Christie and I often look at financial things from, as we say, “THIS side of the mountain.” The mountain being the mountain of debt that it took over six years to pay off. We have replaced that mountain of dung with a healthy Emergency Fund.

According to a recent USA Today article no one does that. According to a survey of over 1000 adults, 34% had no money set aside for emergencies. Zero. Almost half said they could not cover their living expenses longer than 90 days. That’s 84% of this sample surveyed that have no or low savings.

CNN Money reports that 18% of us are not saving anything, and half of us are saving 5% or less of our incomes.

This has to change. But you can’t fill a hole on one side and keep digging out the other. You must get out of debt, and stay out of debt. I can’t stand the socio-economic terms like “lower class” or “middle class”. But it doesn’t matter what “class” you fall into, you must learn to live on less than you make and clean up your mess. Get completely out of debt except for your house, and then save for emergencies. And then, start investing for retirement. Not only CAN you do this, you HAVE to do this. The government isn’t going to take care of you! We’re here to help you build a plan and Do Better With Money.

It’s not easy climbing that mountain. But it’s WORTH it.