Excellent article about preparing for the unexpected, financially:
My wife has always maintained a sizable savings account, but having extra cash is new to me. Until recently, I had always lived paycheck-to-paycheck, often treading close to a zero dollar balance in my checkbook for months at a time. Now, though, I’ve not only established an emergency account, but set up a couple of targeted accounts as well. (One is for vacations, and the other is for a new car.)
My method works for me, but others have different approaches. In her book Debt-Proof Living, author Mary Hunt suggests a sort of “emergency fund plus“. Often when people struggle with money, she says, it’s not the predictable monthly bills that are the problem. People cannot cope with the unexpected things — not just emergencies (like a severe illness), but irregular expenses like auto maintenance, wedding and birthday gifts, or a new pair of shoes.
To deal with all of life’s surprises, Hunt recommends a Freedom Account. Here’s how it works:
(…continued via Get Rich Slowly)