At the beginning of February, we finally kicked our last debt (excluding our mortgage) to the curb and began Baby Step 3 of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover! Our goal for Baby Step 3 is to build up an emergency fund in the range of 3-6 months of our expenses. In light of the current economic conditions, I can't think of a better step towards financial peace.
What we are learning in this step is how to tell ourselves as Dave Ramsey jokes, the ancient word that is hardly used these days, NO! Just as we paid off our last debt, our dishwasher died. Using the emergency fund was out of the question since we both agreed it wasn't a true emergency. But we did go back and forth for a few days about whether or not we should use our anticipated February snowball towards buying a new dishwasher. That would mean of course delaying the start of Baby Step 3. When we (actually Dave came to this conclusion quickly, it took me some weeks of whining about not having a working dishwasher to come to this conclusion) compared having a fancy, new dishwasher to building up our emergency fund, which would keep us in our home, food on the table and lights and heat on in the event of job loss or other emergency, there was just no question the dishwasher would have to wait!
Our latest challenge has us currently weighing getting needed exterior repairs done to the house or waiting until our savings is fully funded. The exterior of our 30+ year old house is starting to look shabby - but without the chic! A small owl has even taken residence in a bird hole in the side of the house (I think it's kind of cute in a way, Dave is not so amused!). We've been quoted a great price that might not be available later in the year as business picks up. And I love the idea of using a small company based in town, which uses crew guys from surrounding neighborhoods and frequents local businesses for supplies. BUT...can we really afford to delay building up our emergency fund?
Get Your Finances In Line in 2009 Monthly Check Up - Money Saving Mom