I Need an Emergency Fund

Last month, I kicked my financial butt! On top of putting myself through Financially Fit Boot Camp, I watched business and personal finance shows daily and started reading Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Debt-Free Forever.

The amount of knowledge I consumed in October could easily have gone in one ear and out the other. Fortunately, I think most of it stayed.

One of the best decisions I made last month was to get real about saving money. You know who helped me make that decision? You. From the minute I read that Money Maus had been saving since the day she started working full-time, I knew I was missing out on something; that something was paying myself first.

Now, as I mentioned a couple times last month, I have saved up to $1,000 a few times before. But I always found a reason to pull it out and spend it. Sometimes I even put it on debt… what a waste that was! So, again looking at what many of you have done, I decided to open a savings account outside of my regular bank. (Sorry Coast Capital! I just don’t have the willpower…)

Cue ING DIRECT’s Investment Savings Account. I have heard great things about ING from many of you and decided it’s interest rate, accessibility, and no interest fees made it the best option for me. And the bonus offer of $25 for opening with $100 was only another added benefit.

I also setup a $50 bi-weekly withdrawal from my Coast Capital Chequing Account to my ING Savings, which I plan on increasing in the spring, after I have paid off my credit card debt. But what exactly am I saving for…

At first, I thought I would start saving for the two conferences I want to attend next year. (And I will!) Then I thought I’d save for some new furniture or a new DSLR. But I’m avoiding the bigger picture. I want a savings account that is just full of savings. Over the last year, I have witnessed many of you establish and save money in an Emergency Fund.

I always thought that these funds were silly, probably because my own job was secure, and I was comfortable in my paycheque-to-paycheque routine. Or maybe I was just jealous that you could all figure out how to save, while I was sinking deeper and deeper into debt. But I see now that you’re all onto something.

I want to have an account that says “+$5,000.” It’s not going to be my down payment or my travel fund or anything else. It’s going to be there for when my car breaks down or my (future) appliances need to be replaced. Or if I need some crazy dental work done that isn’t covered by my benefits. Whatever! I just want it. And if you could do it, I can too!

So, there. I’m going to be a good listener and start taking all of your advice. I currently have $175.06 in my EF… only $4,824.94 to go!

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