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Credit card vs. Emergency fund: Why swiping isn’t saving


Learn why having an emergency fund is crucial and how to tailor it to your needs. While the standard advice suggests saving up to six months’ worth of expenses, individual circumstances may require more. Explore various avenues for parking your emergency funds, from traditional savings accounts to diversified options like debt funds. Building an emergency fund is a cornerstone of financial security. 

Credit cards offer temporary relief, not a safety net. While they offer short-term liquidity, the accumulating interest can quickly become burdensome. You’ll face a hefty bill with interest charges as high as 40% annually. Imagine a sudden medical expense of ₹3.5 lakh.  Using your card creates a bigger problem later:  scrounging up ₹3.5 lakh  plus interest to pay it off.

The perils of plastic reliance:

  • High Interest: Credit card debt spirals quickly due to compounding interest.
  • No Real Savings: You’re simply delaying payment, not building a financial cushion.
  • Stressful Scrambling: When the bill arrives, you’ll be scrambling for funds, potentially impacting other financial goals.

Building a true emergency fund:

  • Start Small, Grow Big: Even small monthly contributions add up over time.
  • Prioritize Emergencies: Put emergency savings ahead of aggressive debt repayment or long-term investments (especially in a falling market).
  • Peace of Mind: A well-funded emergency fund provides security and reduces financial stress during unexpected events.

Credit cards are for convenience, not emergencies.  Build a dedicated emergency fund to weather financial storms and achieve true financial freedom.

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