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Financially Prepared Women: Why an Emergency Fund is a Must-Have

Have you ever asked yourself how financially prepared you are for emergencies? Life is unpredictable, and anything can happen at any time.

Therefore, every person should have an emergency fund to cater to any unexpected expenses. Unfortunately, women tend to have a harder time saving for emergencies due to several reasons.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of building an emergency fund for women’s financial wellbeing. We will also look at the reasons why women find it hard to build an emergency fund, the financial regrets that come with not having one, and ways to start saving for emergencies.

Women’s Longer Lifespan and Caregiving Responsibilities

Did you know that on average, women tend to live longer than men by nearly five years? While this is good news, it also means that women will require a more extended period of retirement savings.

Also, women are more likely to have caregiving responsibilities, whether for children, aging parents, or ailing spouses. According to the National Alliance of Caregiving, female caregivers spend an average of about 50% more time providing care than their male counterparts.

These responsibilities mean that women’s financial planning should go beyond their basic needs. They should also plan for unforeseen financial events, such as unexpected medical expenses or job loss.

Having an emergency fund to fall back on in such situations is essential.

The Pink Tax and More Expensive Essentials for Women

The pink tax refers to the extra amount women pay for goods and services compared to men. This occurs even when products have the same function.

For instance, women’s cosmetic products cost 13% more than men’s, and women’s haircuts cost 50% more than men. The higher costs of essentials targeted towards women drain their finances and make it harder for them to save money.

Consequently, women are likely to put off saving for emergencies since they are already spending more on basic necessities.

Lack of Financial Preparedness among Women

A 2020 survey conducted by Varo Money discovered that 61% of women do not have $1,000 in savings to cover emergency expenses. Additionally, 28% of the women surveyed had no savings at all.

These statistics are worrying since they indicate that women are not financially prepared to handle unexpected financial events. Without an emergency fund, women have a higher likelihood of struggling financially when events such as losing a job or a medical emergency occur.

This lack of preparedness then sets women off on a financial rollercoaster that could take a long time to recover from.

Not Building an Emergency Fund Is a Major Financial Regret for Women

According to a Northwestern Mutual survey conducted in 2019, 44% of women said not building an emergency fund was their biggest financial regret. This is not surprising since emergency funds are crucial and can provide a sense of financial stability, especially during tough times.

Younger Generations Feel the Burden of Not Having an Emergency Fund

The same Varo Money survey revealed that younger generations feel the burden of not having an emergency fund more acutely than older generations. This is mainly because older people have had more time to accumulate savings, while younger generations are just starting their financial journeys.

To curb this trend, younger generations must start building emergency funds early enough. This is to ensure that they have a financial cushion to fall back on when unexpected events occur.

Credit Card Debt Is the Second Most Common Financial Regret for Women

Another financial regret that women face is having credit card debt. According to the Northwestern Mutual survey, 31% of women had credit card debt as their biggest financial regret.

Accumulating credit card debt makes it harder to save for emergencies and increases the likelihood of relying on credit when emergencies arise. Relying on credit instead of having an emergency fund is a financial trap that could weigh heavily on women’s finances.

Ways Women Can Build an Emergency Fund

So what steps can women take to start building an emergency fund? The answer is saving regularly.

Even if you are only able to save a small amount each month, it will add up over time. Here are a few tips to get you started:

– Set a financial goal: Determine how much you will need in your emergency fund and start saving towards that goal.

– Create a budget: Take a hard look at your expenses and identify areas where you can cut back. The more you save, the faster you will be able to reach your financial goals.

– Automate savings: Set up an automatic savings plan that deducts a certain amount from your account each month and deposits it into your emergency fund. – Generate additional income: Take on extra work or gig jobs that will increase your monthly income.

Add the extra money you earn to your emergency fund savings.


The importance of building an emergency fund for women cannot be overstated. Women’s longer lifespan, caregiving responsibilities, the pink tax, and lack of financial preparedness among women are just a few of the reasons why having an emergency fund is essential.

Additionally, credit card debt is one of the biggest financial regrets for women. Building an emergency fund requires discipline, but it is not impossible.

With the right approach and mindset, every woman can start saving for emergencies and have a financial cushion to fall back on in the event of unexpected events. An emergency fund is an essential part of financial planning that helps individuals prepare for unforeseen expenses.

Having an emergency fund ensures that you can handle unexpected events without compromising your long-term financial goals. In this article, we will discuss how to build an emergency fund effectively.

Start Budgeting and Cut Back on Spending

The first step towards building an emergency fund is to create a budget. A budget helps you understand your monthly income and expenses, which then makes it easier to cut back on your spending.

Start by tracking your expenses for a month to get an idea of where your money goes. Once you have an idea of your expenditure, you can cut back on non-essential items such as eating out, subscriptions, travel, or entertainment.

It is also crucial to find ways to reduce your living expenses. For example, you could negotiate with your service providers for a better deal or find more affordable options for utilities.

By tracking your expenses and cutting back on spending, you can free up more money to save towards your emergency fund.

Get Out of Debt to Achieve Financial Freedom

Debt can be a significant hindrance to building an emergency fund. High-interest debts such as credit card debt, personal loans, or student loans can limit your ability to save for emergencies.

Therefore, paying off debt should be a priority when building an emergency fund. There are several debt repayment strategies, such as the Avalanche Method, Snowball Method, or Balance Transfer.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is essential to choose a strategy that suits your financial situation and goals. Once you have paid off your debt, you can redirect the money you were using to pay off debt towards building your emergency fund.

Achieving financial freedom by paying off debt can create a sense of accomplishment and reduce stress, leaving you more energized to save for emergencies.

Invest in Yourself by Setting Saving Goals and Sticking to Them

One of the most effective ways to build an emergency fund is to set specific saving goals and sticking to them. Determine how much you need to save and set a timeline for achieving your goals.

This could be done using a budgeting app or financial planning software to create visual reminders and tracking progress. Breaking down your savings goals into smaller milestones can make the process less daunting.

For instance, you could aim to save 10% of your income every month, or set a specific weekly or monthly savings target. This way, you can track your progress and celebrate your achievements along the way.

Discipline is necessary when building an emergency fund. It can be tempting to use your emergency fund to finance other expenses, but it’s essential to treat it as a separate account dedicated to emergencies only.

Failing to do this will hinder your ability to build your emergency fund and could lead to financial instability when emergencies occur. Investing in yourself by setting saving goals and sticking to them requires discipline and patience, but it’s one of the most effective methods of building an emergency fund.


Building an emergency fund requires dedication and discipline. Start by creating a budget and cutting back on your expenses.

Getting out of debt can also help you achieve financial freedom, leaving you more room to save towards your emergency fund. Finally, investing in yourself by setting saving goals and sticking to them can help you achieve your financial goals faster.

With these strategies, anyone can build an emergency fund that they can rely on during unexpected financial events. In conclusion, building an emergency fund is paramount for financial stability and preparedness.

Women face unique challenges such as longer lifespans, caregiving responsibilities, the pink tax, and lack of financial preparedness, making it harder to save for emergencies. However, by budgeting, cutting back on spending, getting out of debt, investing in themselves by setting saving goals, and sticking to them, women can build an emergency fund successfully.

The takeaway is that with discipline, patience, and dedication, anyone can achieve financial security and preparedness through an emergency fund.

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