Tag Archives: Fianancial Friday

The Emergency Fund Fallacy

This is a repost of a post from last year.  I’ve been in all day meetings in Philadelphia, commuting back and forth, so if you are reading this, I haven’t had time to write a new post, and this one has appeared through the magic of post scheduling.   We’ll be back to our normal programming next Friday.

I saw a post on a blog a couple of days ago from a self proclaimed expert explaining the need for an ‘Emergency Fund’, and I thought a post might be in order.

In plain language: if you have any consumer debt (credit cards, car loans, etc), you should not have an Emergency Fund if your goal is to increase your net worth. There is no reason to pay interest to save money.

Lets say you have $10k in credit card debt, and you are paying 20% interest on that debt. You decide you need 6 months after tax in the bank as an emergency fund, in case you get laid off, or hit by a bus, or mauled by a dog, whatever. You make $60k a year, so you need about $20k in the bank.

Think about that for a minute. How long would it take you to save $20K? And you want to not pay off your credit cards for that long? A significant “EF” is a huge mistake if your goal is to increase your net worth. Continue reading


Debt Repayment Strategy

This is part of a weekly series on personal finance and wealth building.  If you care to read them all, please click on the ‘Building Wealth’ category on the right.

If you’ve followed along for the last several weeks, you’ve gotten to the point that you are ready to develop and implement a debt repayment strategy.  You’ve seen the five basic steps to maximizing wealth, you’ve built your balance sheet, income statement, and your budget.  Now it’s time to get you out of debt.

How you got into this mess is largely irrelevant.  I’m not judging, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up.  I know I made a lot of poor choices when I was younger when it came to money, and I paid for it.  The good news for you is that, like with almost anything, if you put your mind to it, stick to a plan, and work hard, you can get out of overwhelming debt faster than you think.  Continue reading


Financial Friday: Budgeting and Debt Repayment

This is part of a weekly series on personal finance and wealth building.  If you care to read them all, please click on the ‘Building Wealth’ category on the right.

Most people giving and taking financial advice focus on the budget as the key to building wealth.  I disagree, but budgeting is a very important tool in the process of paying off debt, and can play a role in building your net worth by helping you live beneath your means and effectively plan and meet your savings goals.  I don’t think having a budget is a requirement if you aren’t in debt; I don’t use one, although I do track some of my spending.

One of the running themes in this series is to keep things as simple as possible to meet the requirements of the process.  My approach to budgeting is no different (and if you’ve known me for a while or remember anything I’ve written on lifting, you’ll see some similarities).

To build your budget, you first need to know how much money is coming in during a period of time.  Most people use a month, and that’s just fine with me.  We discussed how to get a good picture of your income and expenses last week.  We also need a detailed list of every bit of spending for the month.  It’s a bit of a record keeping hassle, but for this one month, it is absolutely critical that you know exactly how much you spend and what you spend it on.  As we get in to budgeting, you’ll find that you spend a lot of money on stuff you don’t need, and you’ll find a lot of waste. Continue reading


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