Do you have any money set aside in a reserve fund in case there is an emergency in your life? If you don’t, it worthwhile to give it a deep thought now because no one knows when an emergency could occur, you need an emergency fund to manage through any unforeseen incident that may happen at any point of your life.
So, what is an emergency fund? This is a fund to be used when a hurricane or a tornado blows the roof off your house, you lose your job, or your union calls a strike. The need could come in the form of a disability or an illness that keeps your our of work for an extended period of time, or it could be the immediate expenses of an untimely death in the family. In short, it is a poll of money that you put aside and the uses of any unexpected incidents.
How much should you Save? The is no an exact answer on how much should you save in your emergency fund, it be an amount that makes sense for you. It will depend on whether you are already debt-free or loaded down with debt. It will depend on whether you have a single- or dual-income household. The conventional wisdom is to have at least 3 months’ worth of living expenses set aside and if you can do it, six months’ worth stashed away is even better. The bottom line is your emergency fund should an amount that make you feel secure.
Please note that 3 months of living expenses is not the same as three months of income. The emergency fund is for you to cover at least for the basic of living. How you determine your basic living expenses? Take a look at your cash flow: what will it take to maintain your lifestyle, rent/mortgage payment, groceries, monthly utilities, childcare, insurance payment, and etc. That is the amount time 3 that you need to save in your emergency fund.
Where will I keep my Emergency Fund? This question is more important than you might imagine. If your Emergency Fund is too easy to access, you might be tempted to dip into it for things that are … well, not emergencies. At the same time, though, it needs to be liquid (easily convertible to cash) and kept somewhere that allows fairly prompt access. After all, they call them "emergencies" for a reason.
The money market is a good place to put the money. Use a mutual fund money-market account with check-writing privileges. A potential drawback here is that the minimum amount needed to open such an account is usually $1,000. You may think of other ways of saving your emergency fund, the bottom line is your emergency fund should not that easy to be accessed but it must be liquidized enough to cash out your money when emergency happen.
Unforeseen stuff happens and there is no sign when it will happen, you need to plan on how to face this unexpected incident. The unforeseen incident usually costs money. If you don’t have an emergency fund equal to three to six months worth of basic living expenses, you’re living on the edge. There’s no time like the present to get started. Hence, it’s time for you to start thinking of and put in actions on how to manage the unforeseen with an emergency fund.