Saturday, May 7, 2011
A Hard Lesson Learned
If you are a government worker or a government contractor like I am, this past threat of a Federal Government closing was a very scary thing for you. Why was this possibility so scary? Well, if you are like me, the threat was scary because I have bills and no savings. The closure would mean no income for however long the Federal Government would be closed. Needless to say, I was VERY worried. Worried doesn’t even explain it. I was terrified!
After many days of worry, my company let us know that we would be able to use PTO and if we didn’t have PTO we could “borrow” PTO from the future, up to 40 hours. So, I was good as long as the closure only lasted 40 working hours. I don’t know if other companies and agencies were going to do the same, so I can only imagine how people with families and mortgages and such were feeling.
This threat showed me how truly important having an Emergency Fund, and savings in general, is. All I could do was to mentally prepare myself to make it on those 40 PTO hours and however long the closure lasted. My mind was focused on trying to pay my rent, care note, insurance, and all the other bills I have. I was scared I had failed in life, a bit dramatic I know, because I was one emergency away from losing everything, after working so hard to get where I am in life. All because I failed to build a savings.
This story ends with the Federal Government NOT closing and me working and paying my bills. But the lesson I learned from this mess? I need an Emergency Fund. As soon as I got to work that Monday I set up automatic transfers for twice a month from my bank account to my ING account. It’s only $50 a month, but it’s something. Once I reach my goal of $1000, the next goal is 3 months of basic living expenses. But lesson learned, the hard way….