You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
A squirrel fund
My husband works construction, so we barely scrape by during the winter months. Should we build an emergency fund for the slow times?
I think that’s a great idea. Although, I’d probably call it something other than an emergency fund. How about a squirrel fund? Squirrels need to have nuts saved up for winter, and in your case you’d be setting money aside during the summer to get you through the slow winter months.
You may think I’m playing games with the name, but really I’m not. This sort of saving isn’t for emergencies. It’s a budget issue, because you’re planning and setting aside cash leading up to the down time you know is coming. Keep your emergency fund of three to six months of expenses separate from this, and take a careful look at what he made this winter and how much that left you short each month.
Remember, we’re not talking about some random amount of money here. It’s an exact amount that you can budget for accordingly. Teachers can do the same thing if they’re not paid 12 months a year. It’s a simple matter of planning ahead for the down time, and setting aside enough during the other nine months to see you through!
What do you think about the idea of putting your emergency fund into bonds?
I think that’s a really bad idea, and here’s why. Bond values and prices go down as long-term interest rates rise. Right now, long-term interest rates -- a good example would be mortgage rates -- are picking up. They’ve moved up a quarter of a percent recently. So, as this happens, the value of bonds goes down. If these interest rates spiked, you could lose half your emergency fund.
Never, ever put your emergency fund into things where risk and volatility are factors. An emergency fund isn’t an investment. It’s there to help protect things that are investments and your life. Keep it in something safe and simple, like a money market account where there’s no penalty for early withdrawal.
We’re not looking to make money with an emergency fund, Ryan. It’s insurance. Just let it sit there, safe and sound, until it’s needed.
Dave Ramsey is a best-selling author of The Total Money Makeover and the nationally syndicated host of “The Dave Ramsey Show,” which airs locally on radio station 550 KTSA. View column archives at www.daveramsey.org. Questioners’ identities have not been verified by the Dave $ays column or this newspaper.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Section A: General News Archives
Brownlow: Little chance ‘fracking’ could hurt water (September 2, 2015)
City’s proposed budget, property taxes raise questions (September 2, 2015)
County Commisioners ‘buckle up’ on $24M budget (September 2, 2015)
Court Update (September 2, 2015)
De Leon family sells Olivia’s San Antonio location (September 2, 2015)
Distracted driving program new requirement for teens (September 2, 2015)
Editorial: Coca-Cola to obese people: Hey, exercise more! (September 2, 2015)
Editorial: How will voters sort through all the candidates? (September 2, 2015)
Editorial: Libs: Symbols mean something — unless we disagree (September 2, 2015)
Floresville awards contract for event center repairs (September 2, 2015)
Floresville elections take twists (September 2, 2015)
Floresville struggles to ‘play ball’ (September 2, 2015)
Free webinar series for small businesses (September 2, 2015)
From student job to interim manager (September 2, 2015)
Karnes airport gets $2.1M in funding (September 2, 2015)
Labor Day office closures (September 2, 2015)
Letter: Karnes County officials continue spending (September 2, 2015)
Letter: Urgent: Nix Iran deal (September 2, 2015)
Letter: Voter ID thumbprint (September 2, 2015)
Make your way to Feather Fest (September 2, 2015)
MedDropSA is Sept. 5 (September 2, 2015)
Meeting Watch: East Central ISD (September 2, 2015)
Oscar Mayer issues recall (September 2, 2015)
Paid firefighters could aid La Vernia volunteers (September 2, 2015)
Police Blotter (September 2, 2015)
Register to compete in Adult Literacy challenge (September 2, 2015)
Relay committee to meet Sept. 8 (September 2, 2015)
SARA approves study of Floresville’s River Park (September 2, 2015)
Sponsors needed for Conversation with Constitution event (September 2, 2015)
Stockdale council approves $2.07M 2015-16 budget (September 2, 2015)
Substitute teacher training dates set (September 2, 2015)
TEA lauds Falls City, Poth (September 2, 2015)
The best medicine (September 2, 2015)
VA cuts backlog (September 2, 2015)
Welcome back! (September 2, 2015)