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MinnieMom
01-22-2008, 09:50 AM
I have decided we really need to start bracing ourselves for the worst, so I want to make sure we are doing the right thing with our emergency fund and I have a few questions:


How much of an EF do you have? i.e. how long could you live off it if you had to?
Is it part of your "regular" savings or a separate account?
Is it money that you can get to readily? (bank savings/online savings)

tinaluis
01-22-2008, 10:04 AM
We could live for about 1.5 years on our EF and we keep most of it in an online savings account with a small amount accessible by ATM. Some would argue that we're too conservative and have too much in there, but we want to be prepared for as many "what ifs" as we can be.

We also have retirement funds which are completely separate from savings and which are invested in stocks through Vanguard.

HTH!

Lisa_M
01-22-2008, 10:07 AM
How much of an EF do you have? i.e. how long could you live off it if you had to?
-about 1 1/2-2 months worth of expenses. Not enough, but still very good for us and our financial situation.

Is it part of your "regular" savings or a separate account?
-It is our regular savings account

Is it money that you can get to readily? (bank savings/online savings)
-It's an online savings account. I closed our bank savings after comparing the 5% online rate to the piddily .04% b&m bank rate. I figure it only takes 3 days to transfer the money and if we needed it faster we could put the expense on a credit card while the money was transferring.

mickeyfan2
01-22-2008, 10:10 AM
How much of an EF do you have? i.e. how long could you live off it if you had to?
About a year.

Is it part of your "regular" savings or a separate account?
It is our "regular" savings.

Is it money that you can get to readily?
It is in a FDIC insured money market account.

NMW
01-22-2008, 10:15 AM
Probably only a few months, unless we cashed out retirement savings and money market stuff. If we honestly needed it, either my parents or my inlaws would help us out as long as we needed it. We probably should save more. I'm impressed by the people who answered a year or longer. :goodvibes

feedindy
01-22-2008, 10:18 AM
We just got this started via Total Money Makeover. There is currently $1000 in a separate online savings account (so that it is easily accessible, but not immediately accessible). It is for medical emergencies, car repairs or other unexpected necessary expenses. Our goal is to build it to 6 months of living expenses, but we're just getting started.

extremesoccermom
01-22-2008, 10:26 AM
We have our 1000.00 emergency fund that is in the regular savings account.
Our bank requires a certain amount of money be in the bank so that we do not have to pay any fees and earn interest on our checking account so we have 2 months worth of "living expenses" in a CD at the bank
Finally we have a couple of ING accounts: one is marked vacation and spending the other is the rest of our living expense account. However, those are both empty right now since we used cash to buy into DVC then less than a week later DH truck engine went out and we had to buy a new one. Luckily he is a mechanic and is able to do the labor himself. We have funds directly deposited into those accounts every month and will get them back up hopefully before the end of the year. We want 3-6 months worth of living expenses put away.
We also have ING accounts for son's college and my weekly allowance that I don't always spend so I save it.
Finally, we have Roth IRA's and I have a 401k from my employer that if I put in 5% they put in 10% great deal! I have had that for 18years now.

kimsuenew
01-22-2008, 10:42 AM
Absolutely none! Our emergency fund would have to be our line of home equity credit if absolutely neccessary! I quit my full-time job to go back to college and hubby's job simply pays the bills, medical co-pays and medications, and provides food and gas! I work part-time as well as going to school full-time and this helps pay the bills as well as also gives us the money to have the occassional fast-food meal out or see the value movie. When we wanted to do WDW (first time, last fall) I got a second part-time job over the summer and that money went simply to the bank and funded our trip! We live day to day... as do many I know... and not "above our means". Yes, our 2007 and pending 2008 trips to WDW were a bit extravagant for us. We tried to be frugal and went on free DDP, which is/was the ONLY way we can/could afford to go! We got money for Christmas (which DH and I saved) and I will work that summer job again to pay for our 2nd (fall 2008) WDW trip with our son. He will be 17 and a senior, it actually is a graduation present to him. :goodvibes

AnnaS
01-22-2008, 11:45 AM
We could live for about 1.5 years on our EF and we keep most of it in an online savings account with a small amount accessible by ATM. Some would argue that we're too conservative and have too much in there, but we want to be prepared for as many "what ifs" as we can be.

We also have retirement funds which are completely separate from savings and which are invested in stocks through Vanguard.

HTH!

I was going to give the same exact reply and add that we are now living off our emergency fund (since 9/07). I urge everyone (family/friends) to check their disability policy at work.

Unfortunately my husband (48) suffered a heart attack back in September and had a previous silent one. Without getting into all the details he cannot go back to work. He also just had a quadruple bypass. I had no idea (or did not read all the fine print) that he would not be collecting disability from his job/union unless social security approves theirs. We are now receiving a short-term (6 mos.) state disability check. ($170 a week minus taxes). He was the breadwinner. I work p/t and am trying to work any extra hours. I also tried to apply for another job but with his medical condition and subsequent surgery - we have done nothing but run around to doctors, tests, coumadin center, etc.

We are a family of five and we are blessed that he survived and we have saved, saved and lived beneath our means. I am a bit on the frugal side. It is still very hard/stressful and depressing especially not knowing how long we will be like this.

I forgot to add if you don't have a decent disability policy at work, see if you can purchase one. I would recommend at least 1 year's savings.

mickeyfan2
01-22-2008, 12:10 PM
I'm impressed by the people who answered a year or longer. :goodvibes

Remember when I say a year it would be a different year than we are accustomed to living.

KelNottAt
01-22-2008, 12:12 PM
If we used our EF for a bare bones existance (mortgage, food, utilities) following a true emergency, it could last 10 months. Half as long if cut back just a little and basically maintained our current lifestyle.

AnnaS
01-22-2008, 12:18 PM
Remember when I say a year it would be a different year than we are accustomed to living.

Without a doubt.

We are on a very strict budget and nothing gets purchased unless it's broken or ready for the garbage right now and it must be something needed. My "kids" are the ones that find it harder to adjust. An example, we had three laptops and one desktop - we are down to the one desktop - this is not a necessity right now and we can do without.
Definitely not the same lifestyle right now -

neatokimmo
01-22-2008, 12:18 PM
I can live on my savings (everything but 401K) for about 4 years if I have to. I couldn't ever imagine a time where I didn't have $ coming in though, I have disability insurance in case I get sick and can't work. It is 60% of my pay which easily covers the bills.

neatokimmo
01-22-2008, 12:25 PM
I wrote my post before I read yours. I hate that you are having problems with his policy. My Dad fell apart health wise at 52 and had to apply for SSD three times (heart too). He was on oxygen and didn't leave bed for several months. Luckily he was just 6 months from retirement and had short term to cover him for three months and long term for 3. He is better now but he isn't a saver at all, if he didn't have that policy from work he would of had to do a home equity on the house.





I was going to give the same exact reply and add that we are now living off our emergency fund (since 9/07). I urge everyone (family/friends) to check their disability policy at work.

Unfortunately my husband (48) suffered a heart attack back in September and had a previous silent one. Without getting into all the details he cannot go back to work. He also just had a quadruple bypass. I had no idea (or did not read all the fine print) that he would not be collecting disability from his job/union unless social security approves theirs. We are now receiving a short-term (6 mos.) state disability check. ($170 a week minus taxes). He was the breadwinner. I work p/t and am trying to work any extra hours. I also tried to apply for another job but with his medical condition and subsequent surgery - we have done nothing but run around to doctors, tests, coumadin center, etc.

We are a family of five and we are blessed that he survived and we have saved, saved and lived beneath our means. I am a bit on the frugal side. It is still very hard/stressful and depressing especially not knowing how long we will be like this.

I forgot to add if you don't have a decent disability policy at work, see if you can purchase one. I would recommend at least 1 year's savings.

AnnaS
01-22-2008, 12:35 PM
I wrote my post before I read yours. I hate that you are having problems with his policy. My Dad fell apart health wise at 52 and had to apply for SSD three times (heart too). He was on oxygen and didn't leave bed for several months. Luckily he was just 6 months from retirement and had short term to cover him for three months and long term for 3. He is better now but he isn't a saver at all, if he didn't have that policy from work he would of had to do a home equity on the house.

Your dad was young too and very lucky to be alive and lucky that he did not have to go without an income too long.

We are just praying everyday that we don't get denied the first time/try. Based on everything I have read, heard and seen on the news, 75% of the cases get denied - chances are this will drag with an appeal. Again, I wish I had read and knew about is disability process at work. Most people we know in his field usually got hurt on the job and collected workers comp. to get them through.

Again - even for us, it could be much worse. Thank you.

wulfgeat
01-22-2008, 12:44 PM
We have enough to go 3-4 months paying the minimums. To me, this is the best argument for trying to go completely debt free. If you have no debt, your emergency fund is much easier to fund for a long time.

Emergency fund is in a savings account only.

KarenAylwood
01-22-2008, 12:45 PM
How much of an EF do you have? i.e. how long could you live off it if you had to?
I could live off my EF for a little over a year (the way I've been accustomed to living). If I cashed out early on a CD I have, I could add 4-5 months to that estimate.

Is it part of your "regular" savings or a separate account?
Regular savings. No separately account.

Is it money that you can get to readily? (bank savings/online savings)
It's in an online savings account. I have a few CC's with high limits that I could use if it came down to needing the money THAT DAY. But otherwise I'd just take the two day transfer for the money.

If I broke up with my DBF and had to live on my own in an apartment, I'd probably only live on what I have for a year if I cashed out on the CD. Otherwise, I could live for approx 6-8 months on it. If I got a roommate, that'd be a different story. Probably the same as I answered before.

nowellsl
01-22-2008, 01:16 PM
Suze Orman had an interesting question the other night. Someone called in and asked if they needed as big an emergency fund if they had accumulated sick leave at work so that if they got sick they would still get paid. Suze thought that would count towards an emergency fund, which is good news for me as I have > 8 months worth of available paid leave I could use (assuming I don't get fired:goodvibes ). I hope I never have to use it, but if not it will be a nice retirement nest egg! I have about 3-4 months expenses in an on-line savings account and at least 3 times as much in CDs that I could get if I needed to.

janey99
01-22-2008, 01:16 PM
How much of an EF do you have? i.e. how long could you live off it if you had to? Our EF would last for around 1 year if I lost my job, around 2 years if DH lost his job, and about 3 months (all full expenses, not cutbacks) if we both lost our jobs. This does not take into account severance, unemployment or "other money" we have saved, currently earmarked for DS college (which by itself could last us a year and a half of full expenses all by itself)
Is it part of your "regular" savings or a separate account? It's in a separate account, but a regular savings account that gets a good interest rate based on being tied to the whole amount of the money we keep with that bank
Is it money that you can get to readily? (bank savings/online savings)yes - regular savings account, as above
[/QUOTE]

We are super conservative - it comes from my combined Germanic and Eastern European upbringing, I guess. I know it drives DH crazy that I maintain such a big EF (so many projects it COULD be spent on!), but what if we (God forbid) needed it - it would be priceless!

Jane