An emergency fund is basically a pot of money that you put aside for a rainy day. It is there to dip into if the washing machine breaks down unexpectedly or you have to pay a particularly large vet’s bill at a moment’s notice and things like that.
If you don’t currently have an emergency fund, you might be wondering if you really need one at all, here’s why I think that it is a really good idea to have one:
It will stop you from getting into debt
One of the biggest reasons you should consider putting a little money aside each month for an emergency fund is the fact that it will be there to bail you out of all those little financial emergencies that crop up like broken-down appliances, car repairs, or as mentioned above, vet’s bills.
When you can use your emergency fund to pay for things like this without having to skip bills or other important payments, it means that you are less likely to have to turn to debt to bail your family out, and that means that having an emergency fund is a safer and cheaper option than simply playing it by ear and hoping for the best.
It gives you breathing space
Another great thing about having an emergency fund is that it gives you breathing space when your financial life gets tough. For example, if you have to give up work for a while due to injury it will help you to pay the bills before your accident claims or benefit applications are processed.
That’s why it is a really good idea to build up an emergency fund that is the equivalent of 6-12 months’ salary. That may sound a lot, but remember you can build up towards that amount – saving anything you can in an emergency fund will be a big help when you need it.
It stops you stressing
Ok, so an emergency fund isn’t going to solve all of the stresses in your life, but it can help you to stop stressing so much about your finances, and since money worries are one of the most common causes of stress, this is not something to be sniffed at.
Just knowing that you have a pot of money there to use when you need it can be such a relief in everyday life. It means you don’t have to say no to the kids or worry about things going wrong. Try it and you will soon see how much better it feels to not be living from paycheck to paycheck with no buffer. It can be completely transformational.
As you can see, there are lots of very good reasons to consider building an emergency fund today, Start by setting aside any small change you have leftover after shopping, then start adding in any money you have saved at the end of the month, and do this consistently and you will soon have a healthy fund you can dip into whenever the need arises.