We can't stop the rain, but we can prepare for it.
Life comes with its fair share of curveballs, and no matter how good we are at batting them away, sometimes they hit us by surprise. It could be the rainy morning the car simply won’t start or the time the washing machine floods the kitchens as the in-laws are on their way over. We can’t stop the rain or delay the in-laws from arriving, but we can make sure we have some funds put by for these unexpected and expensive incidents.
Why Have A Rainy-Day Fund?
Finances have a way of building a lot of stress in our lives. Unexpected expenses for essential items can heighten that stress if the funds are not there. Having a pot of gold to cover expenses we can’t predict will ease the anxiety of a low bank balance.
How Much Should We Put By?
Some experts suggest we have a rainy-day fund of approximately 3 to 6 months of our monthly expenses. We all know this figure adds up to quite a lot. Somewhere in the region of 6k. The thoughts of saving and maintaining this large figure for a rainy-day fund stirs up a bit of anxiety in itself! How can we manage this when general living and raising kids sucks us dry?
How to save for a rainy-day fund:
The first step to a rainy-day fund is consciously making the effort to save. If you’ve never been a saver before, this can be a habit which can take some getting used to.
Have a plan.
When you decide on the ideal figure to have in your rainy-day fund, break it down into how many years you think it would take to build it up. Work backwards to find out how much you need to save monthly or weekly. For example: if you would like to save €1200 in one year, you will need to save €100 a month, or €50 a month over two years.
Set up a direct debit.
The easiest way to avoid breaking the habit of saving is to set up a direct debit or standing order. Automatically moving money into your rainy-day fund will see it increase with little effort.
What if there is no extra money?
If by the end of the month, there are simply no cents left over, consider selling unwanted, unused items from home for extra cash.
How to avoid spending the fund?
We all know how easy and quick it is to spend money instead of saving it. Create a habit of saving and encourage yourself to view it as an untouchable fund. Keep it out of sight and out of mind. Unless the boiler needs replacing!