Budgeting

A Properly Budgeted Christmas

When you don't budget for Christmas, how do you figure out how much you can spend?

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Save up, self insure

Shelby asks Dave if she should buy coverage offered by the gas and phone companies to cover lines running to her house from the street. Dave says no, and he tells Shelby the best plan for something like this is an emergency fund.

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If you know it's coming, it's not an emergency

Melody's husband believes he'll have about three months of down time each year in his new business. He wants them to skip paying off debt, and build up a big emergency fund to cover these times. Dave gives them a better idea.

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You still need one

Brad is debt-free, and he serves in the Navy. He doesn't have an emergency fund, but says the Navy provides certain types of relief funds for its members. Still, Dave urges Brad to set aside three to six months of expenses for the unexpected.

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