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How to Build an Emergency Fund

You never know what life will bring. You can unexpectedly lose your job. A medical emergency can present itself, or you may have unexpected home repairs. So, as financial advisors would say, having an emergency fund to cover these ’emergencies’ makes good financial sense.

An emergency fund then is a stash a money you save somewhere, usually in a savings account, to cover some of those unexpected surprises. These ’emergencies’ or unexpected events can be costly and they can threaten your financial well being when presented with them. It is therefore important to create one, know what a good emergency fund amount is, where you should keep your emergency savings, and how much you should save in your emergency fund.

Ready to get started? Start your emergency fund today with CIT Bank.

1. Where to put your emergency fund?

High yield savings accounts or money market accounts are a great choice to put your emergency fund for two main reasons. First, they are safe. The point of having an emergency fund is to have that money available to you when an emergency arises. In other words, you want to make sure that your money is there when you need it.

The worst thing you can do to your emergency fund is to expose it in the stock market. The stock market is so volatile that you can lose all of your money in a matter of minutes.

So money placed in high yield savings accounts are safe because they’re not exposed to the stock market and they are insured by up to $250,000, making them some of the best places to stash your emergency fund.

Second, they are accessible. They are liquid, and can easily get your cash within 24 hours, if not sooner.

Related: The Best 5 Places to Keep Your Savings

2. Emergency fund amount.

How much should you have in your emergency fund?

Your emergency fund amount depends largely on your unique circumstances. But financial experts recommend to have at least 3 to 6 months’ worth of living expenses. So if your monthly expenses is $2000, your emergency fund amount should be at least $6,000.

3. Your emergency savings choice.

CIT Bank 2.4% APY Savings Builder High Yield Savings Account is a great option for your emergency fund. It offers a very high APY 2.45%, multiple times better than what a typical traditional savings account is offering.

Learn more about CIT Bank here.

4. How to Start an emergency savings fund

Starting an emergency fund is easy. Open a savings account to use strictly for unexpected expenses and start stashing money away every week, every month, or every paycheck. Even if you think you don’t have enough money to save, save smaller amounts in the beginning and increase it whenever possible.

5. Reasons why you should have an emergency fund.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, you may find yourself in hot water when an emergency arises.

Apply for a loan. If you don’t have a safety net, you may be forced to apply for a personal loan. And a personal loan can put you into more debt. You will have to work hard to repay the principal, plus interest. And if you can’t pay your loan, a judgment can be entered against you.

Take out a 401k loan. You’re allowed to borrow against your retirement account such as a 401k plan. However, just as any other loan, you have to repay it back according to the rules set by your account, or else you will get hit with a penalty. Also, taking money out of your retirement account prevents potential growth of your account.

Selling stocks, rental properties. You may have to sell your stocks or real estate investments in case of emergency. However, that will cost you a lot of money like transaction cost, taxes, etc.

Learn more:

The 5 Best Places to Keep Your Savings

Top 5 Reasons Your’re Not Saving Money

Money Saving Tips: 6 Secrets to Saving Money

4 Reasons CIT Bank Can Maximize Your Savings

Working With The Right Financial Advisors.

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

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