lot of those have been cancelled this year. Our emergency fund has definitely helped my peace of mind.
Sometimes sacrifices need to be made in order to get your emergency fund started. Sell items around the house on eBay. Cut back your grocery budget. Ask your husband to pick up extra shifts at work if he can. Little by little, treat savings as a “bill” that you have to pay to yourself.
Before you know it, your fund will begin to build!
It looks like another stimulus payment will be sent to us soon. If at all possible, I’d like to encourage you to save it. This could give you the boost you need to start paying off debt with your normal paychecks.
The amount of money that you need to have in your emergency fund will vary depending on your circumstances. It should be a safety net that would be able to cover most emergency needs when they arrive. I personally don’t believe $1,000 is enough. When deciding what to initially save, take into account things like insurance deductibles, medical needs, and the age of your home and car.
Your emergency fund needs to be in a separate account that you do not have access to. Seriously, pretty much forget it isn’t there if you are tempted to spend it.
And then if you need it, it will be there!
Related: Parts of Our Financial Story
Our emergency fund has fluctuated depending on our needs. When we didn’t have a mortgage payment to worry about, it was lower than it is today.
I’d love to encourage you to take a small step towards saving today. It can be such a blessing to your husband to take an interest in your family’s finances. You can do it, ladies!
Shop for shirts made just for Christian ladies here, our debt free shirts here, and my Etsy shop here.