Fact Check: Emergency Funds Myths
Published on: June 2, 2023
a generation of women sitting on a couch, helping to plan one of their futures with financial tasks for each decade.
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It’s time to dispel the fog surrounding the concept of emergency funds. You may have heard various statements about these financial safety nets, but do you know which of the following is not true about emergency funds? In this article, we’ll debunk some common misconceptions, ensuring you’re equipped with accurate knowledge to enhance your financial security.


The Basics of Emergency Funds


An emergency fund is a pool of money put aside to handle unforeseen financial circumstances. These sudden scenarios could range from job loss, unexpected medical expenses, crucial home repairs, or any other substantial, unexpected costs. The conventional wisdom is maintaining three to six months’ living expenses in your emergency fund. But what types of emergency funds exist, and what should we know about them?

Types of Emergency Funds

There are generally two types of emergency funds: starter emergency funds and full emergency funds.

Starter Emergency Fund

A starter emergency fund is essentially a mini fund designed for those just beginning to save. It typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,000. This fund might not cover all emergency expenses but serves as a solid starting point toward financial security.


  • Attainable short-term goal
  • Provides a buffer against small emergencies


  • May not cover larger, more serious emergencies
  • Can be easily depleted if not replenished regularly

Full Emergency Fund

A full emergency fund is a more robust savings goal, often suggested being 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses. This type of fund provides a substantial safety net in the event of a significant financial disruption, like prolonged job loss.


  • Provides extensive financial security
  • Allows for greater peace of mind


  • Requires a longer time and more discipline to build
  • May tie up funds that could potentially be used for investment

Debunking Myths About Emergency Funds

With a basic understanding of emergency funds, we can now dispel some common misconceptions.

Myth 1: Emergency Funds Aren’t Necessary With Stable Income

Even with a stable income, unexpected costs can arise. For instance, sudden health issues or home repairs can quickly drain finances. Therefore, an emergency fund remains essential regardless of income stability.

Myth 2: Investing Your Emergency Fund is a Smart Move

While investing can yield higher returns, it also carries risk. The value of your investments can decrease, and you may not have access to the funds immediately when you need them. Emergency funds should be kept in a safe and easily accessible account.

Myth 3: Credit Cards Can Replace an Emergency Fund

Credit cards can help during emergencies, but they aren’t a substitute for emergency funds. Credit cards come with high-interest rates and can lead to accumulating debt if not paid off promptly.


The Bottom Line


The topic of emergency funds is frequently surrounded by misconceptions that can lead to unwise financial decisions. By debunking these myths and highlighting the truth, we hope to provide clarity on the essential question: which of the following is not true about emergency funds? The reality is that an emergency fund isn’t merely a financial luxury; it’s a necessity. It provides financial security, ensuring you have the resources to navigate unexpected circumstances without incurring debt. Irrespective of your income level, it’s crucial to start building an emergency fund today for a more financially secure tomorrow.