Reasons Why You Need an Emergency Fund


A lot of people live their lives under the misconception that nothing bad will ever happen to them. Or at least nothing so bad that could possibly make them virtually penniless. We’re here to advise you against being one of those people. If you’ve had people suggesting you get an emergency fund before but dutifully ignored it every time, well, it might be time to reconsider your choices.

An emergency fund is a savings account where you store at least six months’ worth of income in advance so that you can have something to fall back on should you ever be in a financial crisis. You might be the most financially stable person you’ve ever known, but no one is above facing such a crisis at least once or twice in their lives. And as they say, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Even if it’s impossible for you to imagine a scenario where you would need that sort of help, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead.

Some of the common financial troubles people face are often the most unexpected ones.

  • You get the dreaded pink slip. In this economy, people get fired often. We like to believe we’re indispensable to the people we work for, but that’s foolish. If you have an emergency fund, you can dip into that while you look for other jobs with similar or even higher pay instead of having to take up whatever comes your way. Even when you’re jobless, you can live comfortably and make sure your family is able to do the same.
  • You have to incur emergency health and medical expenses. You might have a great health insurance plan, but it will only take you so far. Any recurring illnesses – of the physical or mental kind – might require you to visit the hospital many times over. Moreover, ailments of a certain nature may even make it impossible for you to make it to work every day thus forcing you to lose your job. Having an emergency fund to bear the cost of medical bills in these times can literally save your life and secure your future.
  • Major car troubles. You probably need your car for doing the most important things in the day – getting to and back from work, taking your kids to school, shopping for groceries and such else. Say, something happens tomorrow and your car stops working. You might need a lot of money to repair it as quickly as possible. With an emergency fund you can see to it that it gets fixed without having to settle for a loan or incurring debts.
  • Emergency home improvements. There are a number of things that might go wrong with your home. Even with homeowner’s insurance, you might need some more money to see that it all gets repaired. A flooded basement, a leaking roof, and broken porch – any of these things require repairs and with an emergency fund to fall back on you can get them done without going into debt.

5 Ways to Get Money in an Emergency

Emergencies happen and it is typically between pay periods or right after paying a bill. Not everyone has an ample emergency cash fund setupPayday loan for emergency situation or the available funds on-hand, especially those with bad credit. No matter what your financial situation is, there are ways for you to get the funds you need in an emergency.

Payday Advance

If you have a stable source of income and a valid checking account you can obtain a payday advance. The amount that you can borrow is based upon your income. Most people qualify for these types of loans and often there is not credit check.  Most lenders or banks just verify you have a job and direct deposit. There are also advantages to using an online advance site than having to drive to your local one.

Auto Title Loan

When you have a paid off vehicle with a clear title, an auto title loan is another option when you need emergency funds. With this, the repayment terms are setup like an installment loan since the dollar amounts lent are often several thousand dollars. Your vehicle is appraised and a loan offer is extended to you. The lender has possession of the vehicle title until the loan is paid in full. If you miss a payment and do not stay in contact with the lender, they can repossess the vehicle.

Quick Cash Loan

There are options for quick cash loans that are obtained online. These loans do vary by state and some states do prohibit them. Always double check to make sure that the lender is licensed to loan money in your state before applying and review their terms. Some work just as payday advances do and others are repaid as installment loans.

Borrow from Friends or Family

Although it is difficult, asking a friend or family member to loan you money is an option. It may require borrowing from several people and making payment arrangements with each one, but this is an option. Make sure that the funds are paid back in a timely manner.

Pawn Shop Loan

Pawn shops do buy items but they do also make loans, which is why the term pawn is used. These loans are generally from 90 to 120 days with a small amount of interest added on. The pawn shop will appraise the value of the items you bring in and will offer a loan amount. Negotiations are possible but this is cash-in-hand immediately.

Use these options to obtain emergency funding. These options can help avoid utility disconnections, evictions, foreclosures and can help pay for emergency medical services. Based upon the urgency of your need for funds, use the option that best suits the situation.


What is your Emergency Fund really for? And are you prepared to use it?

Emergency Fund. It’s one of the most basic principles in personal finance. People mostly talk about using it in case of unemployment in today’s unstable job market. But what else is that money for, if anything? What is that (presumably) large chunk of change really doing for you?

Let’s take a step back.

When developing a ideal number for an emergency fund, most of us look at what it would take to sustain our family for approximately 6 months with no income. After all, that’s what the experts suggest, right? But what other “emergencies” have you considered? Unexpected travel due to family death or illness? Pet illness? Car failure? Home damage your insurance won’t pay for? Medical expenses you thought your insurance would cover?

Yep, that’s the one. Medical expenses I thought my health insurance would take care of.

So here’s what happened. Any of you who follow my blog may know/remember that I’ve had a hip injury for quite some time. I’ve spent most of the last year jumping through hoops trying to get this thing fixed. I finally had a surgery date and the doctor’s office calls and tell me that the insurance company has denied part of my claim and if I progress with my (already scheduled) surgery I would be responsible for $6000 out of pocket. Yes. Six. Thousand. Dollars. <insert choking, gagging noise here> Obviously the surgery has been postponed.

I do have the right to appeal the decision but if that doesn’t go though I’m looking at a $6000 worth of a completely unanticipated expense! You see, my husband is military and our health insurance is generally pretty awesome. For the most part if you play by their rules they pay for everything. But now, the one time I need them most, they’re hanging me out to dry!

So what does this have to do with my Emergency Fund?

Well, if my appeal is denied, I will be faced with continuing to deal with my injury OR use over half of our emergency fund for something we never though we would have to pay for. Sad face. Even though this isn’t “emergency” surgery I still think (and my husband agrees) that this constitutes use of our savings. This just isn’t something we anticipated.

We knew we might dip in to it when it took me 6 months to find a job after deciding on a career change. We plan to use it if one of our cars dies without warning. But I just never expected to have to pay for something like this. In fact, in a conversation with my father about emergency funds recently, I shrugged off the idea of needing to increase ours because of the very fact that military health insurance in generally so all-inclusive! (Should have listened to you, Dad!)

My point is this, if you think you won’t need money for medical expenses, save for it anyway. If you think your homeowner’s insurance will cover just about anything, have money set aside for home repairs regardless. In hindsight, I would take what I thought I needed for a standard emergency fund and increase it by 20%. And be prepared to use it. That’s the hardest part, parting with those funds that we have worked so hard to save.

A Quick Fix For Your Finances?

quick fix for your financesWhen it comes to the lending industry there are some banks and companies who make a bad name for everyone else – just like every other area of finance, and business in general.

For a long time payday loans have been viewed as a quick solution to a money problem that has come out of an emergency situation. As the price of living has risen, more and more people have been caught out by unexpected bills they can’t pay. It is really hard to budget your income around something that comes out of the blue and if you find yourself in this situation then yes, a payday loan may be what’s needed to get you through.

Many lenders have stuck to the original raison d’etre, explaining to customers that they should only use these kinds of loans for these emergency situations life throws at us, and budget better for the next month.

There are a number of genuine alternatives to payday loans which may be more suitable for you depending on what your need is. Credit cards have been the go to solution for quick cash for a long time, but they can cause as many problems as they solve, and unless you’re managing your money responsibly they can land you with long term debt. A different kind of loan might be the answer for you.

If you’re after long term funding, steering clear of alternative financial services and sticking to the banks can give you something to fall back on. Otherwise, as long as you look to a provider that is transparent about their processes you can find a short term loan to suit your requirements that will not cost you the earth.

If you’re unsure how to choose a loan the best bet is to read up on the subject – make sure you know how long you’ve got to pay it back (some providers are more flexible), and how much it is going to cost you. If you know you’ve got the means to solve the problem in future then there’s no reason that a quick fix can’t be a long term solution.

Have you chosen to use a pay day loan?  What do you think about them? While the interest rates are high, I think they are better than racking up late fees which can have a negative affect on your credit score….but they are not necessarily a quick fix for your finances.  Wise Money Management is..So Stick around and read up!

Photo by Wilhelmja

The handyman services ! who dabbles in finance

When I was younger I had a father who took pride in fixing things around the house.  This was not only the economical for him, but it also provided him a sense of accomplishment of handyman services.  He used to fix things for a local fitness club too and was very good at it.  I used to apprentice with him and he would take me out for ice cream after the job well done.

Fast forward about 20 years and I have my own house and have a wife and kids.  I have learned to take on the same pride my father had in fixing things.  It is a sense of accomplishment when you can see that toilet, or whatever is working now due to your handy work.   If you have the skill set and the want to repair or build something there is nothing stopping you.

The amount of money that my wife and I have saved fixing things around the house is huge.  We were a one income household until this week and some minor fixes could have been catastrophic financially for us.

Recently I have tried to broaden my skill set from basic repairs to building things.  This past summer I built an 8 foot picnic table.  I am currently in the process of building a cabinet and countertop for our dishwasher.

The money saved from the basic repairs has allowed us to provide some of the basic necessities for our children when money is tight.  When money is tight sometimes you may have to stretch yourself and take on an additional task to make your way through to the good times.  A wise man once said, “a dollar saved is a dollar earned.”

Do you try to take on these chores or do you have the honey do list for the handyman?

Call your financial advisor incase of an emergency?

While we are no DINKS we are finally the opposite, Dual Income Two Kids about an financial broker.  I graduated from the MBA Online degree program back in 2008 and Mrs. MBA graduated with her MBA masters in 2007.  I was working while I went to school and we were fortunate enough to be in a situation where she could just focus on school.  This worked out well.  She finished first and started out substitute teaching until I finished and then we moved closer to her family, so that when we raised our children her mother would watch the kids.  Long story short when we moved out here we found out she was pregnant with our first child.  Then she stayed home for the first year with our first child and then before you know it we were expecting another.

This September she started back into the substitute teacher field looking for full time employment as a teacher.  We were thinking that this would be sufficient income seeing how there were quite a few school districts around us.  This proved not to be the case.  Well Mrs. MBA got a job and she starts next week.  We felt like we had put a lot of things on hold hoping and wondering when she would be able to gain full time employment.  Having a single income household is stressful in itself, but then add 2 children and you have more responsibilities than just your own mouth to provide for.

The next chapter begins next week, while she is nervous with the anticipation of starting a job, our future looks bright.  We have made do with what we were given and racked up some credit card debt, but we are looking forward to getting our financial picture in check.  Anyone else been in a similar situation, how did you make do?  It could have been a job loss and suddenly you were down to one income.  Fortunate for us, we had been used to living off one income so this second income will be a tremendous relief.

Taking the time to make sure that you have funds set aside for emergency purposes is critical.  For us we were hit with this situation right off the bat so we really never had any time to build up an emergency fund.  Unfortunately like many, our credit cards served as an emergency fund.  The MBA courses never really teach you how to manage your own money; it seems they teach you everything but your own personal finance.  I know how to value a company but not really myself!  A good rule of thumb according to Kiplinger is to set aside three to six months of living expenses to get through the tough times.

Do you have that much money stashed away?