An emergency fund shouldn't be your only financial fail-safe.
More than half of households experienced a financial shock in 2015, according to a new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts. Repairing or replacing a vehicle was the most common emergency (affecting 29 percent of households), followed by major home repairs (20 percent), an illness or injury requiring a trip to the hospital (20 percent) and a loss of income (20 percent).
Researchers found that while having savings helped, it wasn't a cure-all.
Half of the families who had at least $2,000 in savings — enough to cover the median emergency expense — still reported struggling afterward, versus 70 percent of those who had less than $2,000 on hand. Even among those with at least $4,000 saved, 44 percent said they experienced financial challenges after an emergency expense.