Thursday, August 11, 2016

Financial Literacy: Emergency Fund

One of my goals this year was to build our emergency fund. Nice! But I failed to make it clear on HOW I’ll achieve it. So I revised my financial goals and managed our money even more. I am still new with this so there were times that Budgeting our Money was a little challenging. I never budget my salary ever since so this was a step ahead, I think. Anyhow, as I have a clearer goals this time (started June 2016 only), I am looking after the day that I would say, “Finally! Goal’s achieved”. I only have 4 months left before the end of the year and I am still on track. Yey! Although when I think about the start of year 2016, I hope I made this choice sooner than later but then, it’s never too late to start. =)

The first step in achieving financial freedom is to make sure that you have enough emergency fund to cover your expenses or immediate medical attention for any members of the family. In my case, I have Daryl and Jami to look out to. Aside from that, we have only one income source so I have to make sure we have money kept to cover us when the bread winner got sick and can’t go to work. 

What is an Emergency Fund?

From the word itself, it's the fund that you'll use in cases of Emergency - Health Emergency, Calamities, Sudden loss of Job etc. It is also suggested that you'll have 3-6 months’ worth of your expenses to make sure that you are able to sustain your immediate needs until you're back on your feet. Three to Six months is enough to recover from these emergencies without dipping into debts. However, I was thinking that saving Php20, 000 is really hard given all the expenses that are lining up, what more with Php50, 000 or even Php100, 000 for the suggested amount of your Emergency fund?

photo source: google

After a friend of mine discussed how she's going to save Php100, 000 until the end of the year, I got so inspired with her thinking and how frugal she was. So I made my own calculations and analyze our current state until I realized that yes! I could make it too.

So how did I plan to build the fund?

To start off, I want to have at least 3 months’ worth of fund since I will be too late to complete it to six months until the end of the year. According to my evaluation, I should have Php48, 000 to achieve my target of 3 months. Wow! I felt overwhelmed. I didn't know that our expenses are this big in couple of months’ time but it didn't stop me from looking for possible ways to achieve my goal. I have later on decided to make it Php50, 000 to close down the amount.

The question is how are we able to achieve the goal with a one income household?


I honestly don't know how much money I was saving. I re-organized my income and found that I am putting 10.55% of my monthly salary in coop only to get the money saved and spend later in the year. I am using it for short goals like travel fund, or uses it for shopping for clothes, shoes etc. I also deposit 0.59% to Jami's savings account which I originally planned to be our Emergency fund however, it will take 36 months to achieve the Php50k goal so I have to revise it and come up with a realistic plan. With all these money, I have decided to put 20% of my monthly take home to savings. I still placed all of them in coop so it could earn a higher dividend compared to ATM accounts. As of this writing, the dividend that my shares earned is almost Php200/share in just 2 months! I am so happy with the result. That was just for one cooperative that I joined. The other one earned a smaller dividend because it was just starting although it earned close to Php200 in 4 months. Having these only completes 45.6% of my total money goal without the dividend the shares will earn at the end of the year.


I was really lucky that came 2015, our office started to give out incentives to its employees on our region. I am getting approximately 28% of my monthly salary every quarter and it is fully dedicated in building our emergency fund. I can't spend any more money without making sure that the fund is complete. The amount I’ll place will be 20% of my total goal.

Jami’s Passbook 

Instead of a Php500 deposit that I originally thought of, I decided to place half of the amount to cooperative to earn instead of making this small money sleep in the bank. Php300 is being placed as an additional share then Php200 will remain kept until it’s huge enough to be placed in the bank. The Php200 being kept will accumulate to Php2, 300 until December which will be the 4.6% of the goal. At this time, I have a single digit amount placed into the account which was the 13.4% of the goal. Back in June, I owe an amount to Jami’s passbook which I am looking forward to return and be added on our fund. It has a spot on the budget I created for the year so by December 2016, I’ll be able to return the money back that will make the 5%. Totally, Jami’s passbook will contribute 23%.

Adding them all up will make 88.6% of my goal meaning, I am short of 11.4% that I am still looking forward to complete by the end of the year. What I want was to complete the fund without touching my 13th month pay as it will be allocated to holidays and another goal. I am positive that I will be able to create another source of income to complete all these in a matter of 4 months. =) As of this writing, I am at 35.97% out of 100% of my goal in just 2 months! Yey.. I am happy and I am not losing my focus! While thinking about the shortage, I am trying to improve on these two below;

Additional Income

One of the best decision I made this year was to buy an electric oven. I am now using it for additional income although I was looking for an upgrade since the orders could be a little more overwhelming for the size of my unit. Whenever possible, I put the profit back to my capital. I can't guarantee a huge amount of profit to be placed thru to our fund yet since I have a very small capital and I am looking forward to grow it even more. Once I reach a target goal for our capital, I’ll have earnings/profits to our savings or leisure.

Sticking to the budget is really important although I had trouble last month because it was our 10th year anniversary. I failed to allocate a budget for it simply because we have other more important things to do. I was just really glad that an opportunity knocked and Daryl had the chance to earn a day before and that was the money we used to celebrate. We even made sure that we won't go overboard our budget. We went to Manila Zoo and ate in a fast food to complete the night.

I don't want to say na perfect na ako financially, all of these are just based on my own experience and the situation that we are in as a family. I also just have a mindset and a goal that I want to achieve. There are times that I still wish to go shopping, buy new clothes, shoes, phones or camera but then, I realize we don't even have money to survive if I suddenly lose my job, why would I need a new dress or shoes? Now my goal was to continue everything until the end of the year. When 2017 starts, I could say I am even closer to my dream. =)