How to save for a rainy day and why it matters?

When it rains it pours

If you have ever wondered where did that come from, chances are you are not alone. Life can be unpredictable but as you will learn, there are things that we can predict. Many things in life are "whens" and not "ifs."

Image used with Creative Commons courtesy of Shutterstock

What life looked like before and after I started managing my money

Overwhelmed, out of control, one "unforeseeable event" away from catastrophe
Empowered, I control my money, I am prepared for the future and can pay for today.

"We can't tell the future but there are definitely things that we know are coming down the pipeline"

There are times that make or break a lot of people’s finances. One of those is the arrival of your first child. Your income is cut in at least half and your expenses rise to challenge it. It is important to realize that many of the expenses you have with your child become regular parts of your budget, not just the one-off sunk costs of a car seat. For example, when they begin eating solids, your grocery bill inevitably raises a bit. Diapers and wipes become a mass revenue generator for your local grocer, and if your baby is formula fed there is another line item.

Well, R & I welcomed J into our life in May 2020. Many of you are familiar with the turmoil that was 2020 but to keep it brief, there was a monumental election, a novel pandemic, and stock markets hitting highs and lows frequently in a short time span. Thankfully, we had taken a personal finance course offered through our church the year prior. While we had not anticipated a pandemic, we did forecast that our income would be lower than normal for 2020. We are blessed to be in Canada where maternity leave can be taken for a year. This meant our income would be roughly half of what we regularly earn. So, we set ourselves a goal of saving a juicy emergency fund for such a case. We reverse engineered and found that if we saved 10, 000 CAD that should last us the duration of maternity leave. That is a respectable sum of money! Especially considering I am a student.

When it rains it pours

We sourced our savings fund with a few methods - the biggest contributor being our tax returns. So, we took a good chunk of that and put it towards our savings fund. Next, we set up automatic/recurring deposits to the savings account which at the time was earning a cool 2% interest (sadly, interest rates have dropped since then, but it did help pad the accounts faster). That is one example of the power of looking towards the future and managing your money.

Perhaps you are not expecting a little one any time soon, but do you drive a car? Cars by nature are not indestructible and need maintenance annually. Do you pay for insurance annually to save costs? If so, set up an automatic deposit so you have those funds available. This works great for holidays that we know are the same time every year.

"Be Prepared and Ye Shall Not Fear"

DC 38:30

The tool we used to save this money up was EQ bank. I am an affiliate which means if you sign up with them and deposit $100, we both get $20. Here is the link to get that 20 dollars. Additionally, here is my blog post on the exact system I am using to manage my money.

I love being able to name my individual accounts, especially as a self-employed person. It has no fees and has treated our family well. For example, I have a profit account, a business expense account, an education fund, and an opportunity fund. My wife has a professional fees account, a baby fund (which included a year's worth of insurance fees so we were covered for the duration of maternity leave), a vacation fund, a car repair/replacement account, and an emergency fund/ I- know -I -forgot-something fund.