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Treasured Social Butterfly
Posts: 19,487
Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 11 of 22 (913 Views)

@nyadrn - I had a friend who taught in a tough, mostly minority High School in Paterson, NJ. She was so frustrated that sometimes when a child was bright & wanted to make a better life for themselves, they weren't supported emotionally by their families! Some families felt it was a slap in their face, that their children wanted to get a better education & have careers, than their parents had! Or that the teen was "too full of themself", thinking they were better/smarter than their parents. Talk about topsy-turvy; imagine how hard it is to break free of that kind of thinking in your family & many members of your community!

Registered on Online Community since 2007!
Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 35,652
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 12 of 22 (915 Views)

retiredtraveler wrote:

This is a subject that you guys would agree that has endless permutations. The political thread already has a discussion of poverty, although, it's more about arguing  about people not taking jobs that are available and sitting around collecting welfare. There are endless discussions about the role of government, private charities, assistance programs of all types, lack of education, lack of job opportunities, lack of training, etc.

   I've been fortunate enough to never experience poverty. My parents did, but that's the primary reason I didn't have to. A lot of us had parents who lived through the depression. And of course, poverty was very different then with so many people in the same circumstances. My mom always said they didn't know they were poor because everyone lived similarly to them. 

   It is hard to believe that in this country, the middle class has been so decimated, we have such income disparity, such disparity in needs of employers and skills that applicants (don't) have, and jobs are continuing to go to other countries.

   My first career was as a caseworker for the Illinois Dept of Public Aid where I worked in the Chicago projects. I have a whole different perspective on poverty from many people after my years of experience in that. 

I rarely post in politics anymore where there is actually little discussion of issues from a middle perspective imho of course.  The problem is,  I don't see much possible change.

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 1,459
Registered: ‎10-09-2009

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 13 of 22 (849 Views)

There are many reasons why people may not have resources to cover an emergency. Some are truly those living in poverty with no means to escape. Many are the struggling middle class households that run paycheck to paycheck. But generally speaking, in more recent years, younger Americans have developed culturally into one of greater self-indulgence and living off the credit card. 


My parents raised us to be financially responsible, and to never buy things we could not afford. My dad was one who like to pay cash for everything, and back then, he usually got a cash discount for doing so. The savings comes first, and spend when you have a little extra.


It hasn't always been easy, and I admit that I went through a period of buying too much. Fortunately, my better instincts kicked in, and I started shoveling money into the 401k when I worked, as well as cash accessible savings account. I also save a little extra knowing that in so many months or years, a major replacement purchase (appliances, roof or house repair, HAVAC system, and other big ticket expenses) will inevitably occur.


Because our parents and grandparents lived through the depression, it caused them to impress upon us a culture of saving first and living within ones means. With years of prosperity, that seems to have diminished from the American culture, where in general, it has given way to more self-indulgent lifestyles.

Gold Conversationalist
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎08-27-2013

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 14 of 22 (657 Views)

I make a budget every month.  I write down the usual expenses (rent, phone, cable, internet bill) that I know what the costs are, the amount of money I have coming in (just 3 items, social security, pension and annuity) so that stays the same.  Then I try to remember the not regular costs I have (car insurance every 6 months etc).  I always put money in my savings account, usually $500 if I can, or as much as I am able).  It is important to me to keep track of my expenditures (credit cards etc) so I don't go over my budgeted amount.  I have done this since I retired and it keeps me honest!

Gold Conversationalist
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎08-27-2013

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 15 of 22 (655 Views)

I have enough money in my savings account to cover an emergency, or I pay my credit card and pay the credit card as soon as I can!    I hate debt and don't like to incur it if at all possible.  I bought a new car last year (after 20 years on the old one), and paid it off  this year, although it did leave my savings somewhat depleted.  Right now I am rebuilding my savings account to replace that expenditure.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-18-2017

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 16 of 22 (645 Views)

Real simple you don't buy anything you can't afford and from the first paycheck you get a few dollars go for emergencies, no eating out, iphones, diamond rings, expensive wedings, kids, fancy clothes, steaks, cars or anything else until you have the emergency funds and the means to afford it.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-03-2013

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 17 of 22 (642 Views)

We grew up lower income.  I lived with my grandparents for awhile and they lived on SSI.  That experiance stayed with me so when I was 18 and looking for a job, I wanted somewhere that had a pension plan.  When the 401K came in to be, I wanted that too.  Whenever I got a raise, 1/4 of that when to increase my 401K contribution.  Now that I'm retired, I'm still working a part-time job as a tour driver.  I get tips, I save those tips for a rainy day, for my kids birthdays, for my vacation.  


Before I retired, I emptied my purse of the change and bills into a jar and once I had enough coin to roll, I rolled it and took it to different bank into a separate account just for these monies, to be used for emergencies.  It has worked out quite well for me.  


I encourage my kids to open an account (such as an online bank...easy to deposit or get money but it takes a couple of days so you're not taking out money often).  Everytime they get a raise, a third of the raise should pay a bill, a third should be saved, and a third should go to you to do with as you please.


Hope this helps.


Carolyn - Rohnert Park, CA

Bronze Conversationalist
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎07-17-2011

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 18 of 22 (472 Views)

Patience and the lack of a long savings game is one reason for the lack of funds.  $5 a week for 80 weeks will build up that $400.  But at the same time, dropping a quarter a day from your pocket into a jar will do it in 1600 days (4.4 years).  I think the problem is mostly mental.  The small daily/weekly amount seems so insignificant that it is hard to continue day after day.  It becomes "I'll do it double tomorrow", or next week.  But the time drags out until the amount to make it up is significant to the person.  Quarters become dollars, or $5 becomes $100 and by then it's too much to catch up and the whole plan falls apart.  It happened to me until I became serious about saving, regardless of the amount.  I've been poor and I'm not going back.

Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-07-2017

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 19 of 22 (444 Views)

It took me working at inner city child care centers to realize that so many people are truly living paycheck to paycheck.  I have worked jobs where i was working paycheck to paycheck, however I had family that could back me up if I found myself without a job.  As I find myself unemployed going on 2 months, I am so glad that I have a emergency's what has kept a roof over my head, the lights on, and food in my stomach.  And I also had parents who lived during the Dad was the frugal one and that is who I take after.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-06-2017

Re: Emergency expenses/funds

Message 20 of 22 (367 Views)

I keep $1000 in cash as an emergency fund.  I chose cash in case of a natural disaster (i.e., tornado, flood, etc) in which case cash might well be the only way to pay for goods or services for a few days.  I allocate a small amount in my budget to repay any amount I've had to withdraw for unexpected car repairs or other unplanned needs.