Select Page
Everyone needs an emergency savings fund. This fund offers protection from the financial instability that can be caused by unexpected expenses that include medical bills, vet bills, and vehicle repair costs, as well as bigger life events that can be financially devastating, such as job loss. People should eventually build up their emergency savings so that it covers at least three to six months’ worth of expenses, but this can be a discouraging amount to reach at the start. To begin with, it is sufficient to just set a goal of a few hundred dollars and build from there.

The first step is to take a look at the budget for two reasons. One is to figure out where spending can be cut to put toward the emergency savings. The other is to see what constitutes a month’s worth of expenses in order to determine the savings goal. People should focus on necessities as they calculate how much money they will need to cover six months of expenses.

There are several ways to boost the amount in the emergency savings fund. Creating a split direct deposit, in which part of a paycheck goes into the checking account and another part goes into savings, makes saving money easy. Some banks offer cash bonuses for opening a new account, and this can be used to boost what is in the emergency fund. It may also be worthwhile shopping around for a high-yield savings account, which is an account that pays more in interest than most other banks. Unexpected windfalls, such as tax refunds, gifts, and other funds, can be added to emergency savings as well.

It may take a few years to reach the goal of six months in expenses. From this point, it may be advantageous to continue savings in case of serious events, such as a year or more without a job. Eventually, people who have enough in their emergency savings to feel comfortable about economic uncertainty may want to divert more money into higher-yield investments, but it is important to always keep an emergency fund that can be quickly liquidated if needed.