Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dave Ramsey Got Me Scared

FireMan & I started taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course thru our church.

FireMan was on shift, so I went to the first class alone.

And I can't stop thinking about it.

Not so much the class itself, or (to be honest), anything Dave Ramsey said on the tape DVD (whatever, I'm old). But something that was said in the discussion we had afterward.

One of the core teachings of the class is to have a substantial emergency savings for you / your family. During discussion, we were discussing what a true "emergency" means.

Of course, people immediately started talking about medical bills.

As they talked, I started to get physically ill thinking back to everything I went thru after my accident in 2002. Not just physically, but what that did to me financially.

I had the realization long ago, that had it not been for my supportive family, I probably would have ended up on the streets.

At one point I was seeing eight different doctors. That means eight different doctor bills. Plus the emergency room bills (because you know if you make one visit to the ER, you'll get like five different bills, right?). Plus prescription meds.

And let's not forget my car was totalled (I managed to drive it for another year - some parts literally held together with duct tape - before it actually died).

I missed work, unpaid. But not quite enough to file for short-term disability.

My health insurance wouldn't cover it, because I was injured in a car accident.

My car insurance decided to fight my claim, so I had to hire a lawyer.

Thank God I lived with my parents at the time (something I lamented at the time, but later saw as part of God's plan. Maybe I should tell that story on here someday).

And sitting in that class, my stomach completely sank when the gentleman leading the class said:

"Okay, many of you are bringing up medical bills, so obviously it's happened for several of you. Now think for a minute... what if that happened again, right now? What would you do (financially)?"

I seriously wanted to puke.

FireMan and I have a little savings. We have good equity in our house. We have things we could sell to get money.

But... honestly? If something like my accident happened to one (or God forbid, both) of us right this minute? Where we were seeing eight different doctors, none of our insurance would pay it, our vehicle was totalled, we were missing work unpaid, etc... Oh.... my.... goodness.

The thought of it literally sickens me.

The chance of that happening? I'd like to say slim-to-none. But then again, it happened to me. One thing Dave Ramsey explains in his philosophy of saving for an emergency is that the unexpected isn't really unexpected.

These things do happen. People get sick. Accidents happen. People lose jobs. It happens. To say it's unexpected, really just shows how much time we spend living in a fantasy world where these things don't happen. Because they do.

The good part of this? I'm excited about saving.

Now... we're just starting Step 1: Have $1000 in your emergency fund, but I'm already thinking ahead to Step 3: Have 3-6 months of expenses in your emergency fund.

Can you imagine having 6 months of expenses in your emergency fund?
And then, because I am also baby stepping my way to stockpiling via coupon savings, can you imagine having 6 months of expenses in your emergency fund, plus 6 months of food & toiletries in your stockpile?

What a comfort that would be. Combining the two you would surely have 8 - 9 months of a cushion, should someone lose a job. And what a security net should there be an accident, illness, or other unexpected occurrence.

I can't stop thinking about it.

So much so that I've thought about cancelling our upcoming trip to save the $$. Except some of our reservations are non-refundable. So... I'd rather get something out of it, then not go and lose both the money and the reservation, ya know?

Besides, I really think this upcoming trip is going to be very beneficial to our marriage, which is an even better investment than money.

So... what's your savings situation? Have you taken Dave Ramsey? Thoughts?

As always, thanks for checking in!


Steph{anie} said...

I just started reading Dave Ramsey and I too am scared by what he's saying. I realize how far way from his standards I really am and it scares me.

Praying both of us can do the hard work required to get to a place of financial stability!

Brittany said...

I really hope you are able to make the swap on the 18th. I'm going through car accident issues right now from the accident I was in in April and would love to chat with you for a little bit. :)

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