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Beirut Drive-by Shooting: Lebanon\u0026#39;s WeatherEmergency Fund The Emergency Fund: What Is It and Why It Matters

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Emergency Fund The Emergency Fund: What Is It and why it is important

It is best to save it in the savings account An emergency fund can be helpful for unexpected expenses.

By Margarette Burnette Senior Writer Savings accounts as well as money market accounts banks Margarette Burnette has been a specialist in saving and has written about bank accounts since prior to when the Great Recession. Her work has been featured in other major newspapers. Before becoming a part of NerdWallet, Margarette was a freelance journalist, with bylines appearing in magazines such as Good Housekeeping, and Parenting. Margarette is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dec 21, 2021

Review by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury Wealth psychology expert and coach Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, founder of KBK Wealth Connection and host of the Breaking Money Silence podcast, is an internationally published author and speaker. As an expert in finance psychology Kathleen is a regular on the television and her work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, « PBS NewsHour, » » Money magazine, Today Money, Forbes and CNBC. Kathleen was an adjunct faculty member at the McCallum Graduate School at Bentley University from 2009 until the year 2019 and currently teaches in the college of Champlain College.

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What is an emergency fund?

The emergency fund can be described as a bank account with money set aside to pay for large, unexpected expenses, like:

Unforeseen medical costs.

Repair or replacement for your home appliance.

Major car repair.


Compare top savings accounts

Find a high-yield savings account that offers a competitive rate. Compare rates against each other.

Why do I need an emergency account?

Emergency funds create an financial buffer that could keep you going in time of need without the need to depend upon credit card or higher-interest loans. It can be especially important to keep an emergency fund in place if you’re in debt as it can assist you in not borrowing any more.

« One one of the most important steps in climbing over debt would be to provide yourself a way not to go further into credit, » says NerdWallet columnist Liz Weston.

How much should I put aside?

The short answer: If beginning small, save at least $500, and begin to build up to half a year’s worth of expenses.

The long answer is that the right amount for you depends on your financial situation A common sense guideline is to to cover three to six months worth of living expenses. (You may require more money if you are a freelancer or working seasonally for instance or if your position would be hard to replace.) If you are forced to quit your job, you can utilize the money to pay for necessities while you find a new one or help you to pay for unemployment benefits. Start by making small steps, Weston says, but start.

A savings of even $500 can get you out of many financial scrapes. Put something away now and build your savings over time.

Are you looking for the best savings alternatives? These are our top choices for you .

Where should I put my emergency money?

Savings accounts that have the highest rate of interest and quick access. Because emergencies can strike at any time, having quick access is crucial. So it shouldn’t be tied up in a long-term investment fund. However, the account must be distinct from the bank account you regularly use, so that you don’t have the temptation to dip into your reserves.

A is a great location to store your money. It is insured by the federal government up to $250,000 for each depositor, therefore it’s secure. The money earns you interest and you can access your funds quickly either through withdrawal or a funds transfer.

Savings Cash Management CD Checking Money Market

Member FDIC

Savings and SoFi Checking

APY 3.75 Per cent SoFi members with direct deposit earn up to 3.75% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 2.50% APY on checking balances. There is no minimum direct deposit amount required to qualify for the 3.75 percent APY on savings, or the 2.50% APY for checking balances. Members without direct deposit will get 1.20 percent APR on all balances of savings and checking (including vaults). Interest rates are variable and may change at any time. The rates listed were last updated on 01/04/2023. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

Min. balance to APY $0

Member FDIC

Marcus from Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

APR 3.50 35% 3.50% APY (annual percentage yield) with a minimum balance of $0 to earn stated APY. Accounts must be in an open balance in order to stay open. APY current as of 02/07/2023.

Min. balance to APY $0

These cash accounts combine features and services that are similar to checking, savings and investment accounts into one account. Cash management accounts are generally provided by non-bank financial institutions.

They combine the services and features similar to checking, savings and/or investment accounts into one account. Cash management accounts are usually provided by non-bank financial institutions.

on Wealthfront’s website

Wealthfront Cash Account

APY 4.05%

Min. balance for APY $1

on Betterment’s site

Betterment Cash Reserve – Paid non-client promotion

APY 4.00% Annual percent yield (variable) is as of 02/06/2023.

Min. balance for APY $0

CDs (certificates of deposit) are a kind of savings account with a fixed rate and term typically, they have higher interest rates than regular savings accounts.

CDs (certificates of deposit) are a kind of savings account that comes with a fixed rate and term generally, and offer higher rates of interest than traditional savings accounts.


APY 4.60%

Time 1.5 years

Member FDIC

Marcus By Goldman Sachs High-Yield CD

APY 4.40 percent 4.40% APY (annual percent yield) as of 01/25/2023.

One year of term

Checking accounts can be used for cash deposits on a regular basis as well as withdrawals.

Checking accounts are used to deposit cash on a daily basis and for withdrawals.

Member FDIC

SoFi Savings and Checking

APY 2.50 SoFi members who have direct deposit can get up to 3.75 per cent per year in annual percentage yield (APY) on savings balances (including Vaults) and 2.50% APY on checking balances. No minimum amount of direct deposit that is required to be eligible for 3.75 percent APY on savings, and 2.50% APY on checking balances. Customers who do not deposit direct deposits will receive 1.20 percent APY on all account balances in checking and savings (including vaults). The rates of interest are variable and may change at any time. The rates shown are current as of 01/04/2023. Additional information can be found at http://www.sofi.com/legal/banking-rate-sheet

Monthly fee: $0

Upgrade Rewards Checking


Monthly fee of $0

The deposits are FDIC Insured

Current Account


Monthly fee of $0

They are FDIC Insured

Chime Checking Account


Monthly fee $0

Member FDIC

Axos Bank(r) Rewards Checking

APY 1.25% Make monthly direct deposits totaling $1,500 and more in order to accrue 0.40% APR. Make use of your Axos Visa(r) debit card for a total of 10 transactions each month (min $3 per transaction) or join Account Aggregation/Personal Financial Manager (PFM) within Online Banking to earn 0.30 percent annual percentage. Maintain an average daily amount of $2,500 within An Axos Managed Portfolios Invest Account in order to receive 0.20% annual percentage yield. Maintain a daily average balance of $2,500 in the Axos Self-Directed Trading Investment Account to earn 0.20% APR. Use your Rewards Checking account to make the full month’s Axos customer loan payment to earn 0.15 percent APR.

Monthly fee $0

The money market accounts have rates similar to savings accounts. They also have some features for checking.

Money market accounts pay rates similar to savings accounts and have some checking features.

Member FDIC

UFB Best Money Market

APY 4.21%

Min. balance to APY $0

Member FDIC

Discover Bank Money Market Account

APY 3.20 percent

Min. balance required for APY $1

How can I set up an emergency fund?

Calculate the total that you want to save. Use the below if you require assistance in calculating your expenses for the next six months.

Make a goal for your savings each month. This will help you get to the habit of saving often and makes the task less daunting. One way to achieve this is to automatically transfer funds into your savings account each when you are paid.

Move money into your savings account immediately. If your employer allows direct deposits, there’s a high chance that they’ll be able to split your pay into multiple savings and checking accounts to ensure that your monthly savings goal is met without touching the checking accounts of your account.

Keep the money. Use mobile technology to save automatically each whenever you make a purchase. There are that link with checking or other spending accounts to round up the total amount you spend on purchases. The extra amount is automatically transferred to an account for savings.

Keep your tax refund. It is possible to get this every year only if you expect an income. Saving it is an easy way to boost the emergency funds. If you are filing your taxes, think about having your refund deposited directly into your emergency account. You could also think about changing your deductions so that you have less money to withhold. If modifying your deductions is an option that is suitable for you, you can put the extra money into your emergency reserve.

Review and adjust your contributions. Review your contribution after a while to see how much you’re saving, and adjust , if necessary especially if you’ve recently took money out of your emergency account. However, if you’ve saved up enough to cover six months of expenses , and have some extra cash you could consider making investments with the extra money instead.

Here’s the best thing to do if you think you may have

When you’re saving you should draw a line between emergencies and other. In fact, once you’ve hit a reasonable threshold of emergency savings Weston says, it’s a good idea to open a second savings account for more irregular but inevitable items, like car repairs, vacations and clothing. If you need help staying organised, banks will permit customers to establish and mark sub-accounts with different financial goals.

Everyone needs to save for the unexpected. The ability to have a reserve fund could make the difference between surviving the whims of a financial storm for a few days or falling into deep debt.

Use this calculator to start. It will only take a few minutes:

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The author’s bio: Margarette Burnette is a savings account specialist at NerdWallet. She has had her work featured by USA Today and The Associated Press.

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