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As a College Football Coach & Spouse Today – How Much Cash Do You Need?

As a College Football Coach & Spouse Today – How Much Cash Do You Need?

September 21, 2020

I crossed my 35th week of pregnancy this week. As a first-time mom, with somewhere between 5 weeks to go – things are way past real. And to add to my excitement and nervousness, my husband, Football Coach at Furman University had their 2020 Fall Season canceled or postponed at this point. Talk about a mix of emotions.

One of the aspects that I love most about being a Financial Advisor is my ability to help families plan for the unexpected and provide clarity in a strategy to reach the goals they want to achieve. When it comes to the coaching industry, the job is not necessarily guaranteed and although it may be hard to face uncertainty (and I’ve been there), you can plan for it. Financially.

In order to help our clients in the Football Coaching Industry make the best decisions, Shaun Carney, CFP® and myself spend a lot of time doing research, tapping into our network and talking to those in the thick of it all – coaches and wives themselves. As a former coach – Shaun – and current coach’s wife – me – we can relate to the emotional rollercoaster families are experiencing. And today, I want to write about of those topics: your emergency fund.

Can you guess one of the major components to financial success?

Most financial planners will tell you it’s building an emergency fund. Having money set aside for unexpected expenses is key to financial security. I’m talking about big-ticket things, like major car or home repairs or a trip to the emergency room, and in our current situation – job < and season! > security.

Now, the bad news: many people say they don’t have enough saved to cover a $1,000 expense. Scary, right?

Now let's look at a different perspective. We see this way too often, especially in the coaching industry - could you have too much money in emergency savings? There’s a limit to a “reasonable” amount to keep in the bank. Putting all your cash in a typical savings bank account means you’ll miss out on earnings and actually lose out to inflation. The buying power of your hard-earned money will shrink as prices for everything rise over time. Just think, the average inflation rate increase year over year in recent years is 3.2%.

How much cash is too much?

Here’s the thing: not even the experts can agree on that.

  • The rule of thumb is to keep three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency account.
  • Some financial planners suggest keeping up to eight months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund. Wondering why eight? That’s how long an average person’s job search takes.

As a Football Coaching Family, your optimal number will be different from what experts recommend because of the industry, circumstances, and the types of “sudden” expenses that can happen in your life. Think job changes, income fluctuations, new home purchases, different benefit packages.

So, here’s another way to look at emergency savings specifically for the coaching industry. Begin by defining the worst-case scenario that would drive your need for emergency cash.

  • What would happen if the family breadwinner lost their job? Or, for a dual-earner family, what if BOTH partners were suddenly laid off?
  • What would happen if a coach took a lower paying opportunity for whatever reason, you had to relocate, sell a home and purchase a new home? What if you're previous home sat on the market?

Understanding your own emergency cash needs may be more important than finding “the best formula for emergency savings” online. Due to the higher probability your income changes drastically with one season to the next and coaches are traditionally the bread-winner of the family, your Emergency Savings should be adequate to support 1-2 seasons of a substantially lower, if not zero, income. Anything above that number should be funneled to other goals, like saving for retirement, college funding, HSA accounts, etc.

How do you approach your emergency savings? Is it working for you? If not, our team at Bolt Financial Group has some ideas. The times may be uncertain, but your financial strategy does not have to be. Drop us a line and let’s talk.



As a fee-only fiduciary and independent financial advisors, Shaun Carney, CFP® and Nora Lamendola, PMP never receive commission of any kind. Bolt Financial Group is legally bound by their certification to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.