The importance of having an emergency fund

Greetings all!
Before I started earning salary, I didn't know the importance of having money not to mention having an emergency fund.

An emergency fund is a savings account set aside specifically for unexpected expenses or financial emergencies. These can include job loss, medical emergencies, car repairs, or urgent home repairs. The general recommendation is to save enough to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses.

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I was forced to learn the lesson of keeping emergency funds the hard way, a few years ago when my first son fell ill. At that time, I didn’t have any savings set aside for emergencies. I had to use my credit card to pay for the hospital bills and drugs, this led to high-interest debt that took me a long time to pay off. It was a stressful experience that made me realize the importance of being financially prepared for the unexpected.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the little emergency fund I had went a long way because there was no work and no one could go out due to the social distancing and all that, my emergency savings allowed me to cover all expenses I needed and I didn't need to go onto debt. The peace of mind I had during that uncertain and stressful period was really priceless.

After that incident, I made it a priority to build an emergency fund. I started by setting aside a small amount from each paycheck. It wasn’t easy at first, as I had to cut back on some discretionary spending, but I was determined. Over time, the fund grew, and having that safety net gave me a huge sense of security.

Having an emergency fund means you’re prepared for life's unexpected events. It prevents you from relying on credit cards or loans, which can lead to a cycle of debt. It also allows you to make better financial decisions, as you're not constantly worried about how you'll cover unexpected costs.

Having an emergency fund provides immense psychological benefits in terms of reduced money stress and anxiety. There's no constant worry about how you'll cover the next flat tire, broken appliance, unexpected veterinary bill or hospital bill. You have a safety net in place, allowing you to make better long-term financial decisions without panic or rash moves to cover short-term crises.

Building an emergency fund has been one of the most important financial lessons I've learned. It requires discipline and sacrifice, but the security and peace of mind it provides are well worth the effort.

Also having an emergency fund has directly helped me to prevent financial catastrophes and allowed me to navigate inevitable life challenges from a position of strength rather than desperation. The short-term pain of forgoing some luxuries is far outweighed by the long-term benefit of knowing you're financially prepared for whatever turbulence may come. If you don't already have an emergency fund in place, start building one today – your future self will thank you.


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