How About that Emergency Fund?

Charlie Bowers Finance 101, Insight Investing Articles, Investing & Planning, Life Events

No one saw it coming.  The economy was going great. But now the government says your employer is non-essential. And non-essential businesses will be closed until June 1, as of today’s best information available. And what happens next? Your employer has to let you go.

Unemployment applications skyrocket. You’re having trouble even filing yourself.  Businesses aren’t hiring and there is no telling when they will start again. What happens in the near future when the world is safer? I suspect that many won’t have much money to spend so it will take some time for hiring to start back in any meaningful way.

Do you think you might have benefitted from an emergency fund?

The recent coronavirus pandemic has proven to be quite an emergency for many people.  It’s still going on and who knows how much longer it will last.  The question is, can you continue to weather the storm? And if so, how much longer can you weather it?

This will be a hard lesson for many to learn, but hopefully the lesson will be abundantly clear.  A stash of liquid money sure comes in handy in “emergencies” such as this one.  It’s not as simple as “do I have enough to get my car or air conditioning repaired?”  It’s how long can we make it without a solid source of income?

Not having enough money creates horrible stress on families and imposes real burdens.  Will creditors be knocking?  How will we pay for groceries or doctor visits?  Will we be forced to sell our home or car or 401k at distressed prices just to get by a little longer?

I’ve certainly painted a bleak picture here, but I suspect many people are living out that very picture right now; and many people see themselves living it if this pandemic continues to impact the United States as it currently is.  We will get through this; some will get through less impacted than others.  But wherever you fall, I hope it has become obvious that creating and maintaining an emergency fund is vital for a successful future.  You may not need one for years, but at some point in time, something like this pandemic will occur again.  You have no control over the pandemic, but you do have control over how you can respond during the pandemic.  But to take that control, you have to start now and build that emergency fund for those just-in-case events.

Bottom line

If you have an emergency fund, is it holding up?  Would you make any changes?   If you don’t have an emergency fund, start one and be diligent in contributing to it.  You want to be in control of your situation when the next “coronavirus” comes along.