Mixed race woman holding jar of change. Getty Images
Building a nest egg for your future requires more than just a gratuity payment, say experts.  Getty

How to build up your 'oh no' fund



For many, the emergency fund is not working out.

While some simply do not have one, of those that do many cannot resist tapping what they have already saved. I'd like to propose an alternative for both sets of people: The "oh, no" fund - a savings account for not-quite-emergency expenses.

One of the reasons people do not have emergency funds is misplaced optimism. People think that if they are healthy, they will stay healthy. If they are employed, ditto. The car will keep running, the AC won't break down and, since everybody's a better-than-average driver, there won't be any accidents. Behavioural scientists call that "recency bias," which is the delusion that whatever happened in the recent past will continue into the indefinite future.

Everyone, though, has experienced those "oh, no" moments: the no-parking sign they didn't see, the crown the dentist says they need, the smartphone dropped in the toilet. A relatively small amount in such a fund can keep people from turning to expensive credit cards.

The power of just a few hundred dollars of savings can really help reduce the use of short-term, high-cost lending, according to John Thompson. He is chief programme officer for the Center for Financial Services Innovation in the United States, a nonprofit that promotes financial health.

Having a cushion is particularly important if you are a homeowner. In a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by NerdWallet, nearly two-thirds of homeowners in the US say they have experienced anxiety about their home, with unexpected home repair costs the top cause of anxiety.

The "oh, no" fund is designed to be spent, not hoarded. Emergency funds - which are designed to store the equivalent of three months' salary - are meant to be spent, too, but people are often reluctant to part with money labelled as savings, says financial literacy expert and Rutgers University professor Barbara O'Neill.

"People hate to experience losses, and pulling money out of a savings account feels like a loss," Ms O'Neill says.

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Many people also give up on the idea of an emergency fund because any money they manage to put aside is quickly wiped out by unexpected expenses. They do not realise that the emergency fund did its job by keeping those expenses from going on a credit card, or that saving for unexpected expenses is a "rinse and repeat" deal. You don't just hit a savings goal and you're done. You save, you spend, and then you save again.

The "oh, no" fund can help people build that muscle. It can be viewed as a transactional account with constant additions and subtractions as life unfolds. The fund can also help people who already have savings they do not want to touch except in big emergencies, such as a job loss.

The first "oh, no" goal can be pretty modest, say Dh2,000. For those new to saving, here is how to get there:

• Set up a dedicated account

By keeping this account separate to your regular account, it is clearer to you what this balance is for. You could open it in a separate bank to make it harder to access or keep it in the same bank, so that it is easier to transfer funds into it on a regular basis.

• Automate it if you can

Those with regular monthly salaries and bank accounts can set up automatic transfers, so Dh100 or Dh200 a month - or whatever amount you like - gets swept into a savings account each pay period. If this account is based overseas, you could technology that automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the money in savings. Bank of America's Keep the Change debit card and Chime, a mobile bank account, both offer this option. Or try Digit, an app that analyses your spending and moves unneeded funds to a savings account.

• If you cannot automate it, make a rule

Decide to put aside a set dirham amount or percentage from every pay cheque or other income you receive. For example, say to yourself: "I'll save Dh500 from every salary payment and 10 per cent of any windfalls."

• Don't stop

Once you are in the habit of saving, keep going. Your next goal can be Dh5,000, which is the median cost of the largest financial shock experienced by households studied by the Pew Charitable Trusts in the US. After that, you can shoot for the traditional emergency fund recommendation of building a fund equal to three months' worth of expenses.

Even as you do, though, you may still want to keep a separate fund for those everyday mishaps. Because things go wrong - all the time.

Liz Weston is a columnist at NerdWallet, a financial planner and author of Your Credit Score

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List
James Mustich, Workman

The biog

Name: Mariam Ketait

Emirate: Dubai

Hobbies: I enjoy travelling, experiencing new things, painting, reading, flying, and the French language

Favourite quote: "Be the change you wish to see" - unknown

Favourite activity: Connecting with different cultures

LIVING IN...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

US PGA Championship in numbers

1 Joost Luiten produced a memorable hole in one at the par-three fourth in the first round.

2 To date, the only two players to win the PGA Championship after winning the week before are Rory McIlroy (2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational) and Tiger Woods (2007, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational). Hideki Matsuyama or Chris Stroud could have made it three.

3 Number of seasons without a major for McIlroy, who finished in a tie for 22nd.

4 Louis Oosthuizen has now finished second in all four of the game's major championships.

5 In the fifth hole of the final round, McIlroy holed his longest putt of the week - from 16ft 8in - for birdie.

6 For the sixth successive year, play was disrupted by bad weather with a delay of one hour and 43 minutes on Friday.

7 Seven under par (64) was the best round of the week, shot by Matsuyama and Francesco Molinari on Day 2.

8 Number of shots taken by Jason Day on the 18th hole in round three after a risky recovery shot backfired.

9 Jon Rahm's age in months the last time Phil Mickelson missed the cut in the US PGA, in 1995.

10 Jimmy Walker's opening round as defending champion was a 10-over-par 81.

11 The par-four 11th coincidentally ranked as the 11th hardest hole overall with a scoring average of 4.192.

12 Paul Casey was a combined 12 under par for his first round in this year's majors.

13 The average world ranking of the last 13 PGA winners before this week was 25. Kevin Kisner began the week ranked 25th.

14 The world ranking of Justin Thomas before his victory.

15 Of the top 15 players after 54 holes, only Oosthuizen had previously won a major.

16 The par-four 16th marks the start of Quail Hollow's so-called "Green Mile" of finishing holes, some of the toughest in golf.

17 The first round scoring average of the last 17 major champions was 67.2. Kisner and Thorbjorn Olesen shot 67 on day one at Quail Hollow.

18 For the first time in 18 majors, the eventual winner was over par after round one (Thomas shot 73).

if you go

The flights

Air Astana flies direct from Dubai to Almaty from Dh2,440 per person return, and to Astana (via Almaty) from Dh2,930 return, both including taxes.

The hotels

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Almaty cost from Dh1,944 per night including taxes; and in Astana the new Ritz-Carlton Astana (www.marriott) costs from Dh1,325; alternatively, the new St Regis Astana costs from Dh1,458 per night including taxes.

When to visit

March-May and September-November

Visas

Citizens of many countries, including the UAE do not need a visa to enter Kazakhstan for up to 30 days. Contact the nearest Kazakhstan embassy or consulate.

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Coal Black Mornings

Brett Anderson

Little Brown Book Group 

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

If you go

The flights

Fly direct to London from the UAE with Etihad, Emirates, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic from about Dh2,500 return including taxes. 

The hotel

Rooms at the convenient and art-conscious Andaz London Liverpool Street cost from £167 (Dh800) per night including taxes.

The tour

The Shoreditch Street Art Tour costs from £15 (Dh73) per person for approximately three hours. 

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Key figures in the life of the fort

Sheikh Dhiyab bin Isa (ruled 1761-1793) Built Qasr Al Hosn as a watchtower to guard over the only freshwater well on Abu Dhabi island.

Sheikh Shakhbut bin Dhiyab (ruled 1793-1816) Expanded the tower into a small fort and transferred his ruling place of residence from Liwa Oasis to the fort on the island.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Shakhbut (ruled 1818-1833) Expanded Qasr Al Hosn further as Abu Dhabi grew from a small village of palm huts to a town of more than 5,000 inhabitants.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Shakhbut (ruled 1833-1845) Repaired and fortified the fort.

Sheikh Saeed bin Tahnoon (ruled 1845-1855) Turned Qasr Al Hosn into a strong two-storied structure.

Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa (ruled 1855-1909) Expanded Qasr Al Hosn further to reflect the emirate's increasing prominence.

Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan (ruled 1928-1966) Renovated and enlarged Qasr Al Hosn, adding a decorative arch and two new villas.

Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan (ruled 1966-2004) Moved the royal residence to Al Manhal palace and kept his diwan at Qasr Al Hosn.

Sources: Jayanti Maitra, www.adach.ae

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

TO CATCH A KILLER

Director: Damian Szifron

Stars: Shailene Woodley, Ben Mendelsohn, Ralph Ineson

Rating: 2/5

Rooney's club record

At Everton Appearances: 77; Goals: 17

At Manchester United Appearances: 559; Goals: 253

SM Town Live is on Friday, April 6 at Autism Rocks Arena, Dubai. Tickets are Dh375 at www.platinumlist.net

QUARTER-FINAL

Wales 20-19 France

Wales: T: Wainwright, Moriarty. Cons: Biggar (2) Pens: Biggar 2

France: T: Vahaamahina, Ollivon, Vakatawa Cons: Ntamack (2)

Meg 2: The Trench

Director: Ben Wheatley
Stars: Jason Statham, Jing Wu, Cliff Curtis, Page Kennedy, Cliff Curtis, Melissanthi Mahut and Shuya Sophia Cai
Rating: 2/5

Racecard

6.35pm: American Business Council – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.10pm: British Business Group – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,200m

7.45pm: CCI France UAE – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,400m

8.20pm: Czech Business Council – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,400m

8.55pm: Netherlands Business Council – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,600m

9.30pm: Indian Business and Professional Council – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Fifa Club World Cup quarter-final

Esperance de Tunis 0
Al Ain 3
(Ahmed 02’, El Shahat 17’, Al Ahbabi 60’)

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone


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