The first time I heard of the “Emergency Fund” concept was several years ago when I was checking out the message boards on the Motley Fool. I wasn’t in great financial shape at the time, but with my new job, I was seeing some improvement.
Now that I understood the importance of an amergency fund, the question was how much to keep available. Advice from people ranged from three months to one year’s worth of expenses in cash or a money market account.
The Armchair Millionaire (via CNN Money) has some questions and answers regarding emergency funds.
I have about three months of expenses in savings accounts right now, most of which is earmarked specifically for emergencies. I try not to dip into that. In addition, I have a substantial amount — probably more than six months’ worth — in my Roth IRA, which I can withdraw without penalty if I need to.
I feel that this should be all right, as long as I can keep my hands off the savings set aside for emergencies only. How much do you have ready to be accessed in case of emergencies?
Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published August 10, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.