March’s Debt + Income Report: How Our Emergency Fund Kept Us From Going Into More Debt

4 minute read

I wanted to start attacking debt instantly last month. Unfortunately, my emergency fund had been drained significantly in January.

What’s an emergency fund? This fund is cash you should set aside to pay for unexpected needs. Building an emergency fund can seem pointless until an unexpected expense comes out of nowhere. Building an emergency fund makes you feel like you’re not making any progress and just wasting time.

You’ve been there. You’re excited about getting out of debt and want to throw as much as you can towards it. But then you read something telling you to build an emergency fund, first. This is deflating because you’re so pumped to see your total debt decrease.

I understand exactly how this feels. But even though I was eager to tackle debt, I knew I needed to build my emergency fund to protect myself from going deeper into debt if/when the mayhem man arrived.

Our Emergency Fund Save Us

I’m so glad I built it!

Last month, I took my car to my mechanic for routine maintenance. Jasmine and I were leaving town for a road trip, and we hadn’t serviced the car in a while. After I dropped my car off, I returned to work, planning to pick it up at noon.

Once at work, I received a call from my mechanic who informed me that the car needed repairs which would cost $1,309.13. As you can imagine, this was devastating. First, I was worried that this guy was ripping me off. Second, I was frustrated because this expense would set us back a month. Finally, I don’t have time to get a second opinion because we were leaving town in a few hours.

Rather than risk taking a car in poor condition on a road trip, I bit the bullet and paid for the repairs. But it hurt a lot. After a while, I was thankful we put money aside for emergencies like this. Although we didn’t make the progress we wanted to make, we didn’t go deeper into debt. I have to consider that a win.

How Did I Do Last Month

Total Debt in February: $63,843
Goal: $63,459
Results: $63,267

I didn’t plan to make a lot of progress regarding debt last month because I needed to build my emergency fund. I figured I could knock out $400 from minimum payments plus any extra money.

Since we overbudgeted in a few areas and I received money from reimbursements (work), we were able to knock out a little more debt. It’s not the progress we wanted to see, but I’ll take it.

Extra Income Expected: $?
Goal: $?
Results: $103.40

Extra income was a mystery last month. I didn’t know what to expect nor did I have goals. Several people have shown interest in using me as a consultant, but those conversations are ongoing. I’m excited to see what comes of this.

We received this as a result of some affiliate marketing over six months. All of this went towards debt, which helped us knock out a little extra debt last month despite our setback.

Total Savings: $300
Goal: $1000
Result: $300

Again, I consider this a win. We reached the $1000 goal but had to spend it immediately. Although we’re back at $300, I’m hopeful for March.

Other Goals

Average 10:30 PM Bedtime (Success)

I hit my 10:30 PM bedtime goal most nights and I’m arriving to work most mornings at 8 AM, but sometimes 7:30 AM. I’ve enjoyed this, and I’m hoping to keep it up this month.

Read 3 Books (Fail)

I didn’t finish reaching any of the books I wanted to finish last month. I’ll try again this month. I have a goal this year that I’m determined to hit.

Plan My Days (Success)

Planning my days proved to be very helpful. I saw my productivity go up significantly last month. I’m off to a slow start this month, but I plan to get back on track in this week.

March Finances

Total Debt: $63,267
Goal: $62,900

Again, I’d also like to see this number decrease this month, but it’s not my main priority. We have to get this emergency fund back to $1000.

Extra Income Expected: $0
Goal: $200

I’m not expecting anything but I’d like to earn at least $200. Currently, I’m in a lot of ongoing conversations so who knows what will happen this month. I’m looking forward to updating you.

Total Savings: $300
Goal: $1000

Getting this back to a $1000 this month is our number one goal this month. Since we have a few more expenses this month, It’ll be hard to accomplish this without extra income. I’m going to scrape to reach $1000.

OTHER GOALS

Average 10:00 PM Bedtime

I’m bumping this up 30 minutes for March.

Read 3 Books

I failed this last month, hoping to see success in this area in March.

Plan My Days

Planning was so important, I’m making this a monthly goal.

Morning and Evening Routine

Although my bed was good, I didn’t have a consistent morning and evening routine. I’m hoping to implement a routine this month.

If you’re interested in planning your days, establishing routines, and more productivity tips, I highly recommend Productivity Untangled.

That’s all for March. I’m looking forward to updating you guys next month. What are your goals for March? Share them in the Facebook group.

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About Phillip Holmes

Phillip is a seasoned writer and speaker who has worked with numerous clients to help them take control of their finances. Still digging his way out of debt, Phillip aims to speak and write with conviction, insight, and compassion. He is married to Jasmine and they have a little boy, Wynn.

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