Where should your emergency fund range be
In your plan, you talk about Baby Step 3 as saving enough to have three to six months of expenses in your emergency fund. My husband and I were wondering how you can determine whether you need to be on the low end or high end of that range?
Lots of times in a marriage you’ll have a situation where one person wants to save more, while the other is excited to move on toward investing. Technically, neither is wrong. So, the emergency fund really deals with someone’s own personal level of peace. Remember Murphy’s Law, and how it says that if something can go wrong it will go wrong? Your emergency fund is Murphy Repellant. Some people just want to make sure he doesn’t knock on the door, while others make sure he stays in the next county.
There are always practical considerations you can use to determine the amount of your emergency fund. If you both have very stable jobs, you’ll probably be okay saving up three or four months of expenses. But if just one of you works outside the home, or if one is self-employed or on commission, leaning toward the six month side is probably a good idea.
Of course, you can always compromise. Start out with three months, but add a little every once in a while until you reach a point where you’re both comfortable.
Foreclosure home finds
We’ll be completely out of debt in September and looking to buy a home in the next year or two. We’re thinking of buying a repo home. Do you have any suggestions on where to find these?
One way is to buy the home from the owners before the sale happens. It’s better for them because they realize some money and it stops the foreclosure. It’s better for you, too, because you won’t find yourself in a bidding war later on the courthouse steps.
You can also find listings in your local newspaper under the legal notices section, and if you live in a metropolitan area it’s not hard to find a legal newspaper that lists incorporations, real estate transactions and foreclosures.
Just what she needs
My daughter is a student and has $13,000 in student loan debt. Recently, her grandparents dissolved an LLC, and they want to give her a gift of $12,500. Should she use this money to pay off the loans, or invest it in a Roth IRA and keep working to pay off the student loans herself?
Let’s look at it this way. Pretend she didn’t have any student loan debt. Would it be wise for her to borrow money on a student loan in order to invest in a Roth IRA? Of course not. If you don’t pay off the loans, and invest it instead, it’s just like you borrowed money to invest. That’s not a good plan.
Your daughter needs to get her student loan mess cleaned up, and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that. And I think it’s pretty cool that God gave her what she needs to fix things. Besides, she can’t do a Roth IRA, except to the point that she has an earned income, anyway.
The last thing this girl needs is a pile of debt waiting on her when she gets out of school. She’s not in a position to be an investor right now. The minute she pays off her student loans, she should get to work on saving a pile of money for an emergency fund so she can complete her studies without racking up more debt!