I can guarantee at some point you’ve wished you didn’t have to go to work tomorrow. For me this was once a daily occurrence. For most of us the need of a regular income has kept us tied to our desks, especially in jobs we dislike.
In one of my first summer jobs, my boss informed our team that due to a technicality our paychecks would be a month later than expected. The team was outraged, except me. Everyone had made promises for that money–legitimate ones like rent and student bills–but promises nonetheless with money they didn’t yet have. However, I had enough savings to hold me over one more month.
But that’s not why emergency funds (once fully funded) are so cool.
The coolest part about an emergency fund is it gives you the freedom to make rational decisions in stressful moments.
Fortunately for us it was just a delay in payment but it’s possible that you could be let go from your job or an emergency occurs that is bigger than your budget. It could be anything– your company is shutting down; your roommate just said they’re moving out; your car has broken down for the last time; your kid needs braces. Now you have to sacrifice your fun budget (aka disposable income) or head into debt. Possibly making a spending decision that costs more in the long term. In these times, emergency funds are crucial.
Let’s take the car example. Your car breaks down so you go to a low key mechanic because he gives you a cheap price. He said he fixed the issue but really he just patched it up and you find yourself in the same situation 2 or 3 more times. If you had your emergency fund you could have gone to the dealer, paid a bit more, but you would have been secure in your car’s repairs.
More than peace of mind, the coolest part still of an emergency fund is when you truly get to give yourself the preferred answer of not going to work tomorrow or the day after because you’re not chained to a paycheck. The truly cool part is when you can make these choices because you want to and not because you have to. When you can easily live like this for a whole month:
Emergency funds are just that cool.