So the budget passed with little time to spare and 800,000 federal workers get to report for work tomorrow and receive their paychecks just like normal. Yay for work and money and having both of them!!
Loosing a job or not receiving a paycheck is a terrifying thought to me. I'm not sure if this is a "me" thing or the fact that most women prefer lots of financial stability and security. I know from personal experience though that having a stable paycheck and especially an emergency savings account really makes life more harmonious. J and I don't argue about $ often and that's not because we're rolling in it (mostly we just bathe C in it). We have a budget that we generally stick to and a savings account should terrible tragedies befall us. I do remember those $ knock-down-blowouts in the beginning of our marriage though! Fortunately we're oh so perfect now:)
I was on CNN on Thursday reading about the "no paycheck for you right now but you still have to do your job" situation that military personal were facing. One woman whose husband is in the military said:
"Living a military life it doesn't really give you the option to put away money," agrees Amy Tersigni, whose husband is currently serving in Iraq. "You don't get to put reserve because you live paycheck to paycheck. You pay your rent, you pay your bills, you feed your kids and that's it. You don't have extra," she said.- Rachel Rogriguiz, CNN
I think this sentiment is true for many people, not just those in the military. For 3+ years, J and I had a two income household and now we are down to one income. We were exceedingly lucky to get a money-reality-slap-in-the-face early in our marriage and that motivated us to find a solution. We worked pretty intensely to pay off $38,000 of debt (cars, college loans, credit cards, etc), then to set aside an emergency savings of at least 3 months salary, and finally to save a substantial amount for a down payment on this house. We were able to do this by living on a very tight budget for 1 year (while paying away debt) and a careful budget since then. Having two salaries made this goal so much more achievable though we certainly didn't (and still don't) make awesome score-alicious money.
The idea of starting a savings account by initially depositing a large amount of money sounds optimal. A tax refund? A thousand dollar raise? Sure, dump it in and let's add to it!!! Motivation GALORE!!!!
Starting with a realistic amount of $50 or so from a twice a month paycheck makes the savings account goal much more insurmountable. It would take forever to get a good savings account going with that paltry amount!! I think that's the problem: it's psychological. But that $50 does add up after even a couple of years!!
So what does a person/family's salary need to be in order to save for an emergency fund? Or a house in today's market where you must put down 10-15% to get a mortgage?
And my order is: IF YOU ARE YOUNG, SAVE YOUR MONEY NOW. PLEASE. DO IT. Pretty please?
Also: I found a small roach dead on our kitchen floor this morning. Ick. Suggestions? Tips?