Money is a necessary commodity to live, we all have to pay for housing, we all have to eat. Everyone’s situation is different. Income, debt, living conditions, spouses, kids everyone has things in their live that cost money. I want to get an important disclaimer/info out of the way first.
For those that read my blog you have seen my admission that I am a finance professional. I have been in finance/accounting for 25 years. I have advised companies and individuals on taxes, investments etc. I purposely do not post much about it because I don’t want this to be a financial advisor blog. The disclaimer: You should do your research and not just take people on the internet at their word. I am trust worthy, but you shouldn’t trust me. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. That said I am going to give you the best financial advice you are going to get if you suffer from Anxiety like me.
The advice? Have an emergency fund.
Life happens, cars break down, animals need care, jobs are lost. There are going to be times in your life when something happens and you need cash. This can produce EXTREME anxiety that will really push you toward depression or worse. Having quick accessible cash makes financial issues much easier to deal with.
Generally I advise people to get out of debt (except for a home mortgage) and live debt free, however when you are afflicted with anxiety like me I recommend strongly that you focus on funding an emergency fund.
How much? Minimally you should have $1,000.00. Why that number? Most of your immediate costs like car repairs, pet medical or house repair are normally at or around 500-1000 (mufflers, brakes, dog bite vet bill, door lock replacement). Even if you have a boat load of debt, having 1K you can access fast is going to help you avoid extreme stress should one of these things happen to you.
What’s the ideal? Ideally you want 6 months of your current bills in an emergency fund. This is for the extreme, you lose your job, your car breaks down, your pet breaks its leg, your door falls off the hinges. This will buy you time to catch your breath, grieve for a while and still maintain your current life as is. You’ll need to get income again at some point but this can cover a midterm crisis. These funds have to be accessible so you can transfer the cash, have a debit card on the account or write a check.
It’s hard to have this money sitting around, it’s so tempting. Remember if you maintain an emergency fund you are investing in your mental health. Something will happen you don’t expect that requires money. You can survive it, just remember, one day at a time.