We’re all on the path to better ourselves financially, and a big part to that is having a safety net. When it comes to our finances, that safety net takes a few different forms; but usually this boils down to a form of insurance.
And an emergency fund is insurance against going into debt.
A question we get a lot is: “How much money should I have in my emergency fund?”
The good news and the bad news is the same in this case: There is no right answer. Everyone is going to be different. At its core, the answer to this question is “however much money you need to have saved up not to go into debt in the case of an emergency.”
But What Do the Experts Recommend?
Financial planners generally recommend that you save up three to six months worth of expenses in an emergency fund. It is important to remember that we’re talking about three to six months worth of expenses, not income.
Look at your budget and determine how much money you have going out in expenses that are required to live every month. This does not include money going toward savings, investments, charities, etc. That income is strictly surplus money in the budget.
What Do You Recommend?
Generally, we recommend the same as the experts. Three to six months should suffice most financial catastrophes. But we like to call the number that works for you and your spouse the Sleep at Night Number.
What number in your savings account helps you sleep at night? What number in your account helps you not worry about what your investments are doing? What number helps you and your spouse not feel stress about money?
That number is your sweet spot.
What number helps you sleep at night? Do you agree with the experts with three to six months or do you have a different idea of what should be in your savings account?
This article is not intended to be financial, tax, or legal advice. Please consult a local professional for help with your specific situation.