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How Much Money Should You Keep In Your Emergency Fund?

Written by
Samantha Rose
Samantha Rose is a personal finance writer covering financial literacy for OppU. Her work focuses on providing hands-on resources for high school and college-age students in addition to their parents and educators.
Read time: 2 min
Updated on October 17, 2023
man scratching his head wondering how much money should you keep in your emergency fund?
Expect the unexpected.

How would you finance an unexpected emergency?

If you’re like many Americans, you might not be able to — four in 10 said they couldn’t afford a $400 expense without borrowing.

To weather the twists and turns in life, an emergency fund is a must. This stockpile of savings can help you through setbacks like car repairs, medical costs, and loss of income. It can mean the difference between a minor hiccup and years of debt.

Emergency fund worksheet

Creating an emergency fund is one of the most important things you can do to boost your financial health, and it’s easier than you might think. Use our worksheet to get started.

First, figure out how much money to save in your emergency fund by filling out the expenses in each category. List one month of expenses in each category. This should be easy ⁠— just take a look at your recipients and bills from the previous month.

Now, multiply one month of expenses by three to find the amount for three months’ worth of expenses. Do this for each category.

Add up the expenses in each category to determine the total amount needed for you emergency fund.

Now start saving!


Emergency fund worksheet to help you save three months' worth of expenses.

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