Your emergency fund is there. But, what exactly are you watching out for?
In life, nothing is a sure thing. Financial emergencies may happen. The question is – will you be prepared for them?
One minute, you may be enjoying your stay in a luxurious hotel in Tagaytay. The pool may be a crystal clear wonder. The lounge may be an extravagant feast to the eyes. And the room may be a comfortable yet classy place to rest in.
In the next day after checking out, you never know what’s exactly going to happen. Sure, you may have already planned your itinerary but nothing’s definite: you may experience a medical emergency or a sudden loss of job.
Preparing for these life’s uncertainties is something that you should be aware of. Because you never know what’s going to strike you out of nowhere, you should think of the potential worst-case scenarios in advance and then take the necessary steps to overcome them:
1. You get fired with no advance notice whatsoever. (If you’re into entrepreneurship, consider that your business may go bankrupt.)
Your savings account only has its maintaining balance, but since you’re already desperate, you withdraw it all and use it to pay for your bills.
Sadly, it’s only now that you realize that even if your employment has already stopped, your bills won’t stop coming to your house.
Your electricity, water and Internet supplies are cut off.
Your younger sibling/child stops from attending school because you didn’t pay the monthly tuition or because you didn’t have enough money for allowance/transportation.
You get by by eating instant noodles, canned sardines and cheap veggies.
You get buried in debt as you strive to look for another job. You only contact your loved ones when you need money. As a result, no one wants to talk to you anymore.
Prepare for it:
- Have an emergency fund worth 3-9 months’ of your monthly expenses.
Job-finding can take as long as 6-9 months, I kid you not.
During these months, you want to still have a fund that can sustain your lifestyle even without a job, right?
How much do you spend monthly?
If you spend P20,000 monthly, aim to have an emergency fund worth P60,000 to P270,000. You don’t need to do this all at once. What matters is that you get started now.
Keep your emergency fund in an accessible savings account – don’t worry about the interest; this money’s for protection, not for growth! What’s important is that you can readily access this money in times of an emergency.
- Aim to have at least 3 sources of income.
Don’t rely on just your job to provide money for you.
2. You (or your loved ones) get severely ill so you need to be hospitalized.
You can wipe out your savings account completely and you can drown in debt while trying to recover in the hospital. Super worst-case? You or your loved one can die just because you didn’t have enough money to pay for the hospital fees.
Prepare for it:
- Start by getting PhilHealth (health insurance) for yourself.
You pay around P150 monthly to get significant discounts from your hospital bill. (My cousin who was operated had a discount of P30,000 from her surgical costs. It was funny because she had only just started contributing, so she was exactly at 9 months in her contribution when she availed of the discount. Sulit!)
- For more in-depth coverage, get an independent health insurance from an HMO.
Try Medicard, Maxicare and iCare, among others. Just make sure that the plan you’re getting is compatible to your needs, not the needs of your agent.
3. You encounter a natural or a man-made disaster (a typhoon, a tsunami, a fire, or an earthquake, among others.)
Remember what happened to our countrymen who were unfortunate enough to be hit by Typhoon Yolanda? Loss of property, loss of money and sadly, loss of life can happen. There’s always a possibility that you can end up with absolutely nothing.
Prepare for it:
- Make sure that the home insurance you get can cover natural disasters.
Some home insurance policies exclude coverage from natural disasters. Check and inquire directly about the matter of coverage with your provider.
4. You go over to the next life.
If you’re the breadwinner, your family is left to fend for themselves.
Since they’re used to depending on your income, they may significantly downgrade their lifestyle. Everyone needs to cut back on food, clothing and utilities. Everyone stops attending school. Everyone needs to work and take on a lot of jobs.
If you’re not the breadwinner, your family’s still responsible to pay off your debts. That personal loan, that car loan or that house loan – your elderly parents, young siblings or non-working partner now carries its burden.
The people you left wouldn’t stop crying at your wake. Why?
It’s not because they miss you so much.
It’s because, in addition to the debts you left, they’re supposed to cover your funeral expenses, too. Kaya pala!
Are you okay with the thought that your loving family can suffer without you?
Prepare for it:
Get either term life insurance or variable unit-linked insurance.
Term life insurance is cheaper when you’re younger, but it’s pricier as you get older. Also, if nothing happens to you at the end of the term, you won’t get anything. At least buhay ka pa?
Variable unit-linked insurance is cost-effective in a way that what you deposit now is the same as what you deposit when you get older. Here, a part of your deposit is allotted for life insurance coverage (if you die too young.) Also, a part of your deposit is invested to accumulate interest to build you a sizable retirement fund (if you live too old.)
In the end, life is a journey of ups and downs.
What if nothing happens and you’re completely okay? Then, good for you.
But what if everything happens and you’re completely wiped out? Then at least you prepared in advance.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be over-prepared than not prepared at all.
You don’t want to take chances, do you?