#coronacrisis Part 3: 999: What's your emergency (fund)?
WTF is this blog about!?
The #coronacrisis has taught us a lot about money: that investments can fall; that we can save a f*@k tonne when we're stuck inside; and that it's super important to have an emergency fund.
Aside from taking the time to understand what you earn and what you spend, building up an emergency fund is hands down the most important thing you can do to get your financial s*!t together.
What is an emergency fund?
A cash buffer of around 3-6 months worth of essential expenses (that's rent, bills, food etc.) tucked away for emergencies.
What is an emergency?
As much as it might feel like it at the time, getting a sale alert email from Christian Louboutin does not count as an emergency (I should really unsubscribe from those tbh). An emergency can be anything from having your hours cut as a result of Coronavirus to having an awful breakup and needing to move out of the flat you share with your toxic ex A$AP Rocky.
How to save for an emergency fund?
3-6 months worth of expenses is a lot, so it's not something you're going to save overnight. Instead, you should set aside a certain amount of money each month to slowly build your emergency fund up. Once you've reached your target amount, you can start channeling your money elsewhere - such as to a Stocks & Shares ISA.
Being in quarantine is the perfect time to start an emergency fund. We're saving tonnes of cash by not commuting or eating out and we can't even waste money on stupid impulse purchases because it takes a whole f*!king month for anything to be delivered nowadays #whatsthepointofprime. Plus - with all those refunded holiday plans, we have even more cash to spare #winning.
Where should I keep my emergency fund?
A true emergency is unexpected - so you want to be able to access your cash easily. At the same time, you don't want your emergency fund sitting in your current account, ready to be splurged on a Jäger-train on a drunken night out.
That's why I think the best place to keep an emergency fund is in an easy-access cash ISA (easy-access means you won't face a penalty for withdrawing your money), Unlike stashing your cash under the mattress, a Cash ISA will earn your a decent interest rate on your money (see the Money Saving Expert for a handy list of the best easy-access cash ISA's available rn, which is updated on the reg).
If #coronacrisis has taught us anything, it's that crazy, unexpected s*!t can happen; and we need to be prepared for it. Having an emergency fund is seriously one of the best things you can do to improve your financial sitch (and well-being), and being in quarantine is the perfect opportunity to get started.