Emergency! (Why Your College Kids Need An Emergency Fund) - by Abby Smith
So you’re in college, why do you need an emergency fund? If you’re like most students you have a car, a computer, and a cell phone. What happens if something goes wrong with one of them? Some students can rely on their parents for help, but not every student has that luxury. Even if you are one of the lucky ones that can rely on your parents now, in the not too distant future, you WILL be on your own and you WILL have to depend on yourself. Why not start building an emergency fund now and when something disastrous happens to your car you are not stranded. Let’s talk about some easy steps to starting that emergency fund.
1. Decide how much money you want set aside for an emergency. Work towards that target amount.
2. Keep your emergency fund separate from your checking/spending account. Do not make it too easy to get money out if you are prone to spend it on “non-emergencies.”
3. Speaking of “non-emergencies,” have in mind what circumstances make for an emergency. Spring break trip? No. Car trouble on the road for Spring Break? Yes.
4. Add to your emergency fund on a regular basis, monthly if possible. Saving even as little as $10 - $20 a month WILL add up over time. You can just watch your savings grow and be prepared when the unexpected happens.
5. Be aware that not having an emergency fund can lead to having debt. That is, you may reach for the credit card to bail you out for a quick fix, but in the long run will cost you the initial expense PLUS interest.
6. When that emergency does arise, seek advice and shop your options. Ask for a second opinion on that car repair, buy a used or refurbished computer, or talk with someone who has just gone through your situation.
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