Millions of households across the country have found out the hard way that creating an emergency fund is essential to the long-term financial success of a family. Anyone who has yet to save money in case of emergencies can use valuable apps that are available on mobile devices and computers to help them track spending and start saving.
Why Create an Emergency Cushion?
An emergency cushion is intended to pay for bills when your income has been significantly reduced. People who are working and are injured may discover that they are no longer able to work because of a disability. Disabilities can be temporary or long-term in nature. Long-term disabilities can qualify a person for social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. (You can find more about this type of insurance at SSRights.com)
Job loss is another risk that makes it important for a person to create an emergency cushion. An economy that continues to be unstable means that millions of people who felt secure in their jobs have been laid off. Struggling to pay your bills during job loss can lead to serious financial consequences including foreclosure and damage to your credit history. Creating a cushion allows you to support yourself and your family while you look for another source of income.
Apps to Help Monitor Your Spending
There are four apps that are particularly helpful when it comes to monitoring your spending. All of these apps can be used to provide the maximum amount of benefits when you’re saving to create an emergency cushion.
The first step that you need to take when creating an emergency fund is tracking your spending. Mint.com allows you to link up all of your financial accounts in order to get an accurate picture of your spending. You can even create alerts when you spend too much on certain items or set reminders when bills are due.
Coupons provide the perfect opportunity for families to save money on purchases that they were already going to make. RetailMeNot maintains a database of current online coupons that you can use when you order from a website. There are even coupons available for restaurants that offer online ordering options.
Everyone knows that gas prices are high. What if you could have a guide that tells you where to find the cheapest gas in your area? Gas Buddy does just that. If you use Gas Buddy on a mobile device, the app will determine your location and show you the price for gas at local stations.
Shopping at a brick-and-mortar store can be more expensive because of the lack of cost comparison opportunities. The RedLaesr app lets you scan bar codes on items you want to buy and lets you know if you can get the item cheaper elsewhere. Local deals and online prices are provided.
Setting a Goal
You will need to know how much money to save for your emergency fund before you start the saving process. Most financial experts advise people to set enough money aside to pay for necessities for a period of three months. Mortgage payments, utilities and groceries should all be factored into this calculation. Making payments on debts should also be considered when the amount needed for an emergency fund is being evaluated.