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Three Easy Ways to Start a Rainy Day Fund

Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue about the recent birth of his son and the scary experience they had after reminds us that we’ll do anything for someone we love.


Some friends of ours from church are going through an extended time at the hospital with a very premature newborn themselves and are there with him constantly. We recently lost my wife’s mom to Alzheimer’s, but Jules was able to spend Nana’s last days and hours with her. All these things have one thing in common: Things in our lives happen. Dramatic things that can take all your time, your energy and a TON of money.

Having your financial act together isn’t just a “hey I need to pay some stuff off now” kind of thing. It’s a lifestyle thing, because somewhere down the line, something is going to happen. You’ll have a rainy day. Yeah, Jimmy Kimmel makes a ton of money, but those days in the hospital and that open heart surgery on his newborn weren’t cheap. My friends aren’t rock stars or actors, but they had their financial act together and it allowed them to be where they needed to be: with their son. My wife and I started getting our act together 10 years ago, and by doing that then, Jules was able to leave her job now so she could be where she needed to be – helping to care for her mom 24-7 for more than a month.

Grandma and grandpa always had a “rainy day fund.” You know why? Because IT’S GOING TO RAIN.

It may be a premature bundle of joy, a parent who gets sick, a diagnosis of a spouse, a layoff, a bad accident, etc. But something is going to happen. There will be a rainy day – and the LAST thing you need is to add a financial crisis that puts the very roof over your head at risk. So what can you do for when that rainy day comes?

  • GET on a plan: A budget is not your money telling you what you can’t do. It’s YOU telling your money where to go.
  • THINK about what’s important: Stuff is nice, I like stuff! But stuff doesn’t compare to being able to do something you know you need to do.
  • SAVE some money: Call this your “umbrella.” Many experts recommend having 3-6 months of living expenses saved. And save CASH, not a big credit line so that you can actually pay for stuff when it happens.
    • Consider having a garage sale or selling your old books/clothes/etc. to thrift stores.


If you’ve had an experience where being prepared financially was beneficial, I’d love to hear about it!

I miss you every day, Nana.


The River

Author The River

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