Feeling uneasy financially? Here might be why.
Chances are that one of the participants in a marriage is likely to be uneasy about their financial future. It's fairly prevalent in those who are paying the bills or who are sensitive to a change in the air.
An emergency fund is the best way to feel more secure in the event of possible uncertainty.
In Genesis (KJV) chapter 41, we read about Pharaoh’s dream where he calls upon Joseph to interpret his dream. Do you know this story?
Pharaoh has a dream and, after seeking out Joseph, who helps him understand that there will be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, Pharaoh acts in verse 35, “And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.” It goes on to explain, in verse 36, “And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.”
Having our own financial emergency fund prepares us. Whether we are like Pharaoh and have our own dream, a gut feeling, or act on smart wisdom we know that "if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear." (See D&C 38:30 for more information.)
The majority of crises, in any form, revolve around money. Medical problems, home repairs (water heater, furnace, roof), vehicle issues (tires, batteries), and loss of income (layoffs) are some of the problems I've helped solve as a financial coach. Although most significant catastrophes may not be entirely covered by your emergency fund, having one helps solve the drama, pain, and worry that come with not having one.
So, if you are lacking an emergency fund, take my advice and get one!
Start your emergency fund with $1,000 or a month's worth of expenses. You'll then come to a fork in the road as to what to do next. Most financial gurus and I agree that once you have a small (appropriate) nest egg, you should then pay off all your debts (excluding your mortgage). Once debt-free, minus the mortgage, come back and expand your emergency fund to 3-6 months of expenses. If you're debt-free right now, focus on your need to have 3-6 months' worth of expenses saved.
One more point to remember: emergency funds are simply a separate savings account, not an investment account. An emergency fund is more like insurance than an investment. Although you hope to never use your emergency fund, its liquidity (ability to be accessed quickly) is crucial. Again, this isn't an investment; it's your own personal insurance to deal with a variety of personal financial emergencies and to help you dream better dreams.