I just read an article on MSN.com stating that most people don’t have the recommended 6-months of living expenses saved up. Part of this is due to the crummy economy and the difficulty of saving that much money if work is sporadic. Take for instance a person who makes $50,000 and needs $3,000 per month for living expenses. (Okay. Maybe my figures are high because I live in an expensive city – please comment if this is the case). They need to save $18,000 for that 6-month cushion. If they can save $500 per month towards an ER fund, it will take them 36 months, or 3 years to save that amount. And that doesn’t take into consideration any retirement savings.
I know that I don’t have 6-months of living expenses saved up in my emergency fund. Instead I have some savings in my ER fund, some in my wealth building fund, some in my large purchase fund, and some slush money that covers months when I come up short. But even with all of that added together, it wouldn’t cover 6-months of expenses. What would it take for me to save up my 6-month cushion? At $500 per month it would take me 5 years to sock away enough for 6-months of expenses. I think I’d rather invest half of that into other accounts and build wealth myself.
So how does your ER fund match up?