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No. of Recommendations: 11
An emergency fund actually sounded like a good idea to me a while back, but the more my eyes open up the less I see the sense in it right now, unless someone wants to pay me > 17% on that money.

I get it. I was where you were in the past.

For a while, I was throwing every spare dollar I had to high-interest credit cards, pleased that I was saving money. Then my car would get a flat tire, or the washing machine would stop working. And since I had no money set aside for these freak occurrences, I would have no recourse but to whip out the credit card to pay for them. Definitely a three-steps-forward, two-steps-back thing.

I've had other people argue with me about this, but here's what works for me. Any extra money I can find, I don't immediately send to a credit card. I set it aside in a savings account until the balance of the account equals the balance of a credit card. Then, if nothing seems to be on the verge of breaking, I pay off the credit card with one giant payment.

Then I repeat the cycle. Set aside spare monies into a savings account, plus the minimum payment that I had been paying the first credit card, and continue.

Again, people will shriek that this isn't the least-expensive way to pay off debt--and it isn't--but it works for me. Last year I had unexpected expenses of several thousand dollars. Ten years ago I would have had no choice but to put them on credit. But I had the money in the bank. I was hoping to pay off a loan with it, but instead I prevented myself from getting deeper in debt.

I also stopped worrying about flat tires.
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