The Advantages Of Having An Emergency Fund

During the month of May, household income levels increased 0.4 percent across the country from the previous year, according to a report from Harris Private Bank. At the same time, the average savings rate improved to 4.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the report also revealed that consumers are taking on less debt than they did a year ago, and getting better about paying down the debt they currently have.

While it’s great that Americans are taking control of their financial lives, this is having an adverse effect on the economy, the report said. When households all decide to save money at the same time, demand for goods and services can decline dramatically, which could impact the unemployment rate in the future.

Should this occur, and your employment status is affected, it’s important to have an emergency cash fund prepared for this event. Most experts recommend saving at least six months worth of living expenses to relieve pressure, according to Fox Business. Depending on your lifestyle, this amount can range significantly.

Use Budgeting To Start An Emergency Cash Fund?

To save an appropriate emergency cash fund, you need to make a realistic assessment of your life and finances. Remember, a middle-aged person with four children, two cars and mortgage will need much more money than a single 20-year-old with only student loans.

Take a few months to get a feel for your financial lifestyle. Try to account for every dollar you spend, ranging from rent and gasoline to food and debt payments. Be very specific. Even if you purchase a cup of coffee, you need to account for it.

Once you outline these expenses, you can sort them between necessities and luxuries. The total amount you spend on necessities will be your gauge for how much you need to create an emergency fund that will cover a six-month budget.

How To Save

To quickly save money for your emergency cash fund, try to cut out luxury expenses as much as you can, but don’t get carried away. Everybody deserves a little fun, just try not to go overboard, as you could eliminate any progress you make.

Where To Save

While some people might think an emergency fund belongs under their mattress, you should actually opt for a place that allows the money to mature and grow over time. Do a little homework on different high-yield savings accounts at brick-and-mortar banks, credit unions and online banks, advises NewsCore.

Even if you store all this money, and never need it for an emergency, having these savings can vastly improve your overall financial well-being.…

Some Americans Shelling Out Big Bucks On Vacations

The national unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.3 percent in July from 8.2 percent the previous month, according to the Department of Labor. Despite this occurrence, 44 percent of Americans claim this will not impact their upcoming travel plans, a survey conducted by The Harris Poll found.

This was an increase from 2021, when 40 percent of respondents shared a similar sentiment, but a decrease from 2022 when 46 percent felt the same way.

Specifically, 60 percent of respondents said they plan to take one leisure vacation this summer, even though these trips often come with much higher price tags. Meanwhile, 15 percent of respondents said they are going to take at least three trips that fall under this category.

As a result, the average household plans to spend a whopping $3,136 on leisure travel this summer, up from just $1,627 in 2022, the survey found.

However, you should remember that you don’t have to break the bank to go on vacation. Further, if these plans don’t fit with your overall budget, you might want to put these plans on hold until you have the funds needed. But by being financially savvy, this could be much sooner than expected.

Don’t Rule Out Flying

Driving is arguably the most popular transportation mode for travelers, but with the rising price of gasoline, it may not longer be the cheapest.

To stay competitive, many airlines now offer affordable fares that can actually be much cheaper than driving to a destination. While this is subject to your car model, distance to the destination and gas prices in the area, some simple math can help you find the most affordable option.

Book Midweek Flights

Flying on a weekend of holiday can be much more expensive than traveling on off days, says Money Talks News. Not only are tickets sometimes more affordable if the departure date is in the middle of a week, many airlines offer sales and discounts if you also purchase tickets midweek.

Ditch The Checked Baggage

Although some airlines allow you to check bags for free, many still charge a fee. While this can be relatively affordable for someone traveling alone, if you have multiple people in your party, this can be an expensive added cost.

Instead, try to pack light, especially if you’re only going away for a few days. Downgrade your suitcase to a carry-on. Not only will this be more affordable, it will be much easier to transport and you won’t run the risk of the airline losing your baggage.

Make Your Own Meals

One of the biggest vacation expenses that some people forget is the cost of dining out. Eating every meal at a restaurant can add up to hundreds of additional dollars and do a number of your vacation budget. To prevent this from happening, try to book a hotel room that has an in-room kitchen, rent a vacation home or consider a house swap so you have the amenities to make your own meals.…