Tagged With emergency funds

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A new poll from Bloomberg suggests that almost half of Americans would have a hard time affording a $100 emergency, like a speeding ticket, medical bill or other unexpected expense. Many Australians are in similar situations as well. Consider the idea that maybe this says less about people's financial habits than it does the garbage economy.

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Years ago, I switched careers and moved to a new city. Financially, I felt safe, because I had a small emergency fund. If times got tough, that was my safety net. Times did get tough. In one instant, I lost everything. If you've depleted your emergency fund, here's how to go about rebuilding it.

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An emergency fund is cash you've saved for one purpose: to help you cope with the emergencies that life hands you, without disrupting your everyday routine. It could be an accident or a health issue -- with your fund you have room to breathe. The key, however, is to leave the fund alone until you need it. Deposit your money, let it earn a little interest, and ignore the balance until an actual emergency occurs.