When An Emergency Fund Doesn’t Feel Secure
Once I got out of debt and built up an emergency fund, I thought the coast was clear. That I had moved past the major hurdle and that life would be easy breezy going forward. Boy was I wrong.
Getting out of debt is similar to losing weight. You have the milestone of reaching your goal weight. All your energy and focus has been on creating a new lifestyle to lose weight (the debt). You cut back on eating (spending) and you increase exercise (income from a side job). You measure your progress in terms of pounds or inches lost (debt paid off) and you look forward to the day when you can say you have reached your goal weight (debt free).
But once you get out of debt, you can’t go back to your old money habits, like spending out of control or stopping the budgeting process. Just like weight loss, a permanent change in lifestyle and habits has to occur in order to win financially. Going back into debt will only bring you back to the crisis that you’re your life before debt freedom. This means continuing to live below your means and still continuing to create a budget each month – to make sure you are telling your money where to go.
Budgeting also ensures that the emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of expenses that you have worked hard to save will not be in jeopardy each month. If you get lazy in the budgeting process, it’s very easy and tempting to reach over into the emergency fund and transfer a few dollars here and there to cover your sloppy spending behavior. Suddenly the fund that was supposed to create a cushion between you and life starts looking paper thin and the stress that debt once gave you will start creeping into your spirit.
You owe it to yourself and the sacrifice you endured to get out of debt to protect your emergency fund. And the best way to do so is to create a unique budget each and every month and execute it so that you can focus your resources the best way possible.
Stay tuned to the Every Single Dollar Facebook page in the coming weeks as I will be announcing a brand new program to teach you how to budget and stay accountable!