BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS42 Community) — This week, the Stephenson family reminds us that life happens when you are in the process of improving your financial picture. Jeremy and Danielle say that there will be small setbacks during your financial journey. The trick is not to get discouraged.

“To be honest, right after we got our $1,000 emergency fund put away, we used half of it. We had the back windshield shot out of our car by a BB gun. We were at my brother-in-law’s house for his son’s birthday party, and my son and their oldest son were outside playing with the BB gun. And by the end of the night, we did not have a back windshield in the van,” Jeremy said.

While insurance covered part of the damage, the Stevenson’s were out $500.

“So that was half of our emergency fund taken days after we had saved it,” said Jeremy.

Their son is in the process of working hard and paying his parents back for the damage.

Danielle says that when it comes to budgeting, don’t feel like you have to get everything perfect the first time!

“It took us about three months before our budget was real. Every month we would forget something. Something would pop up, or we would have to adjust something. That’s the budget. It all starts and ends with having a budget and sticking to the budget and improving it when it needs to be adjusted,” Danielle said.

This week’s eCO Takeaway Tip could help you be prepared when life happens!When beginning your journey to financial freedom, the first thing you should do is set up an emergency fund with at least $1,000. Like the Stephensons shared, emergencies happen. Being prepared to pay cash for emergencies helps keep you from going further into debt. 

Follow all of the teams throughout their financial journey at