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Dave Says: Prepping for an Emergency

by | Sep. 06, 2011

Finances

Dear Dave,

My husband needs a liver transplant within the next two years, because he has Hepatitis C. We make about $70,000 a year, but we have $25,000 in debt. He’s still able to work right now, and we have health insurance, but how can we prepare for the operation and medical bills?

Nikki

Dear Nikki,

God bless you guys. It’s going to be tough, because you’re going to face a lengthy loss of income, and sky-high medical bills even if everything goes well. I’m really sorry you have to go through this. Life can be hard enough without major health issues knocking you for a loop.

The good news is that there’s something you can do about all this, and it all starts with saving. First, set aside an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses as quickly as you can. In your case, I’d recommend leaning toward the six month side. Second, you guys need to have no life for the next year or two, and get very serious about paying off as much debt as possible after you get your emergency fund in place. I’m talking about following a very strict budget, and living on rice and beans. Bottom line? The less debt you have, the better off you’ll be.

Wouldn’t you love to be debt-free and have six months of expenses in the bank before they perform this operation? You can do it, if it becomes important enough to make it priority one!

—Dave

* For more financial help please visit daveramsey.com.

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