(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.
We are half way there! We are at the half marathon point of baby step 3. What does that mean? We have 3 months of expenses saved in case of an emergency. Our goal is to have savings for 6 months: the full marathon! This has been the hardest part for me thus far in our financial journey. We keep building up cash and it just sits there. It is lounging around in a sand chair looking at me at the
beach bank saying "hey....spend ME....spend ME!" We really have to be disciplined to not go off and do just that. What if I lost my job? What if Kyle lost his job? What if one of us got sick and couldn't work? After our short term disability ended, our long term disability would kick in. Then we'd also have our 6 month emergency fund. I am feeling pretty prepared right now!
So I need to ask myself what constitutes as an emergency?
1. loss of job-YES (I covered that)
2. air conditioning goes out in my jeep-YES (true story)
3. Kyle gets elective lasik eye surgery-NO
4. emergency appendectomy-YES
5. icemaker goes out in my fridge and it is ugly anyway so I need to get another one-NO (true story, we have ice trays now)
6. compressor goes out in my fridge so we need a new one-YES
7. go on a cruise-NO (but we did to celebrate being DEBT FREE but the house-that was our prize for meeting one of our goals)
8. Kyle upgrading his seats at Mississippi State football games-NO
9. getting a patio for our backyard so our dogs will have shade-NO
10. getting a new roof because it is 20 years old and leaking water-YES
It is not that I have this huge urge to spend 3 months of our expendable income that we have saved. It is just that Baby step 2 was so easy for me. I loved seeing our statements when we'd pay a huge payment towards our debt. ( I know that sounds crazy-who loves to pay bills? But when you're pounding that bill hard with lots of money, it is a whole new feeling) It was like losing weight. It'd get smaller and smaller and smaller until we were debt free excluding the house! It was a great feeling. A big weight was lifted. Now we have the opposite. I am seeing a number grow and grow and grow. And when we top our 6 months of expenses goal, we'll put that money in an account that we won't touch....only for emergencies. I guess it is just hard for me to fathom that something bad might happen to us. We could be doing so much more with that money....but we know life WILL happen and we want to have our armour on when it does.
So we're chugging along with the process. We've trained well and we're at a good, steady pace. I can't wait to look back on this post and re-live this feeling and know that we could do it. That we did make a good decision to become financially fit! All the sacrifices will pay off in the long marathon run. One baby step at a time!