The Importance of Building an Emergency Fund

With everything that's going on these days (like high-interest rates, and inflation), it makes good sense to put a little aside where possible to help build up your financial resilience. This is where having an emergency fund can play a key part in keeping your finances stable. An emergency fund acts as a financial safety net during unexpected events, providing peace of mind and protecting your financial well-being. It serves as a financial buffer, helping you to financially navigate unforeseen emergencies like loss of income, medical expenses, or home repairs without needing to go into debt to cover those costs.

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Having an emergency fund can provide peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared financially for some unexpected costs. It provides a certain level of financial freedom, allowing you to make better long-term decisions without being driven solely by short-term financial pressures. It could also give you the ability to seize opportunities, such as career changes, educational pursuits, or investments, without compromising your financial stability.


Tips for Building and Maintaining an Emergency Fund:


1. Set a Realistic Goal: Determine how much you want to save and how long it will take you to achieve your target. A good rule of thumb is generally to aim to save at least three to six months' worth of living expenses to cover a range of emergencies adequately. However there is no hard rule, and it’s up to you to determine what would give you the most peace of mind.

2. Create a Budget: Review your income and expenses to identify areas where you can cut back and allocate more funds toward your emergency fund. Prioritise saving a fixed amount each month, treating it as an essential cost. Look for opportunities to save by cutting unnecessary expenses. Reevaluate subscription services, look at your service bills to see if there are any more suitable low-cost plans and find creative ways to save on daily expenses, such as meals and transportation.

3. Automate Savings: Set up an automatic transfer from your everyday account to a separate savings account earmarked for emergencies. This ensures consistent contributions with the money being taken before you can even see it, helping to resist the temptation to spend your money even further.  

4. Supplement with Windfalls: If you receive unexpected funds, such as a tax refund or a bonus, consider allocating a portion of these windfalls to your emergency fund. This will help you reach your goal faster.

5. Continuously Replenish: If you need to use your emergency fund, make replenishing it a priority once your financial situation stabilises again. Treat it as an ongoing commitment to maintain the fund's effectiveness.


Building an emergency fund can play an important part in ensuring financial stability for Kiwis. By taking proactive steps to save and create a safety net, we can equip ourselves with the necessary resources to navigate unforeseen challenges and maintain a solid foundation for our financial resilience. So, if you have the capacity - start prioritising this aspect in your financial life so you can be better prepared for whatever the future may bring.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current developments or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion, and seek independent guidance.