Successfully Managing Your First Financial Emergency

The popular personal finance author and radio host Dave Ramsey frequently talks about some guy called Murphy showing up in households from time to time. This statement is tied to the infamous Murphy’s Law. In other words, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. When Murphy shows up, according to Ramsey, you have a financial emergency. This could be just about anything that’s unexpected, including medical expenses, car repairs, or the need to take a trip to see a sick family member. How can these emergencies be handled, especially by younger folks who are probably experiencing one for the first time?

Emergency Funds

In an ideal world, everyone would have a nice emergency fund built up. Ramsey recommends starting out with $1,000 and staying at that level until you’ve paid off all debt with the exception of a mortgage. Then, he recommends building this fund up until you have between three and six months of expenses saved. However, we do not live in an ideal world. It will take young adults a while to build up an emergency fund. This can be especially difficult for those who are just starting out on a minimum wage job. Even though it might take a while to build up an emergency fund, it is a worthwhile goal. It still leaves the question of how to handle emergencies before you’re able to build up an adequate emergency fund.

Personal Loans

Cash loans can sometimes be utilized to pay off emergencies in the absence of an emergency fund. These loans can come from a few different sources. First, it might be worth checking with family to see if they can front you the money for an emergency. Of course, you should not take advantage of your family member’s generosity. It’s important to pay the loan back as soon as possible unless they have specifically stated that the money was a gift.

 

Another kind of personal loan to consider would be one through an online service like MaxLend specializing in short-term borrowing arrangements. These are often based on the borrower’s guarantee that the debt will be repaid within a certain period of time in the near future. They are very useful financial instruments for those unable to secure other forms of emergency funding.

 

Another option for paying for an emergency would be a bank loan. These can be relatively easy to get as long as the prospective borrower has a decent credit score. The interest rate that you might have to pay will be tied to the credit risk that the bank might perceive you to be. If you’re a relatively low-risk borrower, your interest rate should be lower than a borrower with a higher risk profile would get. This means that maintaining prompt payments is imperative.

Credit Cards

One of the more expensive ways to take care of an emergency is with a credit card. If you have a nice emergency fund and could pay the card off immediately, paying with credit could actually pay some benefits. There are cash-back and travel cards that offer some nice perks in addition to the float that paying with a credit card provides. However, if you don’t have that luxury, cards can come with some pretty high-interest rates. The goal would be to cut other expenses in the immediate term to pay off the debt as soon as possible. Once the credit card is paid off in full, it would then be time to start actually building up an emergency fund so that there’s less stress when the next emergency pops up.

 

Side-Hustle

One last option to consider for those who can pull it off is to find a side-hustle which can provide an extra source of income when needed. Rideshare like driving for Uber or Lyft is perfect for those who own their own vehicle.

 

Dealing with emergencies can be a hassle. However, with some creativity, it is possible to deal with unexpected expenses. The goal should eventually be to have cash built up to handle these costs, but for many people in their 20s and 30s, it might be necessary to get a loan or pay with a credit card.

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Successfully Managing Your First Financial Emergency

The popular personal finance author and radio host Dave Ramsey frequently talks about some guy called Murphy showing up in households from time to time. This statement is tied to the infamous Murphy’s Law. In other words, whatever can go wrong will go wrong. When Murphy shows up, according to Ramsey, you have a financial emergency. This could be just about anything that’s unexpected, including medical expenses, car repairs, or the need to take a trip to see a sick family member. How can these emergencies be handled, especially by younger folks who are probably experiencing one for the first time?

Emergency Funds

In an ideal world, everyone would have a nice emergency fund built up. Ramsey recommends starting out with $1,000 and staying at that level until you’ve paid off all debt with the exception of a mortgage. Then, he recommends building this fund up until you have between three and six months of expenses saved. However, we do not live in an ideal world. It will take young adults a while to build up an emergency fund. This can be especially difficult for those who are just starting out on a minimum wage job. Even though it might take a while to build up an emergency fund, it is a worthwhile goal. It still leaves the question of how to handle emergencies before you’re able to build up an adequate emergency fund.

Personal Loans

Cash loans can sometimes be utilized to pay off emergencies in the absence of an emergency fund. These loans can come from a few different sources. First, it might be worth checking with family to see if they can front you the money for an emergency. Of course, you should not take advantage of your family member’s generosity. It’s important to pay the loan back as soon as possible unless they have specifically stated that the money was a gift.

 

Another kind of personal loan to consider would be one through an online service like MaxLend specializing in short-term borrowing arrangements. These are often based on the borrower’s guarantee that the debt will be repaid within a certain period of time in the near future. They are very useful financial instruments for those unable to secure other forms of emergency funding.

 

Another option for paying for an emergency would be a bank loan. These can be relatively easy to get as long as the prospective borrower has a decent credit score. The interest rate that you might have to pay will be tied to the credit risk that the bank might perceive you to be. If you’re a relatively low-risk borrower, your interest rate should be lower than a borrower with a higher risk profile would get. This means that maintaining prompt payments is imperative.

Credit Cards

One of the more expensive ways to take care of an emergency is with a credit card. If you have a nice emergency fund and could pay the card off immediately, paying with credit could actually pay some benefits. There are cash-back and travel cards that offer some nice perks in addition to the float that paying with a credit card provides. However, if you don’t have that luxury, cards can come with some pretty high-interest rates. The goal would be to cut other expenses in the immediate term to pay off the debt as soon as possible. Once the credit card is paid off in full, it would then be time to start actually building up an emergency fund so that there’s less stress when the next emergency pops up.

 

Side-Hustle

One last option to consider for those who can pull it off is to find a side-hustle which can provide an extra source of income when needed. Rideshare like driving for Uber or Lyft is perfect for those who own their own vehicle.

 

Dealing with emergencies can be a hassle. However, with some creativity, it is possible to deal with unexpected expenses. The goal should eventually be to have cash built up to handle these costs, but for many people in their 20s and 30s, it might be necessary to get a loan or pay with a credit card.

2,615 Responses to Successfully Managing Your First Financial Emergency
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  12. Jed
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