Saving for an emergency

6355836713_0fbe511113_o_lgCreative Commons Money on Money” by 401(k) 2012 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Emergencies happen when you least expect them so it’s better to plan ahead and tuck away money into an emergency fund to be better prepared. Like Dave Ramsey said, “Once you have your emergency fund in place you tend to stop having emergencies.” So the goal is to prepare and build up your emergency fund to accommodate at least three to six months worth of your expenses.

To help keep me aligned with my goals I opted for an online interest checking account. I considered an money market account (MMA) but those are limited to six withdrawals. I don’t expect to have more than six emergencies arise in the course of a month but this gives me peace of mind knowing that there is no limitation. In the event I do have more than six emergencies I know I won’t incur any penalties for additional withdrawals.

I setup two automatic drafts to pull a specified amount from my primary checking to my online checking account. I carefully scheduled the drafts around my the time I receive my direct deposits. At the end of the month once I have gone through the budget I manually transfer another said amount to my online checking account. The automatic drafts are more of “out of sight out of mind”. My employer doesn’t have the option to split my direct deposits into two transaction otherwise I would have opted for that route. I also have it setup that any bonuses will direct deposit to the online checking. The same goes for any tax returns.

I have the online account for two specific purposes. One obviously is for the emergency fund and two a short term savings. The savings is to tackle my $55K Sallie Mae note which I anticipate paying off by July of 2017. With the money I save from paying off my school note I’ll roll that into the contributions I make to my online checking account and build up the funds to pay off my mortgage which should be approximately three years later. The interest generated isn’t significant but some is better than nothing and every bit helps.

They key is to stay motivated so I have written down the emergency fund total on a dry erase board along with the date that in which it should be fully funded. This hangs near my bed so I see it every day. I drafted a spreadsheet with dates, savings contribution amounts, rolling totals and the target dates which is accessible on my smartphone. I use a lot of methods to help keep me focused and they serve as daily reminders of the bigger goals ahead of me.

Back with a new agenda

It has been a while. Many things have changed. Priorities, interest, life, focus. I was so caught up in the technical field that I let a lot of other interesting and rather important topics slide by. I’ve since undergone a rebalance and decided to expand my horizon a bit more.

I’m still a SQL Server DBA but I’ve also been neck-deep in family, finances, aquaponics, aquaculture, micro-farming, health, fitness, food, real estate, ios development while trying to keep up with taxes and investments. It’s pretty exhausting at the end of the day but it feels more complete.

Since my last post I’ve moved on from food industry to the health industry and it’s been an interesting learning experience. Very high paced, privacy intensive but I’m doing more than typical database administration. I’ve done a bit more with SSIS development and it’s been a great experience that I wish to continue.

With the use of YNAB I’ve been hitting the budget, reviewing our spending and making life changes to align us with financial freedom. A lot of eye-opening discoveries once you have the big picture of where your money is going every month.

My personal studies on investing leads to late nights but gives me more of a better understanding when it comes time to rebalancing. Something I never did before. This gives me more control over what I am investing in. Got to build a better nest egg.

Thanks to BitFountain, GangplankHQ and the iOS community I’ve been learning iOS development and have a few projects underway to better me in my journey. Nothing fancy but realistic applications. Hoping to have something in the apple store soon.

I’ve kicked up my gardening skills a bit. Implemented a good size aquaponics system that will perpetually feed a family of four. With aquaponics I am able to raise fish (for consumption) that provide a fertilizer for my fruits and veggies. Many dishes have been served with organic goodies from the aquaponics system.

Our little micro-farm now has five free-range, egg laying hens that are a year old. We collect 4-5 eggs a day from these gals. Our seven pecan trees produce about 200 lbs every year and our orange tree is cranking. We will be converting our old stored into a 12’x22′ greenhouse. This will hold our new aquaponics system which will be twice as large which will incorporate a fish farming setup.

Lots of things happening so it’s never a dull moment.