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Build emergency savings

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You may be able to meet your needs and expenses each month, but how would you cope with an emergency or unexpected cost?

What if your car breaks down, you lose your job, or face an unexpected bill?

Putting money aside for emergency or unexpected costs isn't easy, and it's a challenge for people in many countries in the world. If you are one of them then an emergency or unexpected cost can tip you into financial hardship.

Being prepared for the unexpected, rather than dealing with it only when it arises, is key to your financial wellbeing. Estimates vary throughout the world, but experts recommend building up enough savings to cover at least 3 months of essential outgoings, in case of emergency.

According to World Bank figures, China had a savings rate of 47% in 2017 – calculated as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) - and is ranked third among the 170 countries monitored.

Here are 5 tips for building an emergency savings fund:

  1. Set savings goals. Setting goals helps you to track your progress and measure your success. Plan to build up enough savings to cover at least three months of essential outgoings, in case of emergency. Anything else that you want to save for (like a holiday) should be on top of this.
  2. Another thing to consider is to discuss your savings goals with your loved ones. Explain what they are for and why they are important. Sharing a savings goal with those around you can help you to stay on track.
  3. Keep your emergency funds separate from the money you use for everyday spending, or to pay your bills. Research shows that doing this may stop you spending it1, Role of mental accounting[@Role of mental accounting]. Setting up a separate savings account can usually be done quickly online.
  4. Try to save regularly and automatically. Rather than try to save what you have left at the end of the month, set up an automated transfer from your regular bank account to a savings account on the day you are paid.
  5. If you can't save a lot, it can be hard to get motivated to save at all. But saving any amount (however small) is helpful, and can build up a valuable emergency savings fund over time.

HSBC China offers you a wide range of products and services for savings accounts and time deposits, empowering you to accumulate and manage your wealth with ease for all your future plans.

Learn more about deposit products and offers

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