Why All Work-at-Home Moms Need an Emergency Fund
Some call it a rainy-day fund while others call it a nest egg, a retirement plan, or simply a backup. But whatever you call your savings account, the truth is that it’s there in case of an emergency. And when you’re a stay-home mom that works in a contract or freelance capacity to provide a secondary income (or pay the bulk of the bills), there are all kinds of emergencies that could arise, requiring you to dip into your hard-earned funds. The real problem occurs, though, when you’ve frivolously spent your money on shoes, housewares, and lavish dinner parties for your friends. If you don’t have cash on hand when an emergency strikes you could find yourself in dire straits. So here are just a few good reasons to get your act together and start saving today.
The first and best reason to set up an emergency fund is to protect yourself and your family. The job market right now is fairly volatile, what with unemployment levels remaining high, companies continuing to engage in layoffs, and more students entering the playing field searching for work. As a stay-home mom offering freelance services you may be in a good place. Many businesses are looking for short-term contract hires to tide them over until they can once again provide steady work and salaries for full-time employees. But if you’ve been contracting out for long you know that you can’t rely on stability in your position. What would happen if the jobs dried up? If you’re the secondary income in the household you might just have to tighten the belt. But if you happen to be the primary (or only) breadwinner, you could find yourself facing a world of troubles, from utilities being shut off to eviction notices on the door, to an inability to feed your family. This is a truly frightening prospect for any parent, which is why it’s so alarming to learn just how many people are living paycheck-to-paycheck with no savings socked away whatsoever.
Of course, having an emergency fund when you need it can also make your life a little easier. Suppose, for example, that there is a medical emergency. Whether you happen to be the one facing an operation or it’s one of your kids that need medical care, you’ll likely want to take a little time off. As a freelancer you know that you won’t get paid during that time. Hopefully your partner has health benefits through his/her job so at least you don’t have to worry about medical bills. But in the meantime you’ll certainly need to pay the regular bills, and if you’re not earning anything, having the money set aside can take a huge load off your mind so that you can focus on recovery or tending to an ailing family member.
Then again, you could get that dreaded phone call in the middle of the night saying that your teen has been in a texting-while-driving accident and has been taken to jail. If you have cash on hand, at least you won’t need to go to a New York or San Diego bail bonds vendor. And when things start to look up you might even be able to put that money towards a much-needed family vacation in a couple of years, or apply it towards college funds. It’s never a bad idea to set money aside for a rainy day. And if an emergency arise you’ll be really glad you had the forethought to do so.
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