Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Emergency Fund


An emergency fund is a financial safety net set aside to cover unexpected or urgent expenses such as car repairs, medical bills, or job loss. It helps to provide financial security by giving individuals an option to meet emergencies without having to rely on credit cards or loans. Typically, a basic emergency fund should be enough to cover at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses.


The phonetic spelling for “Emergency Fund” is: Emergency: /ɪ’mɜːdʒənsi/Fund: /fʌnd/

Key Takeaways

Sure, here are the three main takeaways about an emergency fund:“`html

  1. Security and Peace of Mind: An emergency fund provides you with financial security. It’s a buffer of money set aside for unexpected expenses, allowing you peace of mind knowing you can cover emergencies without having to rely on credit card debt or loans.
  2. Financial Stability: It lends more stability to your overall financial situation. Regardless of what happens to your primary income source or unforeseen expenses, you will still have a safety net to fall back on which can save you from falling into a financial crisis.
  3. Freedom and Flexibility: An emergency fund can give you the ability to deal with unexpected situations flexibly. It offers you the freedom to handle emergencies in your own way rather than being forced to make hasty decisions out of financial pressure.



The term “Emergency Fund” is significant in business/finance because it refers to a bank account with funds meant specifically to cover large unexpected expenses, such as significant medical bills, a substantial home or auto repair costs, or living expenses during a job loss. The absence of an emergency fund can lead to debt accumulation or financial instability in the face of unforeseen expenses. Having sufficient money set aside in such a fund contributes to overall financial security and peace of mind. It provides a financial safety net without needing to rely on credit cards or loans, which may compound the problem by accruing interest. An ‘Emergency Fund’ is therefore an essential part of personal finance management.


The primary purpose of an Emergency Fund is to provide a safety net of financial security. This reserve is typically used to cover unexpected expenses, such as unforeseen medical costs, sudden loss of income, or urgent auto/home repairs. It aims to ensure you have enough financial support to meet your needs in the event of an emergency without having to use savings, take a loan, or increase credit card debt.An Emergency Fund forms one of the core principles of sound financial planning and it can significantly contribute to personal financial stability. Having an emergency fund can reduce stress and give you peace of mind, knowing you are prepared to handle financial emergencies without affecting your current lifestyle and financial goals. It is used to maintain living expenses without living paycheck to paycheck, allowing you to navigate periods of uncertainty or financial hardship.


1. Job Loss: An individual working in a corporate job suddenly loses employment due to company lay-offs. They have an emergency fund set up which will cover their essential expenses, like rent, groceries, utility bills, etc., for several months. This money gives them the flexibility to find new employment without going into debt or facing financial hardship.2. Medical Emergency: A family’s primary income earner suddenly falls ill and is unable to work. They have large medical expenses that are not completely covered by their health insurance. Luckily, they’ve set up an emergency fund that can help cover medical costs and meet everyday living expenses until the family member recovers.3. Major Car Repair: A small business owner relies heavily on their van for delivering goods. One day, the van breaks down and requires a major unexpected repair. The owner uses their emergency fund to pay for the repairs, ensuring that their business operations are not disrupted. Without the emergency fund, they would have had to take out a loan or use high-interest credit cards to cover the expense.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is an Emergency Fund?

An Emergency Fund is a liquid savings account that is set aside to cover unanticipated expenses or financial emergencies. These may include sudden medical costs, car repairs, urgent travel, or unexpected unemployment.

Why is an Emergency Fund important?

An Emergency Fund provides a financial safety net in the event of sudden unexpected costs. It prevents the need to utilize credit or loans, which can result in significant debt and financial stress.

How much money should be in an Emergency Fund?

It is generally recommended to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved in an Emergency Fund. However, the exact amount varies according to personal circumstances, financial commitments, and comfort levels.

How can I build an Emergency Fund?

Start by assessing your monthly expenses to determine how much you should aim to save. Each month, contribute a portion of your income to this fund. Setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your designated Emergency Fund account can be helpful.

Where should I keep my Emergency Fund?

An Emergency Fund should ideally be kept in a high-yield savings account, where it can earn interest over time but is easily accessible. It should be separate from your regular savings or checking account to avoid the temptation of using it for regular spending.

Is an Emergency Fund the same as a contingency fund?

While both funds serve to help in unexpected situations, they typically cater to different needs. An Emergency Fund is for personal, immediate emergencies like a medical bill. Meanwhile, a contingency fund is often used in businesses to cover unexpected costs.

Can I withdraw from my Emergency Fund for non-emergencies?

Although the fund is your own and can technically be used as you see fit, it is advised to only use the Emergency Fund for true emergencies. This ensures that the money remains available when you truly need it.

What types of expenses should not be covered by the Emergency Fund?

Ideally, emergency funds should not be used for planned expenses like holidays, college tuition, tax payments, or for any kind of discretionary spending. An Emergency Fund is strictly for unforeseen expenses which cannot be deferred.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More