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How Much Do You Need In Your Emergency Fund

Jul 06, 2017 - Posted by: Rocky Mountain Credit Union
An emergency fund is an important backup in case of an unexpected expense or a major life event.  This reserve fund can be used for deductibles for homeowner and auto claims, unexpected repairs and maintenance, unexpected medical issues, or if you either have to take time off your job or lose it.

What Type of Expenses Should Your Emergency Fund be Used For?

It is important once you establish your emergency fund that it only be used for actual emergencies, such as unexpected repairs, medical costs, or time away from work.  You do not want to dip into the account for things like vacations or large purchases.

What Should Go Into Determining Your Emergency Fund Amount?

When determining how you need in your emergency fund, you will need to start by listing your monthly expenses.  You will only need to include costs that are necessary to daily life and not expenses related to non-necessities such as entertainment, vacation savings, dining out, or shopping that may be in your budget but are not necessary to get you through the month.  The expenses to include are:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Healthcare
  • Transportation
  • Debt Payments
  • Utilities
  • Insurance

How Much do You Need in Your Emergency Fund?

When determining the total amount you need to save for your emergency fund, you will want to be sure to include the amount of your homeowner and auto deductibles to have in case you ever have to file a claim.  Additionally, you will need to save a certain amount of your required expenses in the event of a medical emergency or leave from work.  The goals can vary depending on your home situation and whether you are just starting out saving for your emergency fund or are an experienced saver.

Starting Savers

Those who are single and just starting out in the workforce may need to start smaller.  The first goal that you should set is to save enough to cover your wages for two weeks to a month.  Once you have reached that goal and been able to maintain it for awhile, you can move onto the higher emergency savings.

Established Savers

For those who have a more established job or career or those with household members who depend on their financial support should take the worksheet of their expenses and set their savings goal to be enough to cover between 3 to 6 months of the expenses.  Once the 6-month cap is maintained you can begin to put these savings in other accounts as this is considered a fairly well-funded emergency amount.  It is important to remember that if you remove money from the account or your expenses change that you add more to the account to cover the difference.

If you would like more information on setting up an emergency fund, contact the experienced professionals at Rocky Mountain Credit Union today.

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