Columnist: Keep emergency funds; despite perceptions, we are safe

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 22, 2016

Emergency fund — people ask me, “Do I really need an emergency fund?” Yes, and the next question is, “How much?”

Folks, Dave Ramsey says you should have $1,000 in cash at all times. We are talking not if, but when you will have a rainy day in your life.

This money is not to be used at the Ducks Unlimited Auction to buy that picture you think you must have. If you know your heat pump is 16 years old, I would tell you to start putting $400 each month in a special account because you’re overdue a new heat pump.

You must plan for problems in life. If your car is 10 years old and has lots of miles on it, take it into your local mechanic, ask him what is coming up in the next 12 months on Betsy and how much it will cost to keep Betsy running good. Let’s say you have to pay $2,500 and you have only $1,000, your mechanic may give you $1,500 same as cash at $500 per month.

Look around your house, you cannot get in your garage for all the junk you have. Why not have a yard sale you may raise a few hundred there. What about those guns you have not cleaned in nine years?

Folks, if you do not use them, find out what they are worth and sell them. Let someone else enjoy them and you take the money and put into your rainy day account.

In my younger days I bought several guns and as I got older some were just not used very much. Well, in the past few years I have sold them and made other people very happy, and to be honest, I have not missed them for we were not a good match anyway.

The older you get the easier it is to be happy with less.

One of my friends had an engine on their truck go out. He got two estimates and the cheap one was over $5,000 but he plans on driving that truck for several more years so he is still saving money over buying a new one.

I hope I have given you something to help you plan your day and your future. We will all have rainy days, but the trick is to have a raincoat and umbrella .

We are safe!

Everyone that knows me very well knows I read a lot of data about what is going on around me.

I would like to share with you the crime rates over the last 20 years in the city of LaGrange as reported by the city of LaGrange departments of public safety. They will shock you because our town is larger today than 20 years ago, but crime has gone down.

Why does everyone think it has gone up? Is it because of the pictures people send us on our phones and what we see on Facebook? Not mention what’s on the front page of our two newspapers in LaGrange.

Bad news sells papers! I will end this with numbers from 20 years ago and the numbers for last year. I was shocked to see they are better now than way back when.

Now some areas are worse than others, but it is everyone’s duty to call the police if we see something wrong. We should all help mentor our young people.

The law enforcement officers do not get the respect and pay they deserve. I am hoping when you read the numbers below you will appreciate law enforcement more and thank them for what they do when you see them.


Jerry Johnson

Contributing columnist

Jerry Johnson is president of First Realty of LaGrange.