The Broke Professional - grow your money and yourself

When You Don’t Want to Be Making More Money

Having a child was one of the best decisions we ever made.  Seeing our son go from sitting up to crawling to walking to running and now parroting everything he hears (gotta watch what I say now!) has been a joy and a privilege to be a part of.  Raising a child has its ups and downs, but there is no sweeter challenge in my opinion.

Old Faithful

Through all the highs and lows of trying to corral the little guy long enough to shove some food down his throat, there is one thing that has always been there through thick and thin.  My wife, of course, but also our emergency fund.  While many people complain that you just can’t make any money in a savings account in today’s low interest environment, I would argue that having adequate emergency savings has allowed our family to avoid getting into credit card debt, which is huge.

Credit card debt is something we never plan to take on (have you read this article people?!), and it is our emergency fund that ensures this doesn’t happen.  I give the example of our son earlier, because we needed the emergency fund right when he came into the world.

Born to be Expensive

When you become pregnant, the doctor gives you an expected delivery date.  This is based on millennia of evidence that kids are usually formed in the womb and then released in about 9 months.  In our experience, however, consider the delivery date as a guideline, because that’s exactly what my son considered it when he decided to come out early.

He was slated to arrive in early January, an assessment that the doctor was “fairly confident” in.  Our son was fairly confident that wasn’t going to happen and decided he wanted out 2 weeks earlier.  Coming out a little earlier is fairly common, so what does the emergency fund have to so with it?  I planned to use 2013 FSA money (mistake #1) to pay for all the hospital costs, which were many.  Since he wanted to be born in 2012, that was no longer a possibility.  And since we didn’t really budget for the costs (mistake #2), we had to get the money from somewhere.

E-Fund to the Rescue

Luckily, ever since I got my first job I began socking away a portion of my income into a savings account every month.  Once I became an optometrist, this amount increased accordingly.  So we had a nice amount saved up and hadn’t touched it for a while.  All it took was a simple transfer from my savings account to my checking account.  No worries where the money would be coming from, no working extra to scrounge up the money, and more importantly, no going into credit card debt like most people end up doing.

Many people balk at having healthy a healthy emergency fund, or an emergency fund at all, because of the opportunity cost involved.  That is, money which is earning very little interest in an emergency fund could be earning much more money if invested in the stock market or in real estate.  This is most likely true, but it’s off point because the purpose of your emergency fund is to give you the ability to pull out money quickly when needed, which investing in the stock market or real estate will not allow (except a Roth IRA, which is just one of the reasons why it is awesome).  Having the ability to draw cash in a short amount of time should be a cornerstone of any financial plan, no matter what type of investor you are.

My emergency fund has saved my skin a bunch of times, and I would imagine it will keep doing so.  Unless you’re independently wealthy and have gobs of money just laying around, having a well stocked emergency fund will give you piece of mind and keep you out of the red.


Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 6/19/15

What a great end to a great NBA playoffs.  It was an NBA Finals with some very interesting storylines, the biggest one being the injuries to Lebron’s two wingmen Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.  And when Irving was ruled out of the series after Game 1, everyone thought it was all over.  But then Cleveland surprisingly won 2 games in a row with a plodding offense (led by the best player in the world though) and a stifling defense.  It took the Warriors a couple of games to figure it out, but they mixed up their lineup and were able to get three relatively easy wins in a row.  If Lebron was able to will the Cavs to win the series, it would have solidified his legendary status.  But alas, you do need some help to win a title, and it doesn’t make it any easier going up against one of the best offenses the league has ever seen.  It was a fitting conclusion to a dream season for the Warriors and their fans. (Shout out to Lisa Vs The Loans!  Congrats on the win!)

Now only if the Knicks could have a dream season one of these days……(sigh).  Here are some dreamy articles I’ve come across recently:

-I Have Big Dreams…and Small Savings.  Help! by Afford Anything:  Nice post about the different ways you can increase your savings incrementally.  Best take home point:  Remember to actually do something with your savings.  Don’t just let it sit in your checking account.  Transfer it to savings, pay off debt or put it in an IRA.  If it’s just staying in your checking account, it will probably be spent.

-Why My Emergency Fund is the Bombdiggity by Club Thrifty:  Great article about the importance of emergency funds.  You don’t really notice them when you don’t need the money, but once an emergency happens, you’ll thank your lucky stars that you have some money stashed away.

-Leave the Boom and Bust Cycle of Life by Frugaling:  The market goes up.  And the market goes down.  These have been two truths ever since the market has ever existed.  The way the media still can sway people to act a certain way while knowing these two truths is unbelievable.


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Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 6/5/15

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Student Loan Interest Deduction: Who Really Wins?

Give them more interest deductions please!

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Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 5/22/15

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Journey to Life Insurance Part 3: Time to Pay the Piper

The day after getting life insurance.

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Diamonds in the Rough Roundup 5/8/2015

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Is Lying About Your Salary a Big Deal?

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