Emergencies are unexpected. They happen when we expect them or are not prepared for them. Some emergencies like sudden health breakdown or roof damage may occur in your home. And at times when you don’t have money to pay medical bills or repair costs, it can leave you running helpless.
What is an emergency fund?
But with money in an emergency fund, you can take care of those expenses. An emergency fund is a cash reserve. It’s just like a savings account that you set aside to fund emergency preparedness So, when an emergency arises, you won’t be caught off guard.
Well, unlike your checking or savings account, the money you put in your emergency fund should be reserved. Do not withdraw cash from it unless you are in dire financial need or crisis.
What can emergency fund money be used for?
As the name suggests, money in emergency fund is for unplanned expenses. An emergency fund can be used for payments that are not part of your regular monthly spending routine. When a financial surprise occurs, you can use the money you have saved in your emergency fund to take care of any expenses involved.
Some of the financial costs that you may face are:
- Unexpected travel expenses.
- Dental or medical emergency.
- Vehicle breakdown or defective tires.
- Unexpected home repairs or replacements.
- lose job
Why do I need an emergency fund?
Having an emergency fund keeps you out of debt. Instead of borrowing money from family, friends or other lenders, you’ll be able to cover your own expenses. Moreover, any reason to have an emergency fund is to improve your financial security.
What are the benefits of having an emergency fund?
As mentioned earlier, having an emergency fund keeps you financially secure and prepared for unexpected expenses. However, apart from this, an emergency fund helps keep your stress levels down. It gives you confidence that you can deal with unexpected events. So, you don’t have to worry about adding money worries to your list.
Apart from this, it also prevents you from making bad financial decisions. When the unexpected happens, if you don’t have an emergency fund, you can resort to other ways to get cash quickly. This includes borrowing at high interest rates. And paying off these debts can be difficult.
Also, an emergency fund prevents you from spending recklessly. When you keep these savings out of your reach, you won’t be able to spend them when the urge strikes.
How much money should I have in an emergency fund?
No fixed amount of money should be in the emergency fund. The amount you should have depends on your financial situation, income and living expenses. If you don’t know how much you should save in your emergency fund, you can think about how much you’ve spent in the past on unexpected expenses.
This will help you set a savings goal to get the money you need. You can try to save three to six months of your living expenses.
What is the best place to keep an emergency fund?
There are many places you can keep your emergency fund. However, when making this decision, you want to make sure it is accessible and safe Also, you should make sure that while it is accessible, it should be in a place where you won’t be tempted to use it in non-emergency situations.
However, there are some good options where you can keep your emergency fund savings. It includes
You can put your emergency fund savings in a savings account with a high-interest account. Since you may be tempted to use the money at any time, this savings account should be separate from your bank account. You can use a high-yield savings account.
Money Market Account
This is one of the best options for you to save your emergency fund. Money market accounts offer higher interest rates than savings accounts. They are safe and easily accessible.
This is a card that you can load money on Prepaid cards are not linked to your bank account or credit union You can keep this card with you and withdraw from it during unexpected expenses.
Credit union account
It is one of the safest places to keep money. There, you can keep and maintain funds properly without getting tempted to spend the funds.
This is also another option. Instead of storing money in an account, you can hold cash. But the drawback of this option is that you may be tempted to spend money at any time. However, to avoid this, you can keep the cash with a trusted friend or family member.
How do I build an emergency fund?
Creating and managing an emergency fund effectively requires some strategy. You can start by estimating the amount you want to save. Then set realistic goals to achieve the savings.
Create a system to consistently contribute. You can automate your contributions to make saving even easier And don’t forget to track your progress.
When should you use money in your emergency fund?
You should only use money in an emergency fund if you need it. Sometimes, an expense may pop up but it may not really be an emergency. However, before using the money in your emergency fund for any expenses, you need to ask yourself these questions. Is it necessary? And is it urgent?
How can I build an emergency fund if I’m living paycheck to paycheck?
Living paycheck to paycheck comes with many disadvantages. And one of them is that it makes it difficult to save. So, building an emergency fund can be difficult if you are in this situation. However, you can dedicate a small percentage of your salary that you can do without each month. And commit to it.
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