Monday, December 1, 2014

25 Items Your Emergency Fund Should Cover

Now as people being spending copious amounts of money on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas in general, here is a little reminder about your emergency fund.  These are some of the items your emergency fund might be needed to cover (so it behooves you to have this fund in place sooner rather than later...):

  1. To replace a dead furnace.
  2. To replace a dead appliance (stove, refrigerator, hot water tank, etc).
  3. To cover your home insurance deductible.
  4. To cover your car insurance deductible.
  5. To replace your vehicle if you only have liability coverage on it.
  6. To pay for a week or more in a hotel if you need to evacuate during an emergency.
  7. To pay for six months of your mortgage if you become unemployed.
  8. To pay for six months of utilities if you become unemployed.
  9. To have a general cushion (food, toiletries, etc) if you become unemployed.
  10. To pay for a semester of college if you are currently paying for your child's education.
  11. To pay for a burial/funeral/cremation for a loved one.
  12. To pay for worn brakes, a busted water pump, or other car-related emergency.
  13. To pay for medical expenses over and above your medical insurance coverage.
  14. To pay first month's rent, last month's rent, and deposit, if you need to move in a hurry.
  15. To pay for an emergency dental procedure.
  16. To pay for an emergency vet bill.
  17. To cover a spouse who suddenly can't work for a period of time (due to illness or injury).
  18. To survive/pay for expenses related to a natural or man-made disaster.
  19. To pay for an attorney if you end up in an unexpected legal situation.
  20. To flee the country (unlikely but still possible).
  21. To get back to your country (due to a vacation disaster).
  22. To relocate (due to a domestic violence situation or a great new job).
  23. To pay for a once in a lifetime opportunity (it has to be a literally once in a lifetime opportunity; big sales on material goods don't count).
  24. To help a friend or loved one out of a difficult situation (money is given as a gift, you should have some reassurance the situation won't arise again, and it should not be used for bail).
  25. To replace needed emergency item (ie: your weather radio broke, your sleeping bag was eaten by moths, your handgun was stolen, etc).

Things that aren't an emergency include but not limited to:
  • Most restaurant meals.
  • A vacation.
  • Any material item unless you will die without it.
  • Bail (if someone is in jail they probably belong there).
  • A great sale on a: car, gun, guitar, suit, etc.
  • A new, expensive cell phone (if you break yours, get a cheap-o replacement until you save up the money for a better one).
  • A better car.
  • A nicer house.
  • Gifts (Christmas or otherwise).


  1. Great idea to include the list things that do not qualify for use of the emergency fund! The specificity is helpful for those who easily rationalize their desires into personal 'emergencies'

  2. In order to cover everything on that list one would have to have over $100,000 on hand at all times