This one is pretty simple. There is nothing like money in the bank. You need it, you go get it. End of story.
Many people live paycheck to paycheck. They have debt, and no money in the bank. No investments, and no alternate sources of income.
They lose their job and they are in big trouble. Depending on the amount of their financial obligations, unemployment may or may not be able to cover all their bills.
Money in the bank changes all that.
If you have a month or two of living expenses in the bank you have some time on your hands to figure out a new job situation. If you have a year of living expenses even better.
Money in the bank means you have power, and you have choices. Without money in the bank your choices are limited.
What happens when your car breaks down and it costs a couple thousand dollars to fix it? You could be in big trouble if you can’t get to work. And it may take months to get your car fixed as you rely on friends and public transportation to get to work.
If you are married, even one spouse losing their job can really hurt your finances and money in the bank helps.
What if a good investment opportunity pops up? Without some cash you can’t take advantage of it.
Same goes for something you have wanted to buy for a long time. Take for instance an expensive tool. All of a sudden you find someone selling the exact tool you need for half the price you could ever find it for. Without cash you won’t be able to buy it. You will end up paying double for it later, if and when you can afford it.
Cash gives you so many options that you can’t even imagine now.
And perhaps that is the biggest point. Having cash in the bank completely changes your mindset about nearly everything financial.
It makes you a more relaxed person. A more reasonable person. A person who is in charge. A person who knows what they are doing. A person that is… free.
This is our 33th challenge in The Personal Finance Challenge Series…