I think it’s safe to say that many people, millennials mostly, are not set up to financially handle an emergency. If you follow Dave Ramsey, his first Baby Step is to have an emergency fund of $1,000. To be clear, I don’t necessarily follow his steps, but I do agree with having an emergency fund.
For some, $1,000 is a lot to attempt to save, while for others, like myself, $1,000 doesn’t seem like enough to save. If anything, I believe, to start, $2k-$3k is a good place to start. I know for many that will be a struggle, but in all honesty, it’s necessary.
Before beginning a debt free journey, while you’re being all gazelle intense (meaning throwing every cent at debt), it’s wise to have a cushion in case something was to happen. Outside of your bills, of you are throwing every cent to debt and working a $0 budget, that means you have no money left. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you are screwed. To literally have $0 in the bank, that’s ludicrous. This is why it’s best to have an emergency fund before starting this journey.
Things will arise, major things that you didn’t expect or plan for, that will throw a wrench into your progress. That’s life and you need to be prepared at all times for it. Unknown that when I started this journey, I had a car that was causing me problems. I blew threw my emergency fund for repairs. Despite having to empty my EF account, I was glad I had the money to do it. Had I not, I’m not sure how I would’ve been able to get to work and make the money to pay off debts.
I say all this to say, do not start any kind of financial journey that requires significantly large amounts of money to be spent, if you don’t have an emergency fund. Period.