Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Daily Preparedness Tip: The Emergency Fund

I got a call this morning--at zero dark thirty--from a family friend who said that her brother had just died.  This was completely unexpected, the guy was healthy and relatively young, and now he is dead.  The girl is devastated as is her mother and the financial aspects of his death will land on his mother and sister as he didn't sound particularly financially solvent.  Just adding it up in my head, the girl had to pay for a last minute plane fare across the country, she will miss a week of work at least (I doubt her job pays any sort of leave), and between her and her mother they will need to come up with funeral expenses (whatever those may be; cremation is much less expensive than burial but I'm not sure if that jives with their religious beliefs).  The bottom line is that an emergency fund is just that--to be used for unforeseen emergencies.  While some emergencies may be relatively painless if you have any sort of emergency fund (busted hot water tank, blown tire), other unexpected financial emergencies can add up to the many thousands of dollars.  This means you need to have a robust, fully-funded emergency fund for just this sort of unexpected large expense.

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