Medical Emergency

I busted up both of my knees and have to got to physical therapy for 6 weeks. Uggh. And not only that, but it's cost me $300 (with insurance!) so far to get some routine visits and tests. By the way, $300 is almost the gym membership that I forewent on the logic that running is free...and for the same running that busted up my knees. #irony 

$300 :( And I haven't even started physical therapy yet  X____X

The knee replacement I'm trying to avoid. aka It could be worse.
This, my friends, is why we need to have an emergency fund rather than just paying everything we can towards our loans, and then some. I must -- wait, let me capitalize that -- I MUST have an emergency fund. I've paid the $300 on my credit card (who's balance was previously zero), and will pay the balance off with my next paycheck. But what if it would've been $3,000 instead of $300? Then what (the f*@!%) would I do? I'm really not trying to live off of credit card debt to fund my student debt. That would, of course, make absolutely no sense. 

So here's the new debt zapping strategy -- Instead of putting as much of my income as possible -- almost 50% right now -- towards my loans, I'm going to:

1. Divert my income towards my savings until I have three months worth of savings, which is about $4,000 and will take me just over 2 months to squirrel away.
2. Only pay the minimum amount towards my loans in the mean time.
3. Cash out on the savings once I'm $4,000 away from annihilating my loans. Bam! 

This way I'll have an emergency savings fund, which (of course) I'll hopefully never have to use, and most importantly, will give me a bit more peace of mind. Having only $200 -- and living pay-check-to-paycheck -- is like trying to walk a tightrope while juggling, blindfolded, and over a pit of venomous snakes. No...actually...it's probably worse than that. It's like busting up your knees and having to pay $300 from your credit card to not even have them fixed yet. Ugggh!

Another plug here though should go to insurance. If you don't have insurance (medical or dental) I highly recommend paying for it. Because without insurance you've pretty much jumped into the pit of snakes at that point. Not having insurance would be WAAAAYYYY worse than this. It would've cost me well into the thousands without insurance. And if you think you can't afford it, ehh, wrong! While I was living in Hawai'i as a freelance/part-time photographer I made about $12,000 that year and paid for my own insurance. It cost me about $600 to be insured that year. Those $600 would've fully covered any emergency; volcano lava accident, surfing mishap, and even a venomous snake pit. But most importantly, it gave me the peace of mind that not only would I be taken care of if I had an accident, but that I wouldn't go bankrupt if I did. If you don't have insurance, next time, instead of going to facebook, do this: go to google and type "individual medical insurance plans" -- and start reading my friend. You know it'll make you feel better to just know you have it. Do it! 

Okay, I'm done with the insurance PSA. Back to debt zapping! {{insert laser zapping noises}}

I have to give credit to the always fabulous tips from NoMoreHarvardDebt for the saving strategy idea. Here's Joe M's tutorial on this strategy -- watch it!



Also, here's a sweet little slideshow/article from LearnVest.com on saving:
You’ll Never Believe How Much I Saved ... and How

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