Mike <-- RESPECT. The monkey.
That’s my total debt as of last month. Most of it is unsecured—about $67,000 in student loans, $9,800 for my car, and the remainder on credit cards. Right now, I’m able to pay it down at about $1.5k/month, if I don’t have any unexpected expenses that month. Unfortunately I spent a good deal of the past four years unemployed, and I burned through my retirement as a result, so I’ve got no safety net to speak of. At this point, I’m more concerned about getting this debt under control than building up an emergency fund. I’m planning on getting to a point where I can live on about $3300/month, then saving up $10k for an emergency fund. If I were to lose my job, hopefully three months would be enough to get by until I got another one. Right now my mandatory expenses are about $4k/month, so I’ve got to get rid of a few CC bills first. If I get laid off before I finish the emergency fund, I’ll have live on credit cards. It’s going to be like living on pins and needles until I get that emergency fund set up.