An article on CNN Money.com tells us that most Americans can’t afford a $1,000 emergency expense. Two statistics from the article are noteworthy:
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A recent survey found that 55 percent of Americans have no plans in place in the event of a personal financial emergency, such as the loss of a job, legal troubles, a serious illness, or any other unexpected problem with financial implications.
While snowed in during last February’s historic snow storm on the East Coast, my wife and I went through our CD collection. We found CDs that we either had not listened to in years or CD cases that we never even cracked open.
An emergency fund is a crucial part of your financial security, and building one up may take time and planning. How do you know how much to save? The answer may be more straightforward than you think — it’s based on your necessary expenses for one month, added together and multiplied for the number of months you want your emergency fund to cover.
I consider myself a risk taker. I drink milk as much as a week and a half after the sell date. I cut the stickers off my mattress (yes, the ones that say “under penalty of law…”). I have even been known to ride a scooter without a helmet, which I realize is like driving a car without doors and a seatbelt (at least that’s what my mother says).