We're going back to the fund-amentals of money (Dya get it? Ba-dum dum tss 🥁) and looking at emergency funds. 👀
Your emergency fund isn't for a Murano vase, soy candle collection or last-minute bottomless brunches. I know they feel like an emergency in the moment but we're talking about saving for far rainier days here. We inhabit a fast-paced and unpredictable world. If two years ago, someone had mentioned we would face a global pandemic, we would have laughed in their face. 😬 Enter the emergency fund, a stabilising force that offers protection and liberates us from challenges that disproportionally affect us as women and non-binary people.
Call it whatever you want, a ‘freedom fund’, ‘yikes fund’, or Paulette Perhach’s ‘f***-off fund’. SOS savings will help you weather life’s unexpected storms – redundancies, health problems or household crises. Emergency funds have your back. Think of them as a financial cushion – plump, cosy and shielding you from a fall.
Why emergency funds matter
Two words: financial independence.
The verdict is in – women need an emergency fund now more than ever. The pandemic has deepened women’s financial inequality and the gender savings gap. Women have lost their jobs at a higher rate than men by being overrepresented in sectors most affected by the crisis. With the pandemic intensifying domestic violence against women, emergency funds can help female-identifying people break free from dangerous situations.
Emergency funds also play into female and non-binary empowerment, where you can be that boss-ass b**** who doesn’t rely on ‘a rich partner’. Have you ever been told to marry rich? We have, and we are channelling our inner Cher.
This whole interview is pretty golden when it comes to empowerment if you wanna watch the whole thing
HOW DO I DO IT?
1. Check your finances First name / friend First up, get your finances in check. Try to identify your daily spending habits and build up a picture of your excessive or unnecessary spending habits. Direct debits to spin studios you never attend...bye. As for Klarna – do you need that gingham blouse? (Sorry, we know it’s cute…). You’ll instantly feel like a weight’s been lifted. 2. Automate your savings and thank yourself later Financial journalist Laura Whateley recognises humans struggle with saving: ‘it involves sacrifice if we have to remind ourselves of it all the time. Create automatic habits so they become second nature.’ Set up a monthly savings direct debit so you don't even notice the money disappearing into your new f*** you fund, which should be accessible and easily withdrawn. These interest-bearing savings accounts are good places to start. 3. Keep that independence Keep your emergency funds separate from your partner. Lucy Cohen champions sole-account access: ‘this allows you to maintain control and privacy of your own bank account and makes saving easier.’
Final tips ✅ Try to save at least three month’s living expenses in emergency funds. ✅ You do not need to save up all at once. Try £10 a week or a month. Start small and think big. ✅ Use existing tech to your advantage! Monzo, Starling and apps like Moneybox round-up transactions to the nearest pound, creating an effortless way to save. These endeavours will gradually allow that emergency pot to grow. Kendrick Lamar called Money Trees ‘the Perfect Place for shade’ - so water yours and enjoy the shelter and security it will provide.
📹 Learn about different ways of building an emergency fund here. 🎧 Podcast episode: Listen to Black Girl Finance's episode on “Emergency fund and budgeting"!
💪 Do you want to find out more about the F*** Off Fund? Glamour has written an article all about it - whilst Refinery29 have looked at how the pandemic has changed people's 2021 saving goals of different women!