My husband and I have been trying really hard to follow Dave Ramsey's approach to paying off debt. Let me say it ain't easy! Murphy always seems to creep up with something! Car issues, unexpected repair to the house, or a piece of lawn equipment. Murphy will always find something that will make you think to use your ole card one more time!
So it is very useful to have that wonderful Emergency fund. A fully funded Emergency Fund is $1000. Now You need to come up with that ASAP! Now this is to be used for emergencies. And the newest gadget or whatever is not an emergency. (though sometimes it can feel that way) Emergencies are when you get a flat tire, have to have your car towed, the water heater breaks in your house.
Well you have that emergency fund as your safety net. If you use it, you MUST replenish it. When you have debt, that means you make the minimum payments on your debt until your EF is built back up. Then you start working on your debt.
But the main part of this post is to tell you that if you don't have an Emergency Fund started get going! You will never regret having one. Now don't think that you have to stop at $1000. That is another post and another step to being debt free and able to retire and be ready for it.