Women & Money: How Much Do You Need in Your Emergency Fund?

Written by: Christy Rakoczy

Every woman – single, married, young, old – needs to have an emergency fund that can provide financial support in case there is a sudden change in her financial position.  Almost everyone has heard the advice from financial experts that you need to have an emergency fund saved up. An emergency fund is money set aside in an easily-accessible account (not investments tied up in stocks or bonds) that you can access when you need to if an emergency comes up. Emergency funds are intended to cover you in the case of job loss, or if an unexpected crisis crops up such as a medical problem or major home or car repair not covered by insurance.

Even if you know you need an emergency fund, however, it can be difficult to determine exactly how much you should set aside in order to protect yourself financially.

Emergency Fund: How Much Do You Need?

The amount that you should have set aside for your emergency fund is going to vary depending on a number of factors. One consideration is whether you are single or whether you are married. Although at first glance it may seem as if a couple or a family would have more living expenses than someone who is single, the reality is that often couples have two incomes to depend on. Even when they do no have two incomes at the time, they usually have the potential to have either spouse work.

When you are single, on the other hand, you are the only one bringing money into your home. This means if you lose your job, 100 percent of your monthly income goes away. If you become unable to work for some reason, such as a medical problem or a disability, you also do not have the fallback option of having your spouse simply go to work. All of this puts someone who is single in a very vulnerable position when it comes to a financial or other emergency.

Because of the added financial risks that go along with only one person earning the income, it is generally advised that people who are single set more money aside than those who are married. The traditional rule is to set aside three-to-six months of living expenses, but people who are relying solely on themselves for support may want to save as much as nine months to a year of expenses to be on the safe side and to make sure that financial hard times don’t turn into a major crisis.


Women & Money: How Much Do You Need in Your...

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