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When to Use Your Emergency Fund

By: Michael Millington

Having the ability to save the money you need for a rainy day can be a luxury. What constitutes as rain, however, is different for different people. Emergency funds are savings that can help finance an unexpected expense or a dire need. Many people tend to dip into their emergency funds without having an actual emergency as a reason. While emergencies can be subjective, there are specific reasons that emergency funds are created for.


Emergency Repairs

When you have an emergency repair situation, it’s harder to budget it in with your regular expenses because it’s unplanned. Saving for a renovation is one thing, but a flooded kitchen or a totaled car can literally come out of nowhere. Many things can lead to these unfortunate circumstance and they can’t always be accounted for in general saving. Having the money set aside to pay for a least part of an emergency expense can prevent it from creating a sizeable dent in your income.

One of the main reasons it can be so hard to accurately save a certain amount of money for this fund is because emergencies aren’t uniform. Repairs rarely have set prices to look for. The best you might get is an estimate. Due to this, your emergency fund should experience constant growth. Make sure you’re putting the same budgeted amount of money towards your emergency fund at regular intervals. Once you focus on depositing money instead of reaching a certain goal, you’ll create a fund that will act as a constant cushion for emergency purposes.


Medical Emergencies

In the same way repairs can become unexpected necessities, medical emergencies can have the same effect. Illness and injury can happen without warning and can instantly become the most important priority in a family. Without an emergency fund in place, insurance might not always handle all of the cost of an operation or a hospital stay. Even if those things are handled, the immediate care of one who was just hospitalized also has to be added to the monthly budget going forward. Having an emergency fund can alleviate this financial pressure created by medical circumstances.

Depending on the kind of medical situation, the cost can fluctuate severely. Making sure you know what your health insurance is able to cover and how much you’re responsible for will help to prepare you for the unexpected. You might want to keep track of your medical bills to prevent spending more than you have to. Medical expenses can be some of the most misinterpreted bills by consumers, so keeping a close eye on them might help to avoid using more of your emergency funds.



One of the more common needs for an emergency fund, suddenly (or expectedly) losing your job can be a jarring and unsettling experience. Regardless of the reasoning, having the money to substitute for monthly income can be indispensable in a pinch. Most financial institutions suggest that an emergency fund should contain at least 3-6 months’ worth of main expenses and some extra money for superfluous purchases.

While unemployment can happen for multiple reasons, the results are mainly the same. Not everyone can line up another job before leaving their own (assuming they left of their own accord). Without the promise of employment, an emergency fund can be the only thing keeping you from ruining your credit and potentially losing much of what you have. Making sure you’re prepared for a sudden stoppage in income can help keep you focused on finding a job while your expenses are taken care of.


Unexpected Travel

When you have family in other parts of the country (or the world), visiting them can require immense preparation and sometimes an exorbitant amount of money. When it’s planned it might not be a big deal, but if it’s unplanned and important it might be a cause for concern. Whether tending to a sick grandparent or attending the funeral of one, having an emergency fund can help handle airfare and other travel accommodations if necessary.

Even though your first thought for such and emergency might be to do the traveling yourself, your emergency fund can also facilitate the travel of another loved one for a similar purpose. If you are sick and need someone close by, your emergency can serve the purpose of bringing that person or group of people closer to you. This can be especially helpful if your family cannot do so through their own means.


Other Expenses

There are many other unexpected reasons to maintain an emergency fund. If you have a pet, an emergency fund can help to pay for unexpected vet visits or pet medicine. Pets can be covered by insurance in the same way that we can. However, insurance might not cover everything that your pet may need. Having the funds when you need them can keep your family pet in the best of health.

One expense that many may not be aware of is a change in your tax result when filing. Sometimes you might end up owing the IRS money when you file your taxes, and if you’ve been receiving refunds prior to this it might catch you off guard. An emergency fund can help prevent you from being indebted to the government. Holding a tax debt can be a serious problem. Having the ability to solve it can be invaluable.


Having an emergency fund is an ideal situation when life throws curveballs your way. With the multitude of issues that can immediately need financial attention, having a separate fund for any such situation can alleviate the stress that comes with unexpected difficulty. However, carrying debt can hinder your ability to save anything at all. Overwhelming amounts of unsecured debt can add an unnecessary burden to your finances and can command your focus away from the more important things in life. While you focus on those more important things, let Guardian Debt Relief focus on tackling your unsecured debt. Give our debt specialists a call for a free consultation and learn how we can help free you from the debt you face. Take the first step and contact Guardian Debt Relief today.

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