Topics We’re Talking About: How To Handle Your Finances When Life Throws You a Curveball


This week we’re talking about emergency funds. It’s a topic that everyone seems to be a common topic of conversation – and for good reason. With so many people having experienced the recent furloughs brought on by the government shutdown, there’s been plenty opportunity to realize the usefulness of an emergency fund.

So what exactly is an emergency fund, why would you need one and is it really that important? In a few words, an emergency fund is a sum of money set away specifically for use during times of emergency. This can apply to emergency medical care or other expenses that impact your livelihood and require immediate financial attention. Though it’s up to you to decide what constitutes an emergency in your life, an emergency fund is usually reserved for bigger unexpected expenses rather than to supplement your monthly spending cash if you burned through it a little too quickly. And YES it really is important to have. When faced with an emergency, having that extra cushion can mean the difference between having the ability to pay out of pocket, or having to incur debt.

But we’re not the only one’s talking about it. We’ve compiled some excellent articles from bloggers taking on the topic!

The 3 to 6 Month Emergency Fund – Evolving Personal Finance
Not all emergency funds will look the same! Evolving Personal Finance shares how the numbers don’t always match up with your expectations. A great place to get started if you’re just starting out!

What Is The Purpose of An Emergency Fund – Evolving Personal Finance
Getting into the nitty gritty of emergency funds, Emily looks at the function of emergency funds and the factors to consider when calculating the size and sum of yours.

Emergency Fund Usage Update – Adventuring Dollars
Sometimes, you can survive an emergency without having to dip into your funds! Adventuring Dollars gives great perspective in this thoughtful post and shares the importance of keeping your financial wits about you in the event of an emergency.

Save Up An Emergency Fund – Moolany
An excellent and comprehensive article breaking down the benefits of having an emergency fund to avoid paying interest on items. Highly recommended for anyone still weighing the pros against cons of saving into an emergency fund!

How To Manage Your Money Through Illness – Man vs. Debt
One of the scariest things to face is an illness or medical emergency. Guest poster Oli shares tips to staying financially in control as you navigate through your medical care.

Emergency fund: why is it important and how to grow it faster – Dojo Blog
It’s not always easy to save up for emergencies – especially when tempted to spend your hard earned cash on something more immediate. But Dojo shares some easy to follow tips that can help you get started with your emergency fund!

And before you go off to enjoy your weekend, thanks to all the sites mentioning ReadyForZero this week!

Frugal Rules
Market Watch
The Dime Colorado
The Wall Street Journal
Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses

Until next time!

Do you have an emergency fund? If so, what’s helped you to build it up?

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  • JSims

    I have an emergency fund I keep of about $500-$1000. I am trying to pay off my credit cards and part of me thinks I should use the emergency fund money to put towards them but the realistic part of me says it is best to keep the money socked away should I need it. Knowing I have the money definitely helps me sleep better at night. For example, my car broke down yesterday and is in the shop and not having to worry about where the money to fix it will come from is totally worth it.

    • I think you’re on the right track! Having an emergency fund is actually important to allow you to get out of debt, for exactly the kind of scenario you mentioned above (car trouble, etc.). As long as you have a monthly plan that will get you out of debt then you are in good shape. Have you tried using to organize your debt repayment?

  • Guide Financial

    The Betterment blog also had a great post on Emergency Funds and how to allocate them. Worth covering too – –