With all the natural disasters headlining the news recently, many people are realizing the need to be prepared financially more than ever.
It’s not just home loss we’re talking here, but other possibilities that we often set aside as something unlikely to happen to us such as disability, job loss, medical issues and death.
These unexpected situations come about bringing not only emotional concerns but usually financial stress. And so it is best to have an emergency fund that can cushion us at these devastating times.
Here are some great ideas on how to start an emergency fund.
1. Open an account that is almost inaccessible.
Many of us tend to rely on a single bank and have our checking, ATM and savings account all connected. Avoid making an emergency account that links to any of your existing ones as it is will make it very easy and tempting for you to access.
2. Clarify what is an emergency.
Write down exactly what you deem as an emergency. For some of us, an appliance in need of repair or replacement is an emergency. But to be honest, these items are something that you know will happen eventually after a period of time.
So it is best to plan for them ahead and keep a separate account to dip in to. Otherwise you’ll end up using your emergency fund and having nothing should a real crisis come up.
3. Make it a habit to save.
Sort out the numbers and determine a target amount that will cover monthly expenses for at least 3 months including mortgage, utility bills etc.
Set up an automatic transfer from your current account on a regular basis to your emergency fund to build your fund steadily. Consider it forced saving and treat it like paying any other monthly bill.
You can even save using Twitter!
4. Cut back non-basic expenses.
Try to cut back on other expenses such as a cup of coffee form your favorite cafe so you can funnel in more cash into your emergency fund. Challenge yourself with great saving tips regularly such as not turning on the AC and regulating shopping for shoes. The idea is to teach yourself to be mindful of your emergency fund whenever you are about to spend.
5. Consider insurance.
Getting insurance is a wise option to consider to cover emergency situations such as medical trauma, death, or job loss. If your income is tight enough as it is to even save for anything else, then getting insurance may be the right choice for you. There are many products that will cover you should you be disabled and unable to work. Remember to read the small prints very well before signing up for anything though.
So make yourself financially conscious and serious about having a safety net as soon as possible. Having a peace of mind that should an emergency come up you are well-prepared is just priceless. This is possible! Practice a sense of prudence and a dash of frugality in every step you make.