June 27th, 2006

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For those of you that are in the habit of paying yourself a portion of your income each month (hopefully for the purpose of investing and growing your wealth), I have a question. What do you do if there is some financial emergency during the month that makes it impossible to pay yourself a portion of that month’s income?

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For example, one month my car died and I had to replace the engine. I used the money in my checking account – not savings – to cover the expense, but was then unable to pay myself 20% of that month’s income (20% is what I try to pay myself each month). My budgeting system still shows that I owe myself for that month and I intend to pay it off as my checking account recovers from the car expense. I would like to hear what others do in similar situations. Do you keep a running self-debt balance or do you just forget that month and start paying yourself next month when cash isn’t as tight?

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Entry Filed under: Saving


  • 1. Scott Clark  |  June 27th, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    Emergency fund, baby, emergency fund! Yeah! I think Dave Ramsey’s common sense advice is right on the (pardon the pun) money. You shouldn’t be saving or investing until you’re out of debt and have the emergency fund built up. If you tap into the fund you halt the savings until the emergency fund is back up to snuff.

  • 2. John M  |  June 28th, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    There are many things that you owe to yourself, but money shouldn’t be one of them. Replacing your engine is a legtimate dip into you savings. Start paying yourself again next month.

  • 3. Paula  |  August 3rd, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    I agree with the gentlemen. I had to dip into emergency fund after being sick, fixing and getting a new (to me) car. I start back saving my emergency fund next week when I get paid. Thank god I had my emergency fund savings. I would have NEVER made it through this last month.nn1nn1


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