Avoiding Murphy

November 20, 2011 

Dear Dave,

I've just started listening to you and trying to clean up my finances. Who exactly is this "Murphy" you always talk about?

- Jennifer

Dear Jennifer,

The Murphy I talk about isn't an actual person, or even a real family. There's an old adage called Murphy's Law, and it goes something like this: "If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong." In other words, if you're alive and walking around, bad stuff will happen to you sooner or later. It's not even about being pessimistic or negative, it's just a fact. Sooner or later it's going to rain, and that's why you need an umbrella.

I tell people all the time that having an emergency fund of three to six months worth of expenses saved up is great Murphy Repellant. Think about it. A lot of your big problems seem to leave when you have $10,000 to $15,000 sitting around. An emergency fund can turn a disaster into nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

So, it's just a saying. But there's still a whole lot of truth in that little saying, Jennifer. If you're properly prepared, you can keep Murphy away from your door!

- Dave

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