It’s so easy to obtain a credit card and use it to pay for purchases that often people wonder why they should ever bother saving money and making purchases with cash.
All you’ve got to do is hand over a piece of plastic and make minimum payments every month – so why bother to pay everything in full, right? Wrong.
Sadly, a lot of people approach credit cards with this attitude.
But saving money, and especially having an emergency fund, is actually incredibly important. Here are 7 reasons why you should save more money and working toward building your emergency cash cushion.
1 – It will help you become financially stable
Not everyone will get rich, and frankly, not everyone wants to become rich. You can, however, become financially stable with a reserve of money. Having an emergency fund also gives you an emotional boost, since it’s a very rewarding feeling as you become economically independent.
With more savings on hand, and more financial stability, you have greater options too.
You have the freedom to take a holiday and go on a trip. You can quit your job and go back to school. You can switch jobs to something that pays less but feels more fulfilling. You can even start your own business. Life is more than living paycheck to paycheck.
Being financially stable isn’t the same as being rich. However, it may very well make you feel rich because you won’t have to wait in eager anticipation for your salary every month.
2 – It will help you save a lot more on your purchases
Let’s say you put most of the things you buy on your credit card, but only pay the minimum payment each month. Since you’ll have interest charges added to your balance, depending on how many months or years you take to pay off your obligations, you’ll probably pay anywhere from 10% to 50% more on everything you buy. That’s a lot!
Don’t depend on credit to pay for your lifestyle. Live within your means and break bad credit habits by replacing excessive credit usage with the habit of saving up for things you want to buy ahead of time. When you have spare money available, you may be able to wait for sales and spend more time meaningfully considering each purchase. You can even purchase more of everyday things (like groceries) ahead of time, which often helps to cut down on those expenses quite significantly.
3 – It will help you with major purchases
Planning to make a major purchase, such as buying a house or car? If so, and if you’re like most people, you’ll need to take out some kind of loan. The bank won’t be willing to loan you money to purchase property unless you have enough to pay a down payment. It typically has to be at least 3% to 5% of the value of the property, and only then will the bank consider lending you the remaining amount. Some mortgages require a 10% or even a 20% down payment. Don’t forget that there are always additional expenses when you buy a home, so extra funds will always be important.
It’s the same thing when it comes to cars. If you need a loan to buy a vehicle, you’ll need enough for a down payment. So the best thing to do is have money stashed away – as much as you can possibly save for the down payment. Then, you can explore your options with the rest of the money needed.
4 – It will assist you in doing away with debt
Have you got some debt you’re trying to climb out of? Well, the fact is that you need to have some money to get out of debt. Your credit card balances will not be paid off if you keep using them for everything.
There are bound to be some unexpected expenses that come up. Rather than put everything on your card, save some cash. That way, if your car breaks down or you have to put down some money for something else, you have some cash to put towards it rather than charging it to your credit. It will also help you be more mindful of how you are spending your money.
5 – It will take care of annual expenses
Don’t assume that you’ll only have to pay for rent, utilities, food, transportation, and all those basic monthly expenses. There will be gifts, vacations, car maintenance, and other things that you don’t have to pay for monthly but will come up a couple times a year. It would be unwise to not budget for these annual expenses. Instead, save ahead for those annual expenses so you don’t have to worry about not being able to pay for them when they come due.
6 – It will save you in extraordinary situations
Your car will break down occasionally, and your roof may leak. You may get sick or have to fly across the country for your best friend’s wedding. Any number of things could happen, and chances are none of them will be cheap. Extraordinary circumstances do happen, and you have to be prepared for them. With a reserve of cash, you’ll be able to sustain yourself through these bad times without racking up a huge sum on your credit card.
There is also always the chance that you lose your source of income. Whether you get fired or the company closes down or even if a disaster halts operations. You may even get injured or become too sick to work. In any circumstance, you will need some money to tide you over. It won’t do to live on credit until then.
Minimum payments will rise, and you may max out your credit cards. When you do get an income again, you may not be able to deal with the amount of debt that you’ve amassed. With an emergency fund, you can avoid this situation and live on cash until you find another source of income.
7 – It will add to your quality of life
It’s very stressful to live paycheck to paycheck. You’re constantly running around trying to keep up with your bills while wondering where you’ll find the money to pay for an unexpected expense. It can result in depression, anxiety, and just generally a poor quality of life.
You won’t magically live a happy life if you are financially stable, but the stability that an emergency fund brings will do wonders to make you feel more secure in your future. Take control of your financial situation today by starting an emergency fund. Save your raises and bonuses instead of treating yourself. If you need to spend a little extra on something this month, try your best to save a little next month to replenish your emergency fund. It’ll definitely be worth it.