An emergency fund prepares you for life's inevitable disasters
Having an emergency fund is a sure sign of a mature, intelligent single.
Too many singles live from paycheck to paycheck, spending every penny they have and not preparing for the future.
That's a sure way to compound a catastrophe when it comes. And believe me, it's when it comes, not if it comes. Sooner or later, bad news will show up.
Why talk about an emergency fund?
This site is for single people. It also has a lot of spiritual advice. What's the deal with an emergency fund?
Believe me: A substantial emergency fund will prevent a ton of grief.
I'm a practical guy. There's an old saying: Trust in God, but lock your car. God's goal is not to raise up his children to be helpless and irresponsible. He wants us to be wise, and emotionally as well as spiritually mature.
What is an emergency fund for?
Let's define emergency. It's a genuine, unexpected crisis that costs money. Here are some examples of real emergencies:
Those sound pretty serious, right? That's the key word: serious. This is an emergency fund, not a piggy bank. Here are examples of thing that are NOT emergencies:
Hey! We're adults now, okay? That second list is not emergencies, so don't even try to sneak in some selfish, unnecessary expense like these.
How to build your emergency fund
Your first objection may be that your budget is so tight that you can't afford to save up this. If that's true, I say you can't afford NOT to have an emergency fund.
Look, if you're living under a really tight budget, what happens when one of these true emergencies does happen and you don't have any money saved for it? Yeah. You're really in trouble then, eh?
This is all about maturity vs. immaturity. It's about instant gratification vs. delayed gratification. It's about acting like a grown-up vs. acting like a child.
If you're beginning to grasp the wisdom of this idea, it's going to take some sacrifice on your part. You'll have to start saving some money. That may be an alien concept to some of you, but it's for your own good, like a vaccination. Trust me. It will pay off later.
The least painful way is to open a savings account at a bank, and start depositing a set, small amount on a weekly basis. Start with $10 a week, and if you can't afford that, $5 a week, but no less than that. You singles outside the U.S., do a simple currency conversion.
Here's the reason for the bank: It makes it harder to get to the money. You don't want to have instant access to it. That makes it too easy to steal from your emergency fund when you have one of those phony emergencies, like in list #2 above. The idea is for this thing to grow steadily, not be shrinking because you can't keep your hands off it.
Many young singles spend up every cent they have then go into debt spending more with their credit card. If that's you, it's time to grow up and stop vandalizing your own life.
Why an emergency fund makes you smarter
Most people won't follow this advice. Only extremely smart singles will. They'll be able to see the value of it. Maybe they've even been caught short before and swear they never want that to happen again. Or maybe they've finally realized that their own bad habits have made them their own worst enemy. That's a true sign of maturity.
Being smarter means you finally understand that life is not one nonstop party. The goal is not to spend everything you have and then some. The goal is not to mindlessly go along with the crowd, but to be responsible for yourself.
How about it? Do you have the brains and guts to accomplish this important task? Are you tired of being dependent on your parents, or getting ripped off with payday loans at predatory interest rates?
If you do this, I guarantee that when a true, bona fide emergency comes up and you're prepared for it, the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment you will feel will be awesome! You will slay one of the major dragons in your life, and you will feel incredible. You can do this.
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