By Nadjha Johnson, America Saves Intern
Maintaining an emergency savings account should be a top priority for every individual and family, especially during these tough economic times. The most comforting part about starting an emergency fund is that it is not a complicated effort.
A great way to start is setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account for every time you get paid. The amount of money you decide to transfer is exclusively based on your income and expenses. As soon as you create a savings account it begins to build on its own. Remember: Having an emergency saving fund is possible for all Americans no matter what your income is.
Don't wait until it is too late! Here are five reasons why you should start saving now:
1. Emergencies tend to be expensive.
For some odd and unfortunate reason it seems that emergencies of every degree usually cost way more than what we can afford. In addition, Americans who have established a budget, but do not have an emergency fund, would need to break their budget for the month - or probably longer - if an emergency were to occur.
2. Emergencies interfere with normal financial obligations.
Every month when we receive those statements in the mail, we feel a little bent out of shape. But let's face it, our bills aren't going anywhere! However, nothing is worse than coughing up the money for your bills and then having to pay a ridiculous medical note, car repair fees, or even a speeding ticket on top of it. All of these obligations are mandatory, so what are you going to do? Having an emergency fund will prevent you from neglecting one of your monthly responsibilities and keep you above water.
3. Emergencies always seem to occur at the WRONG time.
Let's face it; emergencies are always inconvenient and unexpected. We don’t like when they happen and we would rather they don’t. Having an emergency fund – money saved just for the unexpected and nothing else – will help you from finding yourself in an even worse situation after an emergency occurs.
4. Saving for emergencies prevents you from borrowing money.
Unfortunately, many Americans have no means to handle emergencies when they occur and must take out a loan in order to pay for them. Sometimes, Americans feel so desperate that they commit to a loan with a ridiculous interest rate because they do not have time to shop around for a decent one. Signing for a loan automatically puts us in a hole and when the interest rate is high it becomes another reoccurring bill. Interest rates were designed to keep us paying for a loan long after we have paid what we originally borrowed. Loans should be considered a LAST resort and starting an emergency fund prevents a loan from being our FIRST resort.
5. Saving for emergencies gives you "peace of mind".
Knowing that you and your family are secure no matter what hardball life throws is the meaning of freedom and comfort. All Americans are vulnerable to the mishaps that life may bring, but what separates the ones that struggle and the ones that prevail is being prepared.