Most people would agree that a $1,000 emergency fund would not go very far. Financial advisors recommend setting aside three to six months of expenses for emergencies. For most people, a thousand dollars will not cover one month of payments, but it can offer some security while trying to improve your financial situation. You will be doing better than half of the American population by saving one thousand dollars.
The gig economy has made it much easier to make extra money, with many Americans having a side hustle to supplement their primary income. If you’re working to save some extra cash, one thousand dollars is a great start and, surprisingly, can cover many unexpected expenses. Dave Ramsey’s book, The Total Money Makeover, advises readers to have a $1,000 starter emergency fund before paying off debt. Here are five expenses your starter fund can cover while you’re working towards financial freedom.
Emergency Room Copay
Medical expenses are the number one cause of bankruptcy in America. Healthcare costs are steadily increasing, making health insurance an essential expense for most families. But most health insurance plans include deductibles and copays for hospital and doctor visits. Your copay for an emergency room visit can be up to $500 for some insurance plans.
You can reduce anxiety in a stressful situation by having money aside to cover copays. Depending on the details of your benefits, you may be able to pay your copay and deductible with your starter emergency fund. For example, your insurance plan may have a $200 copay for emergency room visits and a $750 deductible.
Your emergency fund can finance these unexpected expenses, saving you from interest payments or credit issues later. Medical emergencies can happen suddenly with anything from a kidney stone to appendicitis causing you to seek medical care.
Auto Insurance Deductible
Automobile accidents happen every hour, and about three out of four drivers have been in at least one car wreck. Your life and health are most important, but after a good report, you’ll probably need to get your car fixed.
Most auto insurance plans have a $500 or $1,000 deductible that you have to pay before they pay out. A starter emergency fund can help you get back on track faster, without having to take on more debt.
One of the most common and frustrating emergencies is car repairs. There’s a difference between repairs and maintenance. Your vehicle maintenance is not an emergency, as you can often anticipate costs like new tires or oil changes. But you may have unexpected auto repairs, on top of maintenance and car payments, that can cause you to come up short.
Your starter emergency fund can cover the cost of a new alternator or serpentine belt. Many people rely on their own vehicles for transportation to work. When your car breaks down and you can’t afford to fix it, you’re more likely to make poor financial decisions.
Some repairs may be over $1,000, but an extended warranty can help you prepare for those more expensive costs. You can research the cost of CarShield to determine if you can fit it into your budget to help save you money down the line.
If you live in a different state from your family, you need money set aside to get to them if there’s an emergency. The cost of a plane ticket, car rental, and gas can add up quickly, and a one-thousand-dollar cushion can give you some peace of mind. Family emergencies are stressful and emotionally taxing, a perfect recipe for emotional decisions that can blow your budget.
There is no good time to have an emergency at home, but it can be more difficult to deal with when you’re trying to pay off debt. A small lump of money that gives you the freedom to jump on a plane and be with your family can take some of the worries away.
Depending on where you live, a sudden need to evacuate may be a less common emergency. Natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes can cause you to be temporarily displaced. The most common reason people fail to evacuate before a storm is a lack of funds.
But a starter emergency fund of $1,000 can get you out of immediate danger and into a hotel room until the storm has passed. Whether you live near the coast or not, having some money to assist you in an evacuation will lighten the load.
Most financial advisors agree that you should have an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses. Most Americans do not have a “fully funded” emergency fund and are unable to cover a one-thousand-dollar emergency. Although it may not seem like a lot, a starter emergency fund of $1,000 can help put out small fires while trying to get out of debt.
Your emergency fund can cover copays for medical costs, deductibles, and car repairs. You can also use it for a family emergency or unexpected evacuation expenses. You can successfully start your journey to financial peace by protecting yourself from emergencies and continuing to save for the future.