Emergency funds: your financial safety net

A topic that's super important for anyone looking to secure their financial future.

Authored on
28 May 2024
Getting started
Read time
  3 minute read

It’s the emergency fund. Let’s break it down together! 

What is an emergency fund? 🤔 

It’s basically a stash of money set aside specifically for those unexpected life events that can throw your budget off course. Think of it as your financial safety net. Car repairs, extra bills, or losing a job – having an emergency fund means you're prepared to handle these situations without derailing your financial goals. 

Why do I need one ❓ 

Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are nice ones... An emergency fund helps you stay afloat during tough times, providing peace of mind and financial stability. Without one, you might find yourself reaching for credit cards or loans to cover unexpected expenses, which can lead to debt. And we don’t like debt… 

How much should I stash away? 💰 

Great question! A good rule of thumb is to have three to six months' worth of living expenses saved up. This amount varies depending on your personal circumstances, such as job security, dependents, and monthly expenses. 


Here's a quick way to calculate your emergency fund: 🧮 

1. List your monthly outgoings: Include rent/mortgage, bills, food, transport and any other essential costs. 

2. Decide how many months' worth of expenses you want to cover. If your monthly expenses are £2,000, having between £6,000 and £12,000 saved up is a good place to aim for. 

Now, that may seem like a lot, but remember, it's okay to start small and build up over time. The key is to make consistent progress toward your goal. 

How to build your emergency fund 👷‍♂️ 

1. Open a separate account – keep your emergency fund in a separate, easily accessible savings account, ideally a high-interest cash ISA. This helps you avoid dipping into it for non-emergencies. 

2. Automate your savings – set up a direct debit to transfer a fixed amount from your current account to your emergency fund each month. Even small amounts add up over time. 

3. Cut unnecessary expenses – review your budget and see where you can trim costs, then redirect those savings into your emergency fund. 

Final thoughts 💭 

Having an emergency fund is a key aspect of financial stability. It protects you from life's uncertainties and helps you stay focused on your long-term goals. But remember, it’s there for those genuine "uh-oh" moments, so avoid using it for non-essential purchases or planned expenses. 

🔔 Nothing in this article should be taken as advice - Dodl doesn't give advice, but we do hope the info is helpful! 


It's important to know

You have to be a UK resident for tax purposes to open an account with Dodl.

The past performance of investments isn't an indicator of their future performance and their value can go down as well as up. This means you could get back less than you originally invested. 

Dodl doesn’t offer any advice so if you’re not sure about the risks involved with investing, you should speak to a suitable financial adviser. 

How you're taxed depends on your circumstances, and tax rules can change in future.

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