Health Insurance, Part 1

Growing up, I took health care for granted. I thought everyone had access to great doctors, regular dental exams, and a new pair of glasses every 2 years. And I thought all this stuff was free.

Yeah. Not so much. Continue Reading »

Well, I have decided that Fridays will be Case Study days. Are you so excited? No? Maybe just confused? Well, ok, I guess I can explain.

Case Study Fridays will involve real world-ish examples of people who want to use their finances to meet certain goals. Since I will probably be addressing one financial issue per week, the case study will involve someone trying to deal with that particular issue. Single people, married people, people with kids, retired people, all kinds of people! All kinds of goals, too: saving for an emergency fund, getting out of debt, early retirement, funding a college education, and so on and so forth. Continue Reading »

Emergency Fund How To, Part 3

What constitutes an emergency? While it is obvious that losing your job, wrecking your car, or major health problems fit the category, you really need to define “emergency” for yourself. This is a wise thing to do because it will probably keep you from frittering away your emergency fund on impulse purchases.

I know, I know, this requires discipline, and that’s never fun. I mean, there are going to be times when you’re tempted to use your emergency fund to buy some big ticket items. You’ll think to yourself “I have $1000. I can afford this. I’ll have time to save up again!” Continue Reading »

Emergency Fund How To, Part 2

Where should you keep your Emergency Fund? I think you’ll do best if you keep it somewhere too difficult to access on a daily basis where it can earn a decent amount of interest. This eliminates anywhere in your house, your checking account, and, in most cases, a savings account associated with your local bank. Continue Reading »

Emergency Fund How To, Part 1

So, you want to create an emergency fund. How do you do it? Here’s a shocker: it all starts with goals.

First, decide how much you want to save. If you’re like most people, you probably have little to no savings right now. If that is the case, it can be a little overwhelming to make your goal 3-6 months worth of living expenses. Heck, if you just started your budget, you might not even know what 3 months worth of living expenses amounts to! Continue Reading »

Previous posts have covered budgets and goals, which are necessary building blocks for a strong financial future. Another important element is the emergency fund. Once you decide on your goals and create your budget, funding your savings against future emergencies can keep you on track when bad stuff happens.

One of my dad’s favorite sayings is “Just remember, life doesn’t always match the picture in your head.” He was right. I always imagined the perfect ideal, but reality often turned out quite different. The thing is, nobody really knows what their future holds. Continue Reading »