(Closed) homeowner bees: do you have a 6 month emergency savings?

posted 6 years ago in Home
  • poll: do you have an "emergency" savings account to get you through 6 months of living expenses?
    Yes : (69 votes)
    18 %
    No : (44 votes)
    12 %
    PFFFT, no where close! : (75 votes)
    20 %
    We have a little saved up, but not 6 months worth : (86 votes)
    23 %
    We have about 6 months saved up : (21 votes)
    6 %
    We have more than 6 months saved up : (42 votes)
    11 %
    We have more than a year saved up : (37 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 77
    9216 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    i don’t have that kind of cash lying around, but i have investment accounts that i could access in case of emergency and i would be fine.

    Post # 78
    7371 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    I just read that thread and there wasn’t anything snarky about that response. The nugget of six months living has been used as standard for years. 

    Post # 79
    919 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I lost my job in 2008 and was out of work for 14 months. Then I lost my job again in 2010 and was out of work for 3 months that time. I am STILL trying to build my savings back up. So no, we do have savings, but it’s not 6 months worth. The wedding took a hit on our savings as well.

    But, from experience, I can tell you that you would be surprised how little you can live on each month when you really try. When I was out of work, I only needed $500-$1000 per month on top of my (skimpy) unemployment benefits. That included my mortgage, HOA, gas, groceries, and utilities. I didn’t have a lot of extras.


    Post # 80
    638 posts
    Busy bee

    @hollyberry4:  +1. I pay $700 too and making that effort to save is important but still super hard. Also, I’m newly single, so no double income lol. 

    Post # 81
    381 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    We have probably about 2-3 months saved at any given point – but we aren’t aggressively saving. We are aggressively trying to pay off student loans which I think is the smarter thing to do at the moment for us. I think it depends on your situation, but yes, the rule of thumb is 3-6 months. Now, if both of you are working the liklihood of you both losing your jobs and you needing to make up 100% of your expenses for 6 months is not high. If one of you is not working, then yes you should probably have more in savings. Also it is 3-6 months of your absolute necessary expenses because you won’t be living as comfortably as you are now you will be trying to skate by if something happened, so while you may spend $5000 a month total you really may only need $4000 a month because you could turn off your cable, or stop eating out, etc. if you lost your job. 

    Post # 82
    253 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @HellaCooper:  Agreed. I feel pretty blessed to be in the same camp. Both Darling Husband and I are in lines of work where healthy bonuses make up a substantial portion of our income, but I realize that not everyone is so lucky.

    That being said, but Darling Husband and I are agressive savers. After mortgage, we spend less than $500 a month on food, clothes, utilities, and other crap. We work a lot, and one of the interesting aspects of that is that we have no time to spend the money we make. 🙂

    Post # 83
    300 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    We have savings, well more than 6 months worth. But we’re living in the house my fiance bought alone, without my income being considered, before meeting me. Both of us were very used to living on our individual incomes so combined we’re doing really well. My half of the mortgage is $200 less than I was spending on rent and now I’m sharing utilities. So 6 months of expenses was easy for us to save up since after moving in together we both had some extra cash available.

    Post # 84
    413 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @dirtylittlesecret:  I think it all depends on how risk averse you are. My husband and I had more than 6 months saved up and that’s primarily because we built our home from scratch. We knew we’d encounter unexpected costs. We also have retirement savings that equate to more than our annual salaries combined, but that’s because we’re very risk averse. We both put 10% of our monthly income to our retirement and automatically transfer 30% of our monthly income to our savings account. 

    Post # 85
    1309 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2011

    We technically have a 12 months emergency fund, and have paid a couple months ahead on our mortgage as well, for security’s sake. But the big wild card is health insurance. If we both lost our jobs I worry about affording COBRA. We have very expensive medication needs- thousands per month worth, actually. The truth is there’s no way to be completely risk free. It’s hard for an anxious person like me to deal with that sometimes. 

    Don’t give up on your dreams OP, just be careful amd ready for anything.  

    Post # 86
    253 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    @Magdalena:  I think I’m like you – I like to be secure!

    I hope you are never in this position, but if you are COBRA tends to be a really bad deal for younger individuals. Undoubtedly you’d get better rates in the individual market.

    Post # 86
    1377 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    We don’t own a home, and probably won’t soon (we’re waiting to settle down in a specific place).

    I have enough saved up to support both of us (and my horse) for 6 months. I’m pretty sure Fiance has more than me saved up. It just comes down to saving styles. I have expenses I consider quite extravagent (read: the horse, viola lessons) and Fiance occasionally splurges on gaming stuff, but apart from that our living expenses are quite low because we choose to put ourselves in that situation. Fiance also has a retirement account (started when he was…..17? 18?). 

    I agree with a PP that said that they would never buy a house/car/large purchase without a cushion. We’d rather wait to be financially stable to buy anything large, and still feel ‘safe’ after buying it. I would also agree that a house can be considered a luxury – I’ve yet to feel like I ‘need’ a house, and I’m certain we won’t ‘need’ one for quite some time. We’re happy renting and limiting use of my car, buying bulk when we can, etc. *shrug* 

    We’re also having a longer engagement to enable us to pay ‘safely’ for the wedding. Our parents are contributing a bit (I think totalling 1/3 of the costs), but Fiance and I will be paying the bulk. We’re spacing it out over the period of the engagement to keep our safety cushion. 


    Our combined income is about 25k? per year, depending on FI’s internship/co-op (I’m a teaching assistant). My salary can cover both of our living expenses, the horse, my car, and shopping with some left over. I have about $10k? of student loans (woohoo scholarships!) and Fiance has 0 (woohoo military family!). 

    In both our eyes – we’re still not that financially stable, really because we don’t want to lose that cushion and have to build it back up. 

    Post # 87
    1262 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    no, but I have 6 month’s savings in my shoe collection 

    Post # 88
    2490 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2018

    We have savings, high unused available credit, retirement accounts and equity in our home. If something was to happen we would be fine. How much you actually need is completely relative to your lifestyle and location.

    Post # 89
    29 posts

    I think the idea of “6 months” seems bigger than it really is. An emergency fund is meant to cover the very bare-bones, minimum cost of living. Like rent/mortgage, food, and necessary bills (that would not include cable or internet, etc.). So th emergency fund is actually smaller than most people are thinking.

    We are working to save one up, but we are still saving for retirement at the same time. We could save up 6 months faster if we choose to stop retirement investments, which is what most financial planners suggest that you do. I think it’s always going to be different for everyone. 

    This blogger writes great posts about Money Management if anyone is interested. She talks about the emergency fund in this one:

    Marvelous Money: The emergency fund

    Post # 90
    8470 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2012


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