CENTERVILLE – Whether it’s something as big as a landslide or as simple as a broken car, life can take a big bite out of our bank accounts.
One way to survive is to set up an emergency fund, a savings account with at least $1,000 to help deal with unexpected costs. Though it can be tough to find the extra money to set aside, Zions Bank is sponsoring a free Dave Ramsey Super Saving Seminar on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Zions Bank Centerville Financial Center, located at 440 W. Parrish Lane.
“Emergencies are going to happen,” said Zions Bank Financial Literacy Manager Don Milne. “It’s a lot easier to take care of them when you have an emergency fund. It just seems to be a wise decision.”
Though many people go to payday loan companies to help them through unexpected expenditures, using those companies include a lot of hidden costs that many people don’t realize.
“A lot of people only take out $200-$300 at a time for little emergencies,” he said. “But by the time they pay the loan back, they’ve spent $200-$300 more in interest.”
Milne said that an important part of setting up an emergency fund is setting a routine of putting money aside each month. Automatic transfers, which are available through most banks, can help people maintain their resolve to save without having to re-make the decision every month.
“It’s hard for a lot of people, particularly those who have never had a savings account,” he said. “But if you do it as a system instead of a goal, it helps.”
Milne also suggests that people not wait until the end of the month to set the money aside, when many people’s bank accounts are already at their lowest.
“I would do it at the first of the month, or when you get paid,” he said. “That way, you don’t even miss it or know that it’s there.”
Setting up an emergency fund can also start a savings habit that can be built on in the future.
“Having a $1,000 emergency fund is the first step to financial security,” said Milne. “It’s a building block that can enable you to reach other financial goals.”