Dave Says: How much emergency fund?

Dear Dave,

I know you talk about having an emergency fund of three to six months of expenses set aside. My husband and I are having a difficult time agreeing on exactly how much we should set aside for emergencies. How do you determine the exact amount?

Erin

 

Dear Erin,

The exact you amount you have in your emergency fund—whether it’s three, four, five, or six months of expenses—is really more about peace of mind than anything else. Still, there are a few practical things to consider.

If you both have very stable jobs, you’d probably be okay saving three or four months of expenses. But if one of you is self-employed, makes most of their money through commissions, or only one of you works outside the home, it would make more sense to have five or six months of expenses set aside.

Of course, you can always compromise while leaving room for growth. There’s nothing wrong starting out with three months of expenses saved, then adding more as time goes by. The main thing is that you’re both in agreement, and you both feel safe with the amount of money in your emergency fund!

—Dave

 

* Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven best-selling books, including The Total Money MakeoverThe Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 16 million listeners each week on 600 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey.

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