Dave Says: Push the pause button

Dear Dave,

I’ve been following your plan, but recently I experienced a medical emergency. I’m about halfway through Baby Step 2 and paying off my debts using the debt snowball system. Considering the circumstances, should I stop doing the debt snowball for now?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

That’s exactly what you should do. But make sure you’re only pressing the pause button on paying off debt. I’m talking about temporarily stopping the debt snowball, and making only minimum payments on all non-mortgage debt for now.

Cash is your umbrella when it rains, and you never know just long the rain will last. Even if you have great health insurance, you might end up paying a chunk out of pocket. That’s why it’s important to save up and have plenty on hand.

Things like this are often just a bump in the road, so don’t get discouraged. They can be expensive, and they’re part of life, but taking care of these kinds of issues doesn’t have to mean giving up on getting control of your finances. Emergency issues, especially a medical emergency, come first. Then, go back when things are better and pick up where you left off knocking out debt using the debt snowball system.

You can do this, Brooke. God bless you!

—Dave