Because Dan and I are both self-employed and don't have set paydays, we have relied on our emergency fund to cover us between paychecks, when necessary. But each time we've gotten paid we've replenished the emergency fund and added more when we could till now we're at $1000.00. We plan to continue to build that to $2000.00 as soon as possible because of our somewhat unique employment situation (we really are gluttons for punishment, both being self-employed.)
I told my friend's mom today that we had our emergency fund and she was horrified to hear that a mere $1000.00 was the most money we had ever saved. But I fear that most people are like us, living paycheck to paycheck. Having that emergency fund has cut the stress in my life tremendously because now I don't have to worry about overdraft fees or having to use the credit card if something comes up. Dan had to get his wisdom teeth pulled this month and we paid cash for it. I have to get some dental work done (a gum graft) and we're going to pay cash for that with our tax relief check. And it's true what Dave Ramsey says, that paying with cash saves you money. Not only in finance charges, but the oral surgeon gave us a discount for paying cash at the time of service. Sweet!
If you didn't read my post about Dave Ramsey's book The Total Money Makeover, you can read it here. We just checked his book out at the library and started applying his principles, no cost involved. It took us 4 months to save the emergency fund. And we haven't used our credit cards in 6 months. And we can pay our bills every month. When I told Dan today that we'd reached our $1000.00 emergency fund goal, he kind of bah-humbugged about how far we have to go. But if you consider that we have an emergency fund, we are no longer accumulating debt, and we're paying our bills every month, we're much farther than $1000.00 ahead of where we were just 6 months ago.
So I say, "Yay Us!"