Saving For The Unexpected


July 6, 2017 BY COSMO MORABBI, THE GF PEACH GUY

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ GF PEACH'S DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

I know you have heard it before... YOU NEED AN EMERGENCY FUND.

Im here to tell you to stop putting it off.  We are usually friendly in our writing here at he The GF Peach, but I feel we need to be stern when we speak about emergency funds. Hopefully this post can convince you to take some action and begin building your safety net.

10 Reasons Why You Need To Save​

  • Job Loss 
  • Major Health Expense
  • Major Dental Expense
  • Emergency Pet Care
  • Car Repairs
  • Home Repairs​
  • Taxes
  • Unexpected Travel
  • Family Difficulties
  • Identity Theft
Unexpected-Costs-in-Life

The 10 examples above include several reasons we see people struggle financially. Without an emergency fund, you can suddenly be thrust into a financial crisis making your family's stress meter skyrocket.

The instant any of these happen. You have to figure out how to find the money to cover the surprise expense. This often results in borrowing and incurring debt, setting you up for a difficult time ahead. You wil be left with copious amounts of stress while paying interest to someone else. Days would be spent looking around the house for valuables to sell online, applying for 0% intro APR credit cards, taking out loans, taking on debt, etc. just to cover the costs of the emergency.

An emergency fund can completely eliminate this situation. Knowing you can financially handle life's many little surprises makes money lose its impact on your stress levels. Instead of worrying about debt and credit cards, you can focus on things that matter like finding a new job, being there for your pet, focus on helping a sick family member, etc.

How Much To Save For Those Unexpected Costs In Life

In most cases, you will hear most financial experts saying that 3 months worth of expenses is sufficient for an emergency fund. This is ideal if you are a two income family, have an extremely stable job or have highly sought job experience and skills.

On the other hand, other experts suggest six months of expenses and for some very good reasons. Beyond having significant health conditions, if you live off one-income, are self-employed or earn straight commission, then a six-month emergency fund is a better idea because a job loss would mean you couldn’t pay the bills.

Starting Your Emergency Fund 

Starting your emergency fund can be daunting if you don't know what your monthly expenses are. Try out our monthly budget worksheet to get going. In the meantime, use the calculator we placed below to get a general idea how much you should hold in your emergency fund. The calculator below reflects an emergency fund of 3 months. To plan for 6 months, simple double the calculated total.  

It may sound damaging to your debt payoff goals, but it is important that you consider building your emergency fund before focusing on your debt. It sounds crazy, but without a safety net, you are one unexpected event from losing your home, vehicle, or even worse, your loved ones.

To do this, shift your finances so that you’re making minimum payments on your debts until your emergency account is funded. Once you’ve reached your goal, stop adding money to your emergency account. Then, shift all your focus back towards tackling debt and acheiving saving/investment goals.

Strategies for Growing Your Emergency Fund 

Building your emergency fund does not have to be difficult if you focus on using some of these strategies. Remember, this only needs to be funded once (until an unexpected event occurs). Getting in the habit of doing any of the following will put you on a course for additional income after your goal is met.

Use Your Tax Refund
  • It makes sense to fund your account as fast as you can. Using your income tax return is a great way to get the ball rolling
Start Paying Yourself First
  • Building a habit of paying yourself or in this case your emergency fund the second you get your paycheck ​is a pathway to wealth
​Side Hustle For Some Extra Cash
  • ​A side hustle is a way to make extra money, usually with limited time constraints. It gives you the freedom create your own schedule and should be in a field that you field passionate about
Set attainable goals 
  • Goals provide focus and direction and puts control in your hands. Setting ones that challenge you just enough to make some changes is a great way to start. Try saving $1 a day, $20 a week or $100 a month. Determine what you can do and do it! Nothing screams confidence more than achieving your goals you set forth yourself. 
Make It Fun to Save
  • ​Challenge yourself to save. Some examples could be beating your monthly budget for costs last month or taking part in no spend challenges around social media
Stash Any Extra Cash Away
  • Simple solution to making sure those dollars laying around don't go unused or don't get used for a impulsive want instead of a emergency fund need. 

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​Providing Opportunities

​While the emergency fund should only be used in emergencies, it does provide financial safety if new opportunities arise. For instance, if you need to travel to take a chance at a job position in a city you want to move to, using a small portion of this may be necessary if you have no other saving.

In our case, our emergency expenses have supplied us with the ability to take an extra month off to get this blog up and running. After moving across the country, we ran out of our savings setting up our home and paying all the upfront and installation costs (we tried negotiating everything, but moving still costs a lot of money!).

This website is our dreams so we decided to use our emergency fund to give us a month to create, organize, educate, and start The GF Peach. After that I will return to work to build up our funds again before starting saving and investing in things like Betterment and Cryptocurrencies. 

Conclusion

When it comes time that you have to use the money (remember it’s for emergencies) then quickly refund the account as soon as possible. You want to always have that backup ready and waiting for you.

If you want to reduce your money stress, an emergency savings account is a must. Another critical step to making your finances easier is to automate as much as possible.

LET'S TALK

  • What does your emergency fund plan look like?
  • What are some unexpected events that required you to need emergency funds?
  • How do you save for your emergency fund or savings/investments/debt payoff?