字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 If you had an emergency, and needed to come up with $400 right now, could you do it? Shockingly, nearly half of Americans said they couldn't. Which is another way of saying that nearly half of Americans have no financial flexibility or freedom. While it might not be the flashiest or most exciting financial goal, an emergency fund is the foundation your entire financial health is built upon. Without it, it's just a matter of time before an unexpected jolt causes a crack that will eventually bring the whole house down. We recently asked you, our amazing Two Cents community, to share your real-life stories about how an emergency fund or lack thereof has impacted your lives and you really came through! So let's learn from each other what not having savings is truly costing you and pick up some tips for finally making it a reality. Rose and her husband were in the military making decent money as she finished up college. Unfortunately, they didn't see any real need to save any of it. So the day Rose was supposed to leave for a study abroad program, her husband totals their new car on the way to the airport rendering them both carless AND cashless. So what if you found yourself in a similar situation? How much money could you save by having a proper emergency fund if your car decides to kick the bucket? I think it's time tooo... Run the numbers! Let's assume you are...for lack of a better word...average. Most people, when buying a car, buy used with an average purchase price of $20,084 dollars. You've also got the average american credit score of 673 and want to the most common car loan length of 72 months. Running this scenario through a big-named bank gave me an APR estimate of 7.94%. That means you'd potentially be paying a gob-smacking $5,000 in interest alone over the lifetime of that loan. If you or they had had even a little bit of an emergency fund, you could have potentially afforded a shorter loan term, gotten a better interest rate or maybe even skipped out on interest all together and just bought a cheaper car in cash. All of which could have saved you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Another common unexpected expense you guys talked about were house repairs. Poor Brianna and her husband woke up on one of the coldest days in winter with flames shooting from the back of their furnace. Thankfully they had the $3,500 in savings to keep frostbite at bay. But what if they had approached it like most people would and put those repairs on a credit card? Treating your credit cards like an emergency fund is like trying to use one of those weighted work-out vests as a life-jacket. With the average current credit card interest rate at 19.24%, financing a vital repair like that could have cost them an extra $673 dollars, even if they managed to pay it off in one year! That number could have easily climbed into the thousands if they stretched it out over a few years. But the lack of an emergency fund can cost you more than money. After a year of battling an illness, one of our Youtube community members, “Almostlindsey,” ended up needing an emergency surgery. Thankfully, she had decent health insurance, so it shouldn't have been a big deal. The problem was she'd already used up her sick leave at work! So the time she'd be spending in the hospital would also be “no-paycheck time.” Without emergency savings and no access to credit (because of her lack of income), she was forced to beg friends and family to help her cover her basics like rent and food until she could get back to work. She recalled the whole situation being both stressful and humiliating and has worked hard to save up a cash cushion in the time since. Then there's Ashley who said having an emergency fund may have saved her life. She had a suspicion that she might be suffering from sleep apnea but quickly learned that the testing and equipment involved wouldn't come cheap. She said that having her emergency fund gave her the confidence to schedule an appointment with her doctor. And thank goodness she did. Turns out tests showed her hunch was correct and that the lack of oxygen during sleep had been significantly taxing her heart. Thankfully, she told us that after six months of treatment, she's doing much much better. Now I'm sure you're thinking “I get it Philip and Julia I need it...but how do I get one?” Here are our favorite three tips to start laying down your financial foundation -- the right way. TIP ONE: Pick a SPECIFIC number. Most experts agree that a fully-funded emergency fund should have between three and six months of expenses. This number isn't just based on bills and rent, but also flexible expenses like groceries, medications and transportation. That is typically enough to pay deductibles on your health or auto insurance and could also potentially handle a major transition like a sudden move or a critical home repair. TIP TWO: Get Organized! Now that you have a savings target in mind, set your money for this goal apart in some way. If your savings for emergencies, a new phone, and your brother's bachelor party are smashed together in a general “savings” bucket, you're sabotaging yourself! Get clear on what money is for true emergencies, and give it a special home. TIP THREE: Sprint! Sometimes, to get something you've never had you'll have to do something you've never done. Try challenging yourself to a spending freeze. Cut back on every non-essential expense and hustle for any extra income you can for just ONE month. Seriously, cancel all your subscriptions, tell your friends you're sorry you can't go see the new Marvel movie, and read comics at the library instead. Remember, it's just for 30 days! See how far you get towards your goal. Then maybe take a week or two break to catch your breath, go out for a nice meal or two then hit it hard again until you're done. Now, congrats for making it all the way to the end of the video because we're going to share a powerful little secret with you: saving up for an emergency fund requires you to be intentional, focused and to live below your means. Which are the exact same financial muscles it takes to ultimately build wealth. So when you're finally done with this goal, awesome! Take those mad money muscles you just earned and use them to build something amazing on top of the foundation you just laid down. And that's our two cents. Thanks to our patrons for keeping Two Cents financially healthy. Click the link the description if you'd like to support us on Patreon.