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Are You Financially Prepared for the Unexpected? 

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You've got to prepare for the unexpected! That's why having an emergency fund is critical to your financial well-being.

Kathryn Vasel at CNNmoney recently stated that 6 out of 10 Americans do NOT have $500 - $1,000 saved in an emergency fund. When faced with a need, she reports that:

-- 20% would put it on a credit card.

-- 20% would cut spending.

-- 11% would borrow from friends or family.

And, yet, nearly half of Americans reported that they or their immediate family had an unexpected bill last year. So says Jill Cornfield at Bankrate.com.

The typical surprises fall into categories of transportation, appliance, home repair, injury or illness.

Paul Golden, spokesman for the National Endowment for Financial Education in Dallas, reports that having $500 saved improves people’s psychological wellbeing and shows they have the ability to set and meet achievable goals. Once they meet that amount, they can reset the bar and aim for the next goal.

We must prepare for the unexpected.

Begin today by setting a dollar amount you want to save with a specific date in mind. Track your spending for the next 30 days. Keep a notebook or download a free app on your phone to record every single purchase. Every coke, every snack, every cup of coffee. If you're married, set a time each week to look over your combined spending. (But be sure to do so in a spirit of grace and hope.)

At the end of 30 days, you will be able to see what’s going on. Ask a wise person to commit to meet with you for 6 months. Open your spending records to them that first month, making necessary changes. Then record for another 30 days, then another 30, and so on until you reach your goal.

As Proverbs 16:3 instructs, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

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