It's been awhile since I've done a debt-proof post. It's time.
I mentioned the other day (yesterday?) the fact that we're broke. Again. This needs some clarification. I also need to share that Pa called from the dentist yesterday. It went something like this....
I said, hello. hello. did you say 900 bucks??? You must have the wrong number.
He went to the dentist thinking it was going to be $400. Halfway thru they decided, ah heck, let's do two crowns, that'll be 900 bucks. Out of our pocket.
Which kinda sucks. (I don't let my kids say 'sucks' but sometimes I type it. Don't tell them, okay? It seemed fitting here)
But it's okay.
And it got me to thinking that broke now is different then what broke was three years ago.
Now - there are a few schools of thought on the funding and goal of the emergency fund. As I understand it, Dave Ramsey teaches that the emergency fund should be $1000 and all other money should be used to pay off debt. Mary Hunt, on the other hand, teaches that this fund should be the equivalent of six months pay. Mary's thought is that you would quickly fall back into the debt if you don't have an adequate safety net.
In talking to different friends and family, I think that which way you go on this has a lot to do with what experiences you've had in your life, the nature of the economy where you reside, and your own personal feelings and matters of discipline.
Let me tell you something. When I sit on my front porch - I can see all 14 homes on our short street. Of those 14 homes, three are in foreclosure, three others have been for sale and not sold at some point in the last three years, and at least five are waiting for the market to turn so that they can slam their homes on the market and hopefully move. That would be us.
I believe Mary Hunt. I believe for where we live, in a society fueled by the automotive industry, that our jobs are something to be daily thankful for because too many of our friends have recently lost theirs. The economy here is to not something to take lightly and a backup plan is a necessity.
Ironically - altho I believe Mary's train of thought - we just can't seem to keep our fund much more than a thousand bucks. It makes me laugh.
What I'm getting to in my longwinded rambling way is that the emergency fund helps. While we pretty much completely drained it and put it into Pa's mouth yesterday - we did not go in debt. That is the difference between being broke now and being broke three years ago. Three years ago we would have gone further in debt over that bill. Today, we're just hoping we don't have an emergency and our thoughts of traveling for Christmas are seriously on the line.
And broke, and in debt, are two very different things. I'll take broke anyday.