What I Learned Building an Emergency Savings Fund
This is a sponsored post from BECU member and guest blogger Ribicca Mamuye of amromenor.com.
We've heard it before – expect the unexpected. Whether it's a medical event, a job loss or the more extreme situation caused by this pandemic, life can throw curve balls our way at any given time. While it may be difficult to foresee the future, one way to be more prepared financially is by building an emergency savings fund.
Having some type of dedicated savings account is essential now more than ever. In my personal experience, having an emergency savings fund has given me some peace of mind during the uncertain times we are currently facing. It has enabled me to support myself and my family members who have experienced a loss of income as a result of this pandemic. Building up my own emergency savings fund has also provided me with the motivation to stick to my budgeting goals.
Saving Didn't Come Easy
Building a savings plan did not come second nature to me originally - in fact, it was rather intimidating when I first started. I didn't know how to begin, where to turn for resources or how much I should be saving on a monthly basis to be financially sound. I remember sitting down with my parents who didn't have much when they immigrated to the U.S. from Ethiopia and built their assets from the ground up at a later age. For my parents, saving a portion of their income towards a goal was a guiding principle. I remember a box my parents would put change in each day for a year. At the end of the year, they would make me count all the money in the box so I understood how the smallest contributions can accumulate to a large amount if done consistently over a period of time.
Parents Know Best
Over the years, my parents shared their wisdom with me on how to stay financially disciplined: that no amount is too small to start saving, and ways to manage spending that could help me save more. I took their advice and began the process. However, while I managed to stay on track for a few months, I slowly began to slip in my budgeting. I would spend weeks pushing off saving to justify unnecessary purchases. Eventually as a young adult, through the help of friends I learned that with the right approach and understanding, achieving a sense of financial well-being can be possible with a solid plan.
Managing Money During Uncertain Times
There are many people enduring tough situations right now, but know you don't have to go it alone. There are resources out there to help you if you are experienced a loss in income and don't have savings to help fill the gap. I encourage BECU members to participate in one of their free Financial Health Checks, or to explore their new partnership with credit and debit counseling experts, GreenPath. These BECU services can help individuals navigate this moment of financial vulnerability. They also offer smart tips for building an emergency savings fund and offer guidance on how to become more financially resilient.
If you want to learn more about how to create this essential financial resource, read BECU's How To Create An Emergency Financial Plan article with additional step-by-step advice. Additionally, you can check out their free self-paced budgeting courses to help show you where you can find extra space in your budget for savings. These courses are helpful resources that can guide you toward making the financial decisions that work best for you and your personalized financial needs.
My financial journey has been a ride for sure, but the foundation of budgeting and building savings for both rainy days and sunny has been essential for getting me to where I am today: more able to manage life's curve balls.
Ribicca Mamuye is a BECU member and content creator based out of Seattle, Washington. She is a digital designer working in the tech industry and currently runs a blog called Amro Menor where she shares fashion, travel and lifestyle tips. You can find her on Instagram dancing to her favorite songs or trying a new recipe.