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October 29, 2019 • Page 2 shop online at www.missourivalleyshopper.com Dave Says Mini Emergency Fund? Dave RAMSEY Dear Dave, I’m 26 and single, and I have about $35,000 in credit card and student loan debt. I’m only making $20,000 a year right now, but I expect to be making almost $30,000 soon. Under the circumstances, can I get by with $500 in my emergency fund, or do I need to have $1,000 set aside like you recommend in Baby Step 1? I’m worried about keeping up with bills while saving money for my starter emergency fund. Thomas Dear Thomas, I know it will be tough, but a $1,000 emergency fund should be your first big goal. Also, if you’re not already doing a monthly budget—and spending every dollar on paper before the next month begins—start doing it now! Living on a budget will help you control your money instead of allowing a lack of money to control you. That’s how you can keep up with the bills while you save that first $1,000. Let’s say you know you’ll be getting two $750 paychecks each month. You go ahead and plan out how to spend that money before you ever get it. Take care of necessities first. I’m talking about food, clothing, shelter, transportation and utilities. After that, make sure you’re current on your debts. Once those things are out of the way, pump every spare dollar you can into your emergency fund. And remember, limit your spending to necessities only! Start working on that now, Thomas. It’s very important. Remember the old saying about Murphy’s Law, and how anything that can go wrong will go wrong? If you keep living without a plan and no emergency fund, Murphy will hunt you down! —Dave I think there must be autumnal reasons for Halloween being hued in orange and black. It’s a fun time, a magic evening if you’re a kid, and if you’re a grandpa-type guy, like me, who gets to hand out the goodies. But the colors of this sweet evening celebration are orange and black, and so is October. In another week or so, our deciduous trees will stand like skeletons against the gray skies of winter, but now we have the orange and black of fall. It happens right about sunset each day. The sky turns that eternal burnt-umber orange and the remaining leaves and the baring branches of our trees fill the evening with a holy filigree of contrast. Oh, it’s not something we need to do anything about. There’s no need for picture taking or anything. But it’s just something that we can step outside for … look toward the west through the lacy pattern of black branches and for a moment, just a short moment, say to ourselves, “Isn’t that pretty?” If the paint store could sell me something that looked even close to that for the walls of the little cabin I have, I’d buy a gallon. Maybe two. They’re just trying to help, but… Dear Dave, My husband and I are in our twenties, and we work for the same company. We’ve been thinking about going back to school and finishing our degrees, because our employer is willing to pay for up to 10 credit hours, plus books, per semester with no strings attached. My parents think we should get student loans instead, so we can finish faster. We both have less than two years to go to complete our degrees, so what do you think? Janet Dear Janet, Wow, this is a fantastic opportunity! How many times does someone offer to pay for a college degree with no financial strings attached? I’m sure your folks want what’s best for you, but the truth is you probably couldn’t take more than nine or 10 hours per semester, work full-time jobs, and keep your relationship and your marriage healthy. If you’ve both got less than two years of school left, it’s not going to take that long, anyway. You’re still young and have plenty of time to make this happen. I don’t think your parents mean any harm, but they’re wrong on this one. I’ve got a feeling they’re like most people in America today. They’ve spent most of their lives swimming in debt, and they’ve reached a point where they’ve just accepted it and think there’s no other way. To me, that’s sad. If you and your husband really want to finish your degrees, I’d say the two of you need to march into work tomorrow morning, and take advantage of that wonderful offer. Stay away from debt! —Dave * Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 12 million listeners each week on 575 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com. 150 Miles And Counting: Wind Cave Celebrates Significant Milestone WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, S.D. – Wind Cave is celebrating its 150th mile of exploration with special talks and activities Saturday, November 2. Programs include hearing exploration stories from the actual explorers, including a first-hand account of being lost in the cave for 36 hours. “Throughout the day, talks will be given at the park’s visitor center telling the story of the cave’s exploration. These talks are free and begin at 8:30 a.m. with the last talk beginning at 3 p.m.,” said Park Superintendent Vidal Dávila. “A rare public display of a tracing of the map of the cave’s first systematic explorer, Alvin McDonald, will also be exhibited at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.” The Black Hills Parks & Forest Association will have lunch available for purchase. While repairs are ongoing with the cave’s elevators, it is unknown if they will be fixed in time to open the cave for tours on that day. The event will conclude with a banquet at the Mueller Civic Center in Hot Springs. The keynote speaker is Rachel (Cox) Tso. As an 18-year old National Outdoor Leadership Student (NOLS) in 1989, she was lost in the cave for 36 hours, generating the largest search and rescue effort in the park’s history. Ms. Tso, now a documentary filmmaker, will show some of her upcoming film on the incident along with telling her story and how the experience changed her life. For a full schedule of events, and to purchase tickets for the banquet, visit: www.blackhillsparks.org and click on the Wind Cave partner tab or call 605-745-7020. Reservations for dinner are Local, trusted service you can available through October count on, for over 30 years 27 and cost $30 for adults. We Do ALL Glass • Auto • Home • Commercial Ron’s Auto Glass 1915 Broadway, Yankton 605.665.9841 Delivering wet grain to town can mean TOO much SHRINK & TOO much drying CHARGE. Vacation Timing By Daris Howard I had been working on a doctorate for three years, with little time off. When I wasn’t working on it, I was teaching, taking care of my family, or being a scoutmaster. I had already defended my dissertation, and my committee had passed it. I only had two more reviews to have the dissertation finalized. It had been to the next reviewer for two weeks, but sometimes they took months to go through it. Our second youngest daughter had just gone away to college, and our youngest daughter was going with a tour group back east, so my wife, Donna, had a suggestion. “Since the girls are gone, why don’t we take this week and go on a vacation?” “The problem is that if my next dissertation reviewer comes back with some fixes, I probably ought to do them right away,” I replied. “Do they insist that you do them immediately?” she asked. “No, they never have,” I replied. “They just tell me what they want changed, and then I work on it when I can. But I try to do it as soon as possible to speed up the process.” “What are the chances they will get back to you this week?” she asked. I thought about that and considered the other reviews. Almost all of them had been more than three weeks, with some being quite a bit longer. “We’d probably be safe,” I replied. “Besides, if they do send it back, I’m sure I could do it when we get back. One more week wouldn’t make that much difference.” After hiring some teenagers to feed our animals and water our garden, we were ready to go. We drove to my son’s house for the first leg of the trip. We watched our granddaughter for a day while our son and his wife spent time together. Then Donna and I headed on to the coast. We found a nice hotel with an ocean view and settled in for the night. I opened my computer, and there was an email from my dissertation committee chairman. “The next reviewer just finished. She wants the changes made by tomorrow.” I told Donna about the email. “Have they ever told you they want it by the next day like that before?” she asked. “Never,” I replied. “They have just said to get it back as soon as possible.” We spent the next day in the hotel while I worked on the changes. Finally, in the late afternoon, I finished and returned the dissertation with the corrections. “Well,” I said with a sigh, “that should take care of it until after our vacation.” We went to a clam chowder house on the ocean and ate while we watched the sun set. We then went back to our hotel, and I opened my computer. To my dismay, there was a new email from my dissertation chairman. “Daris, the reviewer okayed the changes, and the next reviewer went through it. She would like you to make the corrections by tomorrow.” I was floored by this. They had always been at least two weeks on any review before. I got up early the next morning and worked until we had to check out of the hotel. Donna drove to our next destination while I worked on it further. We stopped to see a few things, and in between, I continued to work. We went to a hotel earlier than we had planned, and I worked some more. Finally, exhausted, I was able to turn it in. I complained to Donna. “Two days of our vacation had to be spent working in a hotel room. Of all the times they decided the changes had to be in by the next day, why did it have to be now?” We enjoyed a couple of days, but the stress of it still hung over me. Then, on our last night at the coast, I opened my computer and saw another email from my committee chairman. I almost ignored it, but I finally read, “Dr. Howard, we are pleased to inform you that your dissertation has been fully and completely accepted as finalized.” I read it to my wife, and she laughed. “I guess two days of work in the hotel were worth it.” “Yeah,” I said. “But now I feel I need a vacation.” Check out the for great specials at your local restaurants! In Print and Online! 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