Category Archives: Emergency Fund

Weighing Exhaustion vs. Emergency Fund

I am exhausted. Work is going fine, I know that the back and forth of Chicago weather doesn’t help, and I know that this condo purchase process is stressing me out. I am talking stressed-out-so-much-I-am-breaking-out-and-canceling-seeing-friends type of exhaustion. It is taking all of my energy to put in the hours at work and calling mortgage officer, lawyer, realtor, and whoever else is required at that time.

A few days ago I was supposed to do an online orientation for the part time job I am to start. It happened to coincide with my inspection. I emailed the HR folks and told them that I’d like to reschedule, possibly pushing this off until next month, thinking ahead about my energy levels and my task list.

But what do you know? The orientation was canceled and I was told to reschedule. I thought about just waiting until the next month. Then I thought about my emergency fund.

Basically the problem is, I will have almost no emergency fund aside from my Roth IRA and 401k after the purchase of this property. Despite Dave Ramsey‘s $1k EF, I feel safest at 6 months living expenses. I believe that since I would be looking for a middle/senior management level at big corporations, the jobs available might be slim and the time it takes for it to finalize would also be long. 6 months allows me to feel comfortable that before my EF would run out, and that I’d find another job without settling.

That no emergency fund thing… It is starting to scare me. I plan on implementing my bare bones budget until I have that much achieved (which I will know better once the mortgage is approved and I know what monthly payments to expect), which might be as long as the rest of 2012. And even then I am afraid that something might happen prior to me reaching that magical EF number.

I am tired. I need to pack. I need to cook at home so I avoid costly take-out meals. But I need the Emergency Fund more, for my sanity and my financial well-being. I decided to trade my stress of not having a sufficient EF fund for stressing out over having another task.

So, while I am juggling everything else, I will be undergoing the training. It pays pennies during training, but it is the only way for me to get that regular, double-digit paying gig a few months later.

I may be stressed out but I will at least feel financially safer.