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Your Take: How Is Your Emergency Fund?

Posted By Jim On 08/06/2010 @ 7:06 am In Your Take | 60 Comments

20% of Americans “suffered a significant economic loss” last year, according to a report two weeks ago [3], the highest level in the last 25 years. The Economic Security Index has been tracking data on income loss, medical expenses, and debt since 1985 and it has shown economic insecurity has risen across all groups. What’s economic insecurity? When they’ve lost 25% or more of their available gross income within a year and not enough of an emergency fund or reserves to make up the difference.

Here’s the shocker (at least to me) – “48% of Americans said last year they only had enough resources to carry them for two months before experiencing any economic hardship.”

That’s scary. I’m curious to know how many months you have saved up in your emergency fund as well as how that level has changed in the last two years. We used to have an emergency fund of only around six months until two years ago, when I left my job to pursue blogging full-time. Back then, we decided to up the level to around twelve months of expenses in order to handle the fluctuations in income. It’s maintained that level ever since, in a CD ladders [4], and I haven’t increased, or decreased it, during the recession. I consider myself lucky, a lot of folks have had to dip into that fund.

How about you?


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[3] report two weeks ago: http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/21/news/economy/economic_insecurity/index.htm

[4] CD ladders: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/bvc-4-certificate-of-deposit-ladders.html

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