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Results: Do you have sufficient Emergency Funds to pay immediately?

Yes - I'm MSE to the core! Emergency Fund at the ready!

82.97% • 190 votes

No - I'd need to rely on Credit

17.03% • 39 votes

You may not vote on this poll

229 votes in total.

    • MSE Tine
    • By MSE Tine 11th Jan 19, 2:00 PM
    • 98Posts
    • 195Thanks
    MSE Tine
    Emergency Fund Poll - How prepared are you for an emergency?
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 19, 2:00 PM
    Emergency Fund Poll - How prepared are you for an emergency? 11th Jan 19 at 2:00 PM

    Inspired by a recent boiler breakdown :

    If your boiler, car or washing machine broke down today would you be able to pay for it to be fixed straight away?

    Without an Emergency Fund lots of people would have to rely on credit to pay for any repairs. We'd love to know how prepared our Forumites are!

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

    You might also want to check out these articles:

    Cheap Boiler Cover
    Top Saving Accounts
    Cheap Car Breakdown Cover
    Free Extended Warrenties (Some of the deals are being updated so might be out of date - always double check )

    Or why not join other Forumites on the £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge?
    Last edited by MSE Tine; 12-02-2019 at 8:53 AM.
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Page 2
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 13th Jan 19, 8:50 AM
    • 9,102 Posts
    • 30,370 Thanks
    I've a small amount stashed that I routinely dent for the lads birthdays & Christmas but I keep rebuilding it.
    Thinking of a car or boiler, I need to try harder.
    <heads off the challenge thread>
    • SingleSue
    • By SingleSue 13th Jan 19, 9:22 AM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 59,664 Thanks
    I've a small amount stashed that I routinely dent for the lads birthdays & Christmas but I keep rebuilding it.
    Thinking of a car or boiler, I need to try harder.
    <heads off the challenge thread>
    Originally posted by DigForVictory
    For Christmas, I did surveys, lots and lots of surveys which pretty much covered all the presents. I'm building up the voucher pot for birthdays as we speak.

    For all other savings, I stalk the debt free and mortgage free wannabee threads, it's amazing the money saving/making tips they come up with!
    We made it! One graduated, 2 currently at university, been hard work but it shows there is a possibility of a chance of normal (ish) life after a diagnosis (or two) of ASD. It's not been the easiest route but I am so glad I ignored everything and everyone and did my own therapies with them.
    Eldests' EDS diagnosis 4.5.10, mine 13.1.11 eekk!
    • A Nice Englishman
    • By A Nice Englishman 13th Jan 19, 9:49 AM
    • 2,179 Posts
    • 1,287 Thanks
    A Nice Englishman
    Even as a pocket money recipient I didn't spend every penny I had and put a little aside.

    A small hardship every week is better than a major one at an unexpected time.
    • *max*
    • By *max* 13th Jan 19, 5:54 PM
    • 2,871 Posts
    • 13,522 Thanks
    I keep reading this as "emergency fun", like we should all have a stash of jokes and party hats for unexpected fun times.
    • tgroom57
    • By tgroom57 14th Jan 19, 5:45 AM
    • 1,342 Posts
    • 12,836 Thanks
    I don't have a boiler, but I would be stymied without the washing machine, and I very much begrudged finding £300 for a new lock on my double glazed front door 2 years ago. I've voted based on my present very low income.

    • katherinegrey
    • By katherinegrey 14th Jan 19, 11:20 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Our emergency fund has been pretty much wiped out by both cars breaking down simultaneously. I know thatís what it was there for but having £300 left scares me. Iíd be able to pay for a washing machine or boiler repair, but f it needed replacing itíd have to be credit cards, which are thankfully blank and genuine emergency cards. Weíre also buying and selling a house, so our actual savings are almost gone too. We had savings, an emergency fund and a holiday fund and all three are looking very low right now. Thatís life I suppose.
    • Alikay
    • By Alikay 14th Jan 19, 11:50 AM
    • 4,916 Posts
    • 13,262 Thanks
    We've got sufficient funds to cover most emergencies and plenty of family and friends who would be happy to help us financially and practically.

    Irony is that when we were younger with dependent kids, we had less money coming in, much higher outgoings and our friends and family had no spare room or cash to help us if we would've hit hard times. That lack of safety net (even though we had the usual life/home/car insurances) was a big worry.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Jan 19, 11:50 AM
    • 35,525 Posts
    • 21,717 Thanks
    Emergency fund size depends on a number of factor.

    A proper budget will have most thing in it already with contingency for things that will need replacing or are a bit unpredictable.
    The emergency is when it happen a bit earlier than predicted so needs a top up.
    eg if you think a washing machine should last 10 years by year 5 you should have 1/2 set aside already, if very organized you migh weight the replacement to the latter years rather than spread evenly.

    £1k extra put aside is quite generous if you are planning properly on lifecycle of things.

    Also other events need planning like if you have elderly relatives save some money to attend the funerals, especially if they live a long way away and it might need hotel or flights.

    An emergency should only happen once as it should be in the budget after the first time.

    Free cashflow
    If you are saving each month, you can just stop saving to cover the things not in the budget and top up the fund if it drops to low.

    recovery time
    how long to restore the fund, if it was wipes out how long to recover, if more than 6 months I think it needs to be a bit bigger to start and only stop adding when it recoverable in 6 months.

    The above is about dealing with money out incidences.

    The other much more important incident to think about and fund is loss of income, I call this the

    disaster fund.
    This needs to be enough to cover costs for a period till you restore income.

    Size will depend on factors like number of earners, benefits available, job market.

    the longer you think it will take to get a job the more funds you need to cover expenses.

    The next fund which is an extension of the disaster fund and is the ultimate disaster fund as you can reduce income long term.

    A well balanced retirement fund with some in reasonably accessible places like S&S ISA, term saving premium bonds etc. can be a source for the disaster fund as you only need access a bit at a time to cover costs and can take the hit on some loss of income if there are penaties on withdrawing.
    • SuperPikachu
    • By SuperPikachu 14th Jan 19, 1:15 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    Nope I have absolutely zilch.
    "Wild Pikachu appeared!"
    • charlotte1994
    • By charlotte1994 14th Jan 19, 1:15 PM
    • 675 Posts
    • 1,371 Thanks
    I only have about £200 in savings ): thankfully I am in a rented house so I wouldn't have to pay for a boiler, but I do struggle with saving.
    • gingercordial
    • By gingercordial 14th Jan 19, 2:08 PM
    • 1,288 Posts
    • 1,387 Thanks
    Yes for the car, although since we live in London and use public transport to commute it is actually a luxury we could do without if it broke down (it's useful for big supermarket trips or visiting the parents but could get by for those with online shopping, taxis or hire cars).

    As we are renting we don't need to cover the boiler/washing machine/roof ourselves but are saving for when we do own and these will be our responsibility.
    • Out, Vile Jelly
    • By Out, Vile Jelly 16th Jan 19, 9:23 AM
    • 4,349 Posts
    • 14,998 Thanks
    Out, Vile Jelly
    I've saved at least 10% of every payday, even when I was on a low wage and a tight budget. Interestingly, my brother is the complete opposite and has always been casual and happy-go-lucky with his income. The saving mentality seems to be hard-wired into many people.
    They are an EYESORES!!!!
    • engineer amy
    • By engineer amy 16th Jan 19, 3:15 PM
    • 682 Posts
    • 1,214 Thanks
    engineer amy
    After having spent years living month to month and any emergencies were put onto credit cards, now I have a healthy emergency fund, and also a disaster fund (should I be unable to work for an extended period of time) and also income protection insurance.
    I work with a number of people, older than me and with children who have zero in the way of savings, and I would panic if I didn't have something put away.
    I had one colleague in my office in tears last year as the boiler had died, the car had broken down and her husband had been told of the possibility of layoffs or reduced hours all in the same day. She didnt know how she was going to cope.
    I offered to give her a hand with budgeting and how to cut costs, got her a better broadband/tv/phone deal, got her mortgage off the SVR onto a fixed rate and saved her nearly £250 per month. Advised her to put that £250 into a savings account and not touch it for a few months to build an emergency fund. Next thing I know, she is telling me she has just got a new phone contract for her eldest child on an Iphone X and planning a holiday because of "all this extra money they have each month".
    Obviously I know it is her money to do what she wants with, but surely she wouldn't want to be in the same situation again?
    Mortgage = £113,495 (May 2009) £68601.81 Jan 2019
    Halifax CC 0% = £0!!! Car Loan = £0!!!!!
    PAYDBX16 #106 = 12377/12377 (100%)
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 16th Jan 19, 3:23 PM
    • 8,588 Posts
    • 30,240 Thanks
    I know people like this. They find it difficult to ignore the immediate gratification pull, whether for themselves or their children and sadly they don,t learn hard lessons. Immediately there is some spare cash available it has to be spent on something rather than saved for a rainy day.

    I would wager a bet that if disaster strikes her again you will simply say "That's tough" and walk away. Doing otherwise just enables people to continue in their same bad habits.
    • Mummy2cheekymonkeys
    • By Mummy2cheekymonkeys 17th Jan 19, 2:16 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 1,537 Thanks
    Some people wI'll never change their ways. My sister and her husband are the same. He has known for 2 years that he was going to be made redundant. They have continued to live pay check to pay check without saving anything. He finally found out he will be losing his job at the end of March so she put some money aside from her pay this month to go shopping and stock up the cupboards!!! Oh but they also booked a short break away for next month. If that had have been me and my OH, we would have cut back on anything and everything and put as much as we could into savings. One difference is we own our home and they rent. We have never had to ask for money yet they are always being bailed out. They never have to learn the hard way. Problem is the people they always rely on are getting on and won't always be around to bail them out.
    • Primrose
    • By Primrose 17th Jan 19, 2:33 PM
    • 8,588 Posts
    • 30,240 Thanks
    I think when it's family getting in financial difficulties it's harder to turn around and walk away but in my book you might bail them out once if they have reckless habits.

    After that it's time to say "Look, we need to have a difficult conversation with you. You're adults and free to adopt whatever lifestyle you want, but if you don't start budgeting and planning for future emergencies you can't expect us to put our own family's future at risk because we're prepared to make financial sacrifices when you aren't".

    We've had more than our own share of bailing family members out financially over the years but through our own frugal habits have managed to build a reasonable emergency fund. However, we've also had our own fair share of redundancies which makes me mindful of how misfortune or ill health can unexpectedly overtake even people who try to live sensible financial lives. That's why we always make a contribution to the Food Bank collecting basket in the supermarket where we do our weekly shop. There are some people who are in genuine financial hardship through no fault of their own.
    Last edited by Primrose; 17-01-2019 at 2:35 PM.
    • hb2
    • By hb2 18th Jan 19, 10:43 AM
    • 304 Posts
    • 828 Thanks
    We have a small amount of spare ready cash, the rest is in savings and not instantly accessible. So it would have to be the credit card until we could access the savings if it was more than we have to hand.
    • Iheart
    • By Iheart 19th Jan 19, 7:29 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 974 Thanks
    I have about 2 months wages in an emergency fund (£1500). I had more but my son needed a private OT assessment recently so had to pay out £1000 for that.

    I have a CC that I am trying to pay off. every so often I think that I should use my emergency fund to pay most of it off. Then I give my head a wobble and remember that then I would be stuck in an endless cycle that I am trying to break free of.
    SPC12 #106
    • Nathaniel Essex
    • By Nathaniel Essex 20th Jan 19, 6:33 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 78 Thanks
    Nathaniel Essex
    Never new boiler cover existed. Probably will take that out as everything else I probably could afford out of pocket.

    With that said, there is a massive difference between a £400 (if even that) washing machine breaking and a £5,000 boiler. The latter would completely devastate my savings and leaf e me vulnerable if wife or I were to suddenly lose our jobs.
    • cheeky-peach
    • By cheeky-peach 22nd Jan 19, 11:51 AM
    • 81 Posts
    • 124 Thanks
    We have an emergency fund but not a disaster fund; if we were to lose our jobs, it would be a struggle. Some people I know have a years worth of wages in savings which is a luxury for most, myself included!
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