We’ve got a bit of a hangup with emergency funds on this site – we feel that the advice to immediately save 6 months of living expenses in a low-interest high liquidity savings account isn’t the best course of action for everyone trying to reduce their debt. In fact, the demand is counterproductive, in many […]
(Read parts one and two in the emergency funds series) In the first two articles, I covered: How important it is to be cash flow positive How to cover very small shortfalls with credit How to cover truly large expenses with different forms of insurance. The most important large unplanned expenses that could potentially be […]
In part one on Monday, I wrote about how credit cards can provide short-term liquidity where emergency funds would typically be recommended. In this article, I will write about how most “emergencies” people list as reasons for an emergency fund are not true emergencies and can be easily planned for (and anything that is above […]
If you’re looking for a place to put your emergency fund, your search has come to an end: the oft-overlooked Health Savings Account. Today we discuss the idea of the health savings account retirement fund, and explain the IRS rule which makes it all possible. Keeping Something in Reserve A common refrain heard from the […]
Continuing the theme from Monday, this is a companion piece (this time posted well after the fact) from last week’s Worst of the Free Financial Advisor podcast. I blather on and on about automating your finances… not because it is one of The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance writing, but because I actually think it is a good idea.
People telling you to automate your finances abound, yet few people explain what that really means. Let’s put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and flesh out how a single renter making $50,000 might divide their funds.
The three account method is a stunningly simple way to automate your finances that only requires a bit of algebra. In essence, you divide your paycheck into ‘fixed expenses’, ‘variable expenses’, and ‘savings’ and separate those into their own ‘pot’, in the form of a bank account.
CNN’s Walter Updegrave fielded a question this weekend which, simply, sort of shocked me. A reader wanted to know if he and his wife should temporarily stop paying the full balance on their credit cards in order to build up an emergency fund. Is this really an option that some people are considering?