This morning I logged into our checking account and found out that someone stole my debit card information. There was a charge pending for $760 at a watch store in Brooklyn, NY and overage fees of $144. Needless to say our account was in the negative.
I immediately called my bank and thankfully they had already cancelled my card. The person or persons had also tried my card at Walmart.com and OldNavy.com for over $500 each. Luckily they denied both of those charges but the first charge is still pending in my account.
That means when my husband's check is direct deposited this week we won't have access to some of the funds.
We are obviously going to file a fraudulent charge request with our bank, but we won't have normal access to our account until it's cleared up.
So what do you do when someone messes with your account and you still have bills, gas and groceries to buy?
You need to have a small emergency fund.
Any amount you can afford to start one is good, but you at least want to work up to a week's worth of expenses at the minimum. Many experts say to save up $1000, or a month or even 6 months worth of expenses. Like I said earlier ANY amount is better than no money at all.
It may be obvious, but don't keep that money in your regular bank accounts. I suggest in a safe at home or another safe location that you have access to in time of emergency.
A good friend of mine had here card hacked on Christmas Eve. You can bet the banks weren't open the next day. They aren't open on Sunday's either. Though some have phone centers open 24/7 but not all.
There are many good reasons to keep a little cash on hand for emergencies. Here are a couple.
* Banking emergencies such as having your debit/credit card lost or stolen.
* Power outages are another time when cash is helpful. We've all gone into a store at one time or another that couldn't take credit/debit cards.
* Job Loss isn't always predicted and it may be a some time before unemployment or pay from a new job comes in.
* Medical expenses are another common reason to have an emergency fund. Not just for you or your family but also for pets too.
I think it's obvious there are events in life we don't plan on or want but having an emergency fund helps get life back to normal quicker.