How I’m Preparing for the Future (and the Unexpected) with an Emergency Fund

This is a sponsored post with The Huntington National Bank and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

Remember when you were younger, and you had a piggy bank where you’d stash away all of your money in hopes of cashing it in for something you had your eye on? Maybe you wanted a new toy. Maybe you wanted a new game. No matter what it was that you were saving up for, you set a goal and put away a little money here and a little money there to reach it. Now that you’re an adult, saving money follows the same concept, right? A little saving can go a long way and help you reach your goals.

As you know from my previous blog post with Huntington Bank, my husband and I have savings goals that are big and small – we’re working to save up for a new house and to travel to Europe. While saving for those things are important to us, we know that saving for a potential emergency is equally as important. Every day brings something new and you just never know if an unexpected event will happen or occur. In my opinion, it’s good to be prepared for anything that life could throw your way, so taking time to plan and think through potential hurdles or obstacles that could pop up down the road is a good idea.

While it’s hard to know exactly what could happen in the future, you can do your best to map out different scenarios and determine how you’d pay for them. For example, if your refrigerator bites the dust, how will you pay to get it repaired? If you become unemployed for a brief period of time, how will you ensure bills continue to be paid and that ends are being met? As you ask yourself what you’d do in these situations, just think of how much better off you’d be in these circumstances if you had an emergency fund in place.

As soon as we got married and combined our finances, my husband and I set out to build our emergency fund. We knew that we wanted to save up enough money to reach a certain dollar amount that we agreed on. We started by setting aside a small amount of money per week and we watched as our fund grew and grew.

Our emergency fund came in handy when we needed to replace our hot water heater about a year ago. Since we were prepared and had enough money to cover that unexpected expense, we didn’t fret too much. It felt good knowing that we could pay for our new hot water heater up front and not have to worry about making payments to the company that installed it or use our most recent paychecks to pay for that household necessity.

Since setting aside money in an emergency fund came in handy for me, I urge you to consider setting up an emergency fund of your own. If you’re interested in setting one up for you and your family, here are some tips to help you get started:

Set a goal – determine how much money you want to save away to your emergency fund.

• As a starting point, calculate about three months of your expenses. You can do this using the Spend Analysis tool on The Hub that comes with your Huntington Bank checking account.

• Define what a real emergency is for your family. A broken water heater or home appliance? Car repairs? Do some thinking and jot down some examples ahead of time so you know exactly what to use your emergency fund on if and when the time comes.

• Open a dedicated savings account for your emergency fund. Your Huntington banker can help you to open the right account for you.

• Set up an automatic contribution. This will take the legwork out of saving since the Savings Goal GetterSMtool (I’ll explain more about this later on) will help you to schedule automatic contributions and keep track of your progress.

• Sell something you don’t need any more or find a way to earn a little extra money that you can add to your fund right away.

• When unexpected money – like a tax refund or birthday check – comes your way, make it a habit to save at least half of it and put it toward your emergency fund.

Setting up an emergency fund is all about creating a financial goal and sticking to it. Luckily, Huntington Bank makes that process easy with their Savings Goal Getter tool (note: you must have a Huntington Savings account or a Money Market account to use Savings Goal Getter).

Here’s everything you need to know about Savings Goal Getter:

What it is:

Savings Goal Getter tool on The Hub helps you to see the bigger picture of what you’re saving for. As you save, you’ll see your progress so you can get a better sense of when you’ll reach your goal. Your money remains in your Huntington savings or money market account but can be allocated toward an emergency fund and/or up to 10 savings goals.

Where to find it:

You can find Savings Goal Getter in The Hub – Huntington’s new digital banking experience. This experience was designed to help look out for you and your financial future.

How it works:

There are two types of goals that can be set up in Savings Goal Getter – an emergency fund or savings goals. Each month, the tool will suggest the amount that can be saved so the intended goal can be reached. The goals will be funded as money is added to the savings or MMA account. Savings Goal Getter allows you to view or edit your goals and the tool gives notifications (if you sign up for notifications, Message and data rates may apply) and prompts to alert you if you’re behind schedule.

How to set up Savings Goal Getter:

  • Step 1: Log into The Hub on your desktop or phone. Within The Hub, scroll down to the Savings Goal Getter header. Select “Get Started.”

  • Step 2: Decide your goal type and general outcome. Note that this tool is only connected to your savings or money market account to track savings progress. Select “Get Started” to continue.

  • Step 3: To create a goal, select your goal type- Emergency Fund or Savings Goal. Name the goal, amount, and timeframe to complete setup.

  • Step 4: Complete your goal! Savings Goal Getter will recommend transfer amounts in order to meet your goal by the deadline indicated. You can transfer manually or set up weekly or monthly transfers on the Recurring Transfers page.

Soon enough, with the help of Savings Goal Getter, my husband and I hope to have enough money saved up for our new emergency fund and for a new house. We know that Huntington Bank wants to help us turn our financial dreams into a reality.

Now I want to know, have you ever considered creating an emergency fund? Do you currently have one? If you don’t have one, what’s something that has held you back and prevented you from creating your fund? I know that saving money is sometimes hard to do. Between bills and general living expenses, everything adds up quickly. However, if you just save little by little, you’ll be amazed by how much money you can accumulate over time.

If you still want to know more about creating an emergency fund after reading today’s blog post, be sure to check out Huntington Bank for more information or to set up an account. While you’re at it, be sure to follow Huntington Bank on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

I’ll be sharing more about my journey with Huntington Bank in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more content! In the meantime, drop a comment down below and tell me what your financial goals are and what steps you’re taking to save. Don’t forget that the Savings Goal Getter might be a great tool to explore!