While nobody anticipates emergencies, having a financial safety net is crucial for unexpected curveballs life throws your way. Your emergency fund is designed to be a cushion when urgent situations arise. It’s essential to know when to tap into those funds for genuine emergencies rather than using them for nonessential expenses. If you’re considering using it to fund a vacation but not for essential repairs, it might be time to reevaluate your purchase.
Here are seven instances when it’s entirely appropriate to use your emergency fund, as well as situations where it’s not advisable.
Unplanned One-Time Expenses
An emergency fund is your financial guardian for unforeseen situations.
“For example, if the transmission on your car goes out, and you need the car to get to work, it is an emergency,” said Jay Zigmont, Ph.D., CFP®, founder of Childfree Wealth. “If your car needs an oil change, that is not an emergency and is something you need to plan for. If your roof gets damaged in a storm, that is an emergency. The key with an emergency fund is to use it as a last resort and to refill it ASAP,” Zigmont said. Learn more