Situations happen, and knowing you have a little cushion is always comforting. A rainy day jar fund is the best solution for those small surprises.
Everyone benefits from having a rainy day jar fund, since you cannot predict the future having money set aside will save you a lot of frustration.
Now, let’s dive into to learn how a rainy day fund will benefit when situations arise.
What Is A Rainy Day Fund?
A rainy day fund is a small savings for sudden circumstances, according to wikipedia.
Let’s take a look at an example for parents, say one of your children might ask to attend a camp over the summer. Maybe you had not discussed the idea or planned for this.
Having a rainy day fund would be to the rescue. Many situations happen, and being prepared for these is where you will excel in your planning.
Short unforeseen times happen in life, so this is where the rainy day jar fund is helpful.
Remember a rainy day fund is a small savings, so don’t stash away thousands, a rainy day fund is for small unforeseen situations.
What A Rainy Day Fund Used For?
Rainy day funds are used for those moments in life when you might need immediate liquid cash flow.
Our family recently encountered the benefit of having a rainy day fund available. We were driving on the highway, and suddenly saw the car had a low tire alert.
We pulled over on the side of the road and called a tow truck for help. Unfortunately, our car was not equipped with a spare tire, we needed to have our car towed to the closest tire repair station.
Overall, we paid over $500 in fees. We were so happy we were prepared and had our rainy day fund handy on this special occasion.
Having a reserve with money available for these unforeseen types of situations is helpful. Now how will you get started?
How Much Money Should You Plan To Stash Away?
Knowing the right amount to stash away is critical to properly use the rainy day jar fund. Now, don’t get confused thinking the rainy day fund is the same as an emergency fund.
An emergency fund is quite different. A typical emergency fund is used to help if you lose your job.
You want to have an emergency fund in this situation to cover living expenses. An average household spends at the low end of $3000 per month, only on living expenses.
Now, your rainy-day jar fund is for those smaller moments. A good idea to consider is to set yourself up with about $2500 in your rainy-day jar fund.
Suppose you start saving towards this amount. You can dedicate monthly or weekly savings and whatever fits into your savings plan and goals.
According to some credit unions they recommend $500-$1000, the amount you decide to save is entirely up to you and what you feel most comfortable with.
Let’s get into some examples of what to use your rainy day jar fund for.
Rainy Day Funds Are For Smaller Expenses
Rainy day funds are designed to pay for smaller expenses. My best example of where our rainy day fund came in handy was when our 10-year-old dog suddenly became sick.
We took her to the vet to get treated, and ended up paying $1000 for her visit.
Even though, we are enrolled in a wellness plan, and received a small percentage off on the procedures, we were still burdened with a hefty bill to pay.
Knowing we prepared our rainy day fund gave us a sense of security during this scary and emotional time.
Where To Put Rainy Day Fund?
Deciding where to stash your rainy day fund is a great question. You might think the safest place is in the bank.
While the bank is a safe place, it might also be helpful to keep your money available.
If you keep you fund available to your reach, you must exercise self-control.
It is like having a favorite dessert in the house staring you in the face. Exercising self-control will provide you with more pleasure over the next few days if you don’t eat everything all at once.
Piece by piece instead of eating everything at once will be a greater satisfaction.
Stashing your rainy day fund at home, is extremely helpful. When you need money, you have it. No need to run to a bank or ATM to access your money. It’s available when you need it.
Most importantly, if you use your money, make sure to replenish what you take.
Rainy Day Fund Vs Emergency Fund
Rainy day funds vs emergency funds, while both are similar, the main difference is the amount of money you keep in each fund. As we discussed earlier, the rainy day fund is maintained to help with smaller expenses.
An emergency fund is used when a situation can cost more. For example, losing your job.
Your emergency fund is set to sustain your living expenses for a minimum of six months.
When setting budgets, it is a good rule of thumb to create individual attention to each of these accounts.
Many investment firms like Vanguard, recommend having emergency funds when costly expenses arise.
An emergency fund can keep you a float, even if an unforeseen situation happens. Landing a new job and actually starting it can take upwards from a month. After you get hired, don’t forget the waiting period that can take another three weeks before you receive your first paycheck.
With the security of emergency fund, you will be able to continue maintaining your household expenses without fearing losing your home or your vehicle.
A rainy day fund is beneficial when a smaller occurrences happens, like our situation with our family dog or even our car when we were coming home from vacation.
Stash your rainy day fund in a jar at home, under your mattress, or in a drawer. Wherever you decide to put your money, just remember this is not intended for shopping and splurging.
Both funds have a common factor, needs. Knowing how to tell the difference between wants and needs is so important for both rainy days and emergency situations.
Do you use your funds for wants? The clearest answer is, no.
By now, you should understand further why a rainy day jar fund will benefit you. For the most important reason, it’s available if something small happens.
You won’t need to ask a friend for help or a little loan. You will have enough set aside to take care of yourself.
Knowing that you can keep this rainy day jar fund at home in close reach is comforting, especially if you’re a homeowner and suddenly your air conditioner stops running in the middle of summer.
When you have some money on hand to pay the repair company to take care of your problem is another reason for having your fund easily available.
Maintaining self-control with your funds and not reaching into the pot whenever you want something is essential. Remember the old saying, out of sight, out of mind?
Place it in a drawer that you will remember you have but not in your face. Keep it away from the coffee money you also stash in your drawer, so you don’t get the two confused.
Achieving financial success lies in your hands. Being prepared and ready when something happens is all part of excellent planning. Congratulations savers!