Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Five Reasons You May Not Prioritize Your Emergency Fund

For years, personal finance experts have been repeated, “Build an emergency fund.” Yet, year after year, statistics show that many Americans don’t have enough money in their emergency funds and more alarming, many don’t have any savings at all. Saving money isn’t easy, but it’s well worth it. However, those without an emergency fund may be rationalizing that it’s ok to put it off for one reason or another.

The economy is getting better.

When the U.S. was in the worst parts of The Great Recession, there was a greater sense of urgency to create an emergency fund. But, the economy has improved and people are feeling at little more at ease. With the risk of disaster seeming less likely, the urge to build an emergency fund has also subsided.

You have your credit cards or another source of funding.

If you can borrow your way out of an emergency, you may feel less need to put money in an emergency fund. With access to credit cards or retirement savings, you could feel confident enough to face unexpected financial expenses. However, borrowing isn’t the best way to fix your money problems – you could create worse problems.

You can borrow against your home equity.

Using your home’s equity to bail yourself out of an emergency can be a bad idea because you’re putting your home at risk. You’re taking on an additional monthly payment, if you fall behind on your payments, you could lose your home. Borrowing against your home equity will also affect any gain you may receive if you decide to sell your home.

You live in a two-income household.

Two incomes are better than one. While it’s commonly said that most couples who live on two incomes can actually live on one, putting that into practice is easier said than done. Many couples with dual incomes are living completely on both incomes and couldn’t spare anything extra for a significant emergency, especially not the loss of one of the incomes. Couples who depend on two incomes may need an emergency fund most of all because their lifestyles are more expensive.

You think you have enough time.

The more time passes without an emergency, the more comfortable you can get, taking for granted that things will always be comfortable. The thing about emergencies is that they can strike at anytime, unexpectedly. That’s what makes them emergencies – you can’t plan for them.

No matter how safe you may feel, nothing can replace the security that comes with having cash in an account. Of course, having more than that won’t hurt. With money in savings, you won’t have to borrow or maneuver or figure out how you’re going to make ends meet. Remember that an emergency fund should have a minimum of three months of living expenses. It can take months, even years, to get to that point, so the sooner you start, the sooner you can reach your goal.
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Tuesday, 20 August 2019

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