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Twitter Poll: How Much Do You Have in Your Emergency Fund?

This article was written by in Saving. 9 comments.


Earlier today, I asked via Twitter how much everyone has in their emergency fund in relation to their monthly expenses. Here are some of the responses. (I assumed if the message wasn’t sent privately and if the twitter account wasn’t protected that I could re-post the source of the responses.)

  • nodebtplan: 3 months of expenses in our emergency fund
  • takingcharge: currently only enough to get me through a month or less, but working on saving enough for 3-6 months
  • taliaishere: 3 months in the emergency fund, but am working towards 6 months-that would be much more comfortable
  • Gblogger: Depends on what I count — we stopped segregating specific emergency funds a while back. But at least 6-10 mos.
  • dreamscostmoney: 3-5. It used to be 3, but then I decreased my monthly expenses, so it’s probably closer to 4 or 5.
  • BurgBarbL: I have about 1.5 months’ worth of expenses in my emergency fund.
  • Private: In my emergency fund? One. Not great, I know. But with my new salary, I’m on a plan to make that three.
  • SunFinancial: I don’t have a dedicated emergency fund. All are accumulated in one savings account.
  • bargainr: 9 months

Among these responses, the average (while taking the low end of anyone who responded with a range) is about 3.5 months. Not bad! I have about 3 months’ worth of expenses in my account called “Emergency Fund,” but I have about an additional four times that amount across a variety of savings accounts.

If you’re interested in participated in occasional polls, follow me on Twitter. For those who don’t know, Twitter is a “social media” tool that allows you to broadcast and receive quick and short text updates. I promise not to send spam or to bombard you with “new post” updates. Mighty Bargain Hunter has a list of 118 personal finance bloggers who use Twitter, but many only provide automated “new post” notifications, duplicating an RSS feed.

Updated December 21, 2011 and originally published August 11, 2008. 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.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar jim of Blueprint for Financial Prosperity

Booo… you missed me, i put 9 months. That’s ok though, Twitter can sometimes be a bit unmanageable when you get a lot of responses.

i take it back, there I am… I didn’t look for bargainr :)

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avatar BurgBarbL

I know I should have more than 1.5 months’ worth, but I also know that my parents totally have my back. Treating my parents as an emergency fund isn’t really the greatest idea, but I have other financial priorities at the moment.

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avatar Frugal Babe

Oops, I didn’t login to twitter until just now – missed your poll. But we have about a month’s worth of expenses saved in our emergency fund. We also have $5000 in an HSA (in case of a medical emergency – that more than covers our out-of-pocket max on our health insurance) and we have a little bit of money in a couple other accounts that are earmarked for other stuff but could be used as backup emergency fund if the need arose. Hope it doesn’t.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,435 (Platinum)

BurgBarbL: A support system of family and friends is a great part of an emergency plan for those who are lucky enough to have it.

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avatar Anonymous

General rule of emergency savings fund:
The size of your fund should be equal to at least three months’ worth of your living expenses. Take note that it’s three months’ expenses, not three months of your pay.

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,435 (Platinum)

Anonymous: See the recent discussion here. General rules are for general people.

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avatar Velvet Jones

I have two “emergency” funds. The first one is $1,000 that I figure can be used for short-term, minor kind of things like vet bills, last-minute air fare to go to a funeral, whatever. The second one is specifically my unemployment fund. I currently have enough money to get me by for 8 months, this includes COBRA payments and increased gas costs during a job search.

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avatar Khyron

Flexo,

I totally couldn’t find your tweet. You should link directly to it. (Hint, hint!)

Anyway, target is 12 months. Current is about 4.5 – 5 months of expenses. With this week’s paycheck, probably 5.

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avatar Yana

I don’t have something called an emergency fund, but outside of paying taxes, an oil change and (coming up) car insurance/registration, we don’t use my husband’s pay for daily/monthly expenses. We pay for a year at a time for car insurance. When I consider that account to have too much money in it every few months, I transfer about half of it to Schwab Investor Checking, which I consider savings. I started this method this year. What remains in that account would probably keep us going for a couple of months.

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