This is the Emergency You've Been Saving For

 At Military Saves and America Saves we talk a lot about savings. Because our campaigns are based on research in the field of behavioral economics, we know that the best way to save is to make it a habit and save automatically, by setting aside a portion of one’s pay through either payroll deduction or bank transfer. Our organization encourages savers to make setting up an emergency fund a priority.

Now we are here to share a new and important message: in these extraordinary times, if you have set aside a rainy-day fund, then it is perfectly fine to use it.

This is exactly what emergency funds are for – life’s unexpected curveballs.

And while it is perfectly normal to have some feelings of anxiety when it comes to spending an earmarked savings account, we’re here to tell you that it’s OK to dip into these savings if you need them.

Here are three things to remember about emergency savings:

  1. Using an emergency fund is better than turning to a predatory lender. Dipping into your rainy-day account is better than taking out a payday loan or a car title loan. It’s also a better choice than using high-interest credit cards.
  2. Once you have internalized the habit of saving, it’s like riding a bike – it’s a learned skill that you won’t forget. So, go ahead and spend it; we know that as soon as you can, you will start replenishing your emergency fund so it will be there again when you need it.
  3. Not everyone has the same amount in their emergency fund, and we recognize that. Some people have a few dollars in their account, others may have months’ worth of savings. And that’s all right: each person is on their own personal savings journey.

Before you tap into your savings, you may want to first try to use new and existing resources. We’ve put together a few of them here.

We are in uncharted territory these days. There is a lot of stress and confusion. Give yourself permission to use your emergency fund now. You’ll get back to saving again soon.