If you are over fifty years old, you have probably heard the term “rainy day fund”. Regardless of your age, don’t forget to start yours if you don’t have one. No one knows when unfortunate financial circumstances will arrive on your doorsteps, so having a financial cushion to help soften any blow that you are hit with can alleviate some of the pain.
The process of saving for a “rainy day” means that you have been smart enough to think about protecting yourselves for tomorrow by preparing for it today. In putting away money today, you can tap into these funds to help you get through an emergency that may come up in the future.
In other circles, older people would call this process, “getting ready for the just in case situation”. When you have your rainy day fund in place, your fear factor is greatly diminished. I recall my mother telling me that a rainy day will come to us all one day, and when it does, it’ll never happen when you expect it so get prepared for these unexpected events.
Additionally, having a rainy day fund is important because it allows you to quickly get your hands on money without having to go through the headache of begging others. You will also discover that your friends may or may not have it when you truly need it. One of the worst feelings that you can experience is calling upon others to come to your aide and to hear them say, “I don’t have it”. This kind of pain is hard to forget and once you go through it, you definitely don’t want to do it again.
I’m not proud to say, but I have been there too many times over the years, and I truly understand that pain. First, you start to think of everyone that you know that can possibly help you. You make a list of people who you believe that you can go to and you rate them from one to ten. The person rated one is your first choice, and if he or she doesn’t have it, you go to the next person and so on. Hopefully, you can find a person to help you on the list. You also hope that you don’t have to go way down the list to find someone because that sends a message also. If you do, there is a chance that you have had so many emergency situations, that you have already used up your top three choices and that is a poor indicator.
In order to prevent this type of situation from occurring, you must start your own rainy day fund. It’s not that difficult, as there are many people who make less than you do who are putting money away in their rainy day fund. They are doing so every chance that they get. They are able to do so because it’s important to them and it should be important to you as well. I know a few of these people who save all the time and they don’t make a huge salary. However, they know how important this is and they are making it happened, so why can’t we do the same?
One of the key things that I learned from these habitual savers was, once you start, you can’t stop no matter how tempting it gets. After a while, as the balance begins to pile up, you will be glad that you did because having this financial safety net allows you to live your life without fear.
I must also point out that there are people who don’t put funds away for tomorrow because their rainy day funds depend on getting funds from you. When you bail them out, you are actually taking away from your own emergency funds that you have put away for you and your family. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t help them out because I was extremely happy when someone came to my rescue, but it shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence. Plus, if this crisis comes up too many times with that person, there is a problem with that relationship that doesn’t need any further explanation.
I recall when I started building my rainy day fund. I did so several years ago, and it hurt like hell at the beginning. I started by saving just a little at the beginning and added more whenever I got an increase in my salary on my job. I’m so grateful that I decided to follow that advice since my rainy day fund has bailed me out on many occasions. As I have gotten older, my rainy day fund has allowed me to help my loved ones, and I’m glad that I was in a position to do so.
Additionally, I assure you that you will feel so comforted when a crisis does come up and you can go to your rainy day fund to get out of your predicament. It feels great to no longer have to rely on the generosity and mercy of others.
So as we move forward to today, ask yourself this question, “Do I have enough rainy day funds stashed away?” If you have less than six months of your monthly expenses in the bank, then the answer is—you don’t have enough.
In closing, I’m writing this article to help you avoid the personal pain that I have experienced. I wish that I had listened to my mother sooner and started a rainy day fund as soon as I started my part-time job. I shouldn’t have waited until my salary was much higher, as I wasted a lot of time. I know if I had followed her suggestion, I would have had much more money to handle some unexpected predicaments. So, if you haven’t started your own “rainy day fund”, please do so today. If a financial crisis hits your door, you won’t have to worry about creating a list of people who can bail you out and this feeling of self-sufficiency is “GREAT”.
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