Almost back from a bout with the flu, or something. Dire times at Frugal Son's place of employ.
Frugal Son is working (under-employed at the moment) at a tiny bilingual school, one of the many charter schools that popped up in the post-Katrina years. Last week the employees learned that--because of a mistake made by the former financial officer (???maybe, rumor mill at work)--three of the non-teaching staff were let go. The lowly paid staff, I'm sure.
Frugal Son was shocked that one employee--who had been working for two years--had no savings. A request was circulated amongst the staff: please donate what you can. I'm no longer shocked by such requests: I've gotten many over the years, including some for helping with funeral expenses.
Frugal Son was worried for the woman, but also incredulous that she hadn't saved anything for a rainy day. I mentioned that after two years, she would surely be eligible for Unemployment.
That made him feel better. Then he said, But she's French. I'm assuming French people employed in the US are eligible for Unemployment? Right?
But then I wondered: do French people--or Europeans from the wealthier countries--have a concept of an Emergency Fund? Does the social safety net function as an Emergency Fund? Is the Emergency Fund an American concept, owing to the very lack of that safety net?
Does anyone know? Frugal Son has a tiny emergency Fund at the moment, but he's only been working since mid-August.