They say that in life you should expect the unexpected. That’s why it’s a good idea for everyone to have some kind of emergency fund. Most experts say it’s important to stash away at least three to six months of living expenses but others advise saving more.
Think you don’t need an emergency fund? Here are the top five reasons why you need one:
1. You lose your job. This is the number one reason most people need an emergency fund. If you or your spouse loses a job, it is important to have a rainy day fund to get you through the dark times. After all, the average length of unemployment last year was about 40 weeks. Your unemployment check may ‑ or may not ‑ be enough to get you through. The Corporation for Enterprise Development released a report last year that says that nearly half of all Americans are a paycheck or two away from financial disaster.
2. You (or your spouse) gets sick. Whether it’s an extended, life threatening illness or just a quick trip to the emergency room, healthcare and illness bring major expenses. Between the cost of healthcare and the lost work, even a minor illness or broken leg can be crippling to your checking account.
3. The car breaks down. Car repairs can be expensive. Even just buying a new set of tires for your vehicle can be cost prohibitive. The problem is that if you don’t have transportation, getting to work can be almost impossible. If no wheels equals no work, then no work equals no money to pay for said repairs.
4. The furnace dies. It’s five below zero outside and your furnace quits working. Furnace repairs and replacement are necessary expenses when it’s cold outside but can also be crippling expenses if you aren’t prepared. Other major home expenses that you can’t ignore might include a new roof and leaky foundation.
5. Emergency travel. What if your dad dies in California or your sister is in an accident in Georgia? Would you have funds on hand to pay for a plane ticket or other travel expenses? Even if they live just four hours away, could you afford the time off work, the gasoline and other travel expenses in an emergency?
Sure, you can put a lot of these expenses on a credit card but you could be paying on interest for a long time before you catch up.
You would be surprised the sense of security you can buy with just having a little extra money in the bank. It may take a while to save up to that three to six month mark ‑ if you are able to reach that mark at all. Maybe you are only able to save $10 a month. That’s better than nothing! Start with what you can afford and build from there.
Here at VCNB you can set up automatic transfers from your checking to savings accounts. Want to learn more? Visit our website!