It’s funny how children’s fables are still relevant to adults and the decisions we make. Are you familiar with the story about the Grasshopper and the Ant? It’s the one that provides an oral lesson about the virtues of hard work and planning for the future. The fable is about a grasshopper that has spent the warm months singing and dancing while the ant worked to store up food for colder months. When winter arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and begs the ant for food. His lesson– it is best to prepare for the days of necessity.
Last week was week 17 of my 52 Week Money Challenge and I am excited to announce that I am under the $1,000.00 mark for my credit card balance. This week I crossed off $51.00 on the SMC Bingo Money Sheet, which puts me at a total of $421.00 dollars in extra payments applied to my credit card balance this year. When I first made this goal a part of my financial plan, I thought that paying off this debt would take longer. It’s not a glamorous or goal trendy. Most of my friends don’t even understand why I am making these type of financial goals for myself, but I can’t think of many things more delightful than not having to worry about massive debt.
Hare Brain Behavior
In the post, Is This Super Easy Financial Move worth the Risk?, I threw out the idea of going against Dave Ramsey’s advice to maintain a $1000.00 emergency fund. I revealed that I was considering tapping into my emergency fund once I got my credit card balance under the $1000.00 mark. Well that moment is here and I have decided. I considered every suggestion that readers posted in the comment section of that post and on our Facebook page and I have decided to use $500.00, half of my emergency fund, to knock down my balance even faster. Not only would that put me ahead of my goal date, but I would also end up with more money back in my emergency fund AND savings because I would not be paying interest fees. That’s to say that once my emergency fund is back up to the recommended $1000.00 mark, I would continue put any extra money (up until the original goal date of August 1st) into my savings.
Slow & Steady Wins the Race
Although, I have decided that tapping into the emergency fund is the best move for me. I would only do so under one condition – the results of the check engine diagnostic on my C-class Mercedes. If I can afford to pay for repairs to my car and knock out my credit card debt faster, without going into the emergency fund, then that’s what I will do. Otherwise, I would risk using credit again to take care of this unexpected expense, which is a point that many of you readers brought up when I first presented this idea, and defeats the purpose of having an emergency fund in the first place.
Does slow and steady win the race every time? I’m not sure about EVERY TIME, but I do know that it has become a well-known lesson for a reason. I’m just hoping that this time, I’m an exception to the rule. Only time will tell and I can’t wait to let you know how things turned out. Like the ant, I am preparing for days of necessity through working hard and planning for the future. Why not make my money work for me?
Do you consider yourself a financial grasshopper or ant?
Email SMC: email@example.com