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Let's say you woke up today and were debt-free, but had no savings or efund. Let's assume you have a stable job, stable health, and a life--however you define those. Would you borrow money to stash it into an efund?

If so, at what interest rate would you NOT borrow the money?

<group discussion> Try and come to a consensus ;) JK!


Absolutely I'd borrow money to stash it in an efund. I've done it, lots of times, in the past. Now, our situation was, DH's job would stop paying him for four months or so, and then pay him in one fell swoop the four months pay, and keep paying him for another three months or so, and it all again. And when they stopped paying him, they weren't sure that they were ever going to pay him again. I was TAing, but it's hard to say ahead of time what TAs are going to be open (you can be fairly sure, but I've had TAships fall through on me), and my small but reliable paycheck wasn't enough to cover everything. Also, there came a time when I had to face the sad facts--I really suck at TAing and making progress on my own research at the same time. If you allow it to, TAing can expand to take up a huge amount of time, particularly when you're TAing a class you haven't exactly taken, so you're teaching yourself the stuff two weeks ahead of the class. So there came a day when I stopped taking TAships and just did research. For which I got to pay the school tuition. Whee!

So yes, there were years I borrowed money on student loans, to be sure we could cover both sets of tuition, rent, and all those pesky little living expenses like groceries, daycare, etc. And there came a day when I'd exhausted my student loan eligibility, so then when I got a really good BT offer in the mail, and I would take it and stick the money in the bank--not to make money on the balance, but to have the money available in case of emergency. The first time I took out a student loan was in grad school, and my DH didn't think we would need it, but he was pretty glad I'd done it later in the year, when we had no income for about a third of it, but still had $6K or so in tuition due...

The board will undoubtedly be horribly outraged, but...there it is. The ugly, ugly truth.

It's not your situation, of stable job and whatnot. I honestly don't know what I'd do in that situation, but I think that if I had a stable job, I'd probably be even more likely to take a good BT offer (um, say 4% or less, though if there were no pressing need, it would probably have to be 2% or less) if I had no other debt and no efund.

But realize that my efund is what lets me sleep at night, and otherwise I just stay up and obsess...efund efund efund....efund...EFUND!

I mean, perhaps I am a huge honking freak, but we've had zero experience with job stability for the past, oh, ten years, so probably I am something of a job stability atheist--I would take the money in the bank, the debt on a CC, and snowball the heck out of that sucker.

One thing I've noticed is we're much much better at paying down debt than saving up money, so that's a factor. Yes, you're paying interest on the debt, but when I set savings goals, they seem to not be as important as, say, flying to visit the family at Christmas. It's much harder to argue with a bill that comes every month--maybe this is me deliberately forcing my DH to go along with something I want to do, by making it a bill, rather than trying to get him to agree that putting money aside for no discernable reason, in an amount I think is adequate but he thinks is too much. (SeattlePioneer is speaking from the back of my head--oh, the guilt!)

DH really, really hates debt, but he likes to see his family. I can't really blame him, and as keeper of the books, it's my job to go, "We really can't afford that right now," but it's hard for me to say no to Christmas travel for some reason. So making savings a bill rather than an attempt to make it a category might be my way of dealing with my weakness at saying no to certain things, and making sure some amount goes to savings, albeit in a roundabout way.

Sorry, this got very long. Looks like a very minority view so far.

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