Money Talk

5 Unexpected Times You’ll Need An Emergency Fund

Part of adulting is getting yourself out of unideal situations.

We’ve all been taught to create emergency funds, AKA “rainy day” funds. But what do we mean when we say emergency? The truth is, a day doesn’t have to get that rainy for a rainy day fund to come in handy. There are a lot of occasions that might make you tap into your stash, and not all of them are dire.

Unfortunately, part of adulting is getting yourself out of unideal situations. As baller as you may be, by virtue of being a living human you’re probably going to encounter one of these emergency instances in your lifetime.

A Major Appliance Breaks

When you moved in, everything worked: the fridge, the dishwasher, the air-conditioner. Now you’re really getting into cooking, and one ominous evening the dishwasher breaks. Maybe your landlord is unresponsive, or maybe you’re a homeowner and the problem’s on you. Either way, when major appliances go bust it’s a lot more inconvenient than you’d imagine.

Is this a life or death situation? No. Chances are you could exist without some of this stuff. But you probably really don’t want to, and with an emergency fund you don’t have to.

Your Pet Gets Sick


Pets are wonderful, but they’re expensive. First of all, there are regular bills like food and vaccines. Second, pets can require the occasional emergency trip to the vet. Third, sometimes we have to run out of town last minute and need to pay for our pets to come with us or pay for a dog sitter/kennel. Fourth, there’s that weird ear-cleaning medicine your dog needs because he’s allergic to all the other options–

You know what? Pets might deserve an emergency fund of their own…

Surprise! We’re Having a Destination Wedding

Your best friend tells you they’re getting married… in the Dominican Republic! Let’s start off by saying that destination weddings can be fantastic. They’re the perfect excuse to take a day off work and squeeze in a little sightseeing. The downside is they’re expensive. Weddings in general can be pricy (you have to dress up, get a present, call an Uber after three glasses of Champagne), and destination weddings add the extra costs of plane tickets and accommodations.

Don’t skip out on the festivities. Make it rain.


You Get A Parking Ticket

Hopefully, most of us won’t have any major legal troubles in our lifetime. But we can all expect to run through a red light (it was yellow, it was honestly yellow), or have some other irritating fee come up. Stuff like this should be pesky, not earth-shattering.

If you have an emergency fund, you won’t have to think twice about plonking down a couple hundred dollars toward something annoying like a parking ticket.

You Want To Quit Your Job

A lot of people advise creating emergency funds in case you lose your job. But what if you want to quit your job and you don’t have another one lined up? Searching for a job is a full time job, so it makes sense that you’d want some free time to dig around. Having an emergency fund can allow you the flexibility to take some time to choose your next dream job. Alternatively, maybe you want to just take a break! Or work for yourself. Whatever the case may be, an emergency fund will have your back.

Bottom Line

Emergency funds aren’t just about horrible injuries and getting fired – there are actually a lot of common situations that’ll call for ‘em. The good news? If you start pocketing and investing cash sooner rather than later, you can have your emergency fund built up in no time.

Photo by Jessica Knowlden on Unsplash

Aliza Kellerman Aliza Kellerman is the Manager of Content Strategy at WiseBanyan. When she's not writing about the life and times of the IRA, she's hanging out with her pug.