PEACE OF MIND IN AN EMERGENCY
An emergency fund is what gives me peace of mind when unexpected events happen. Check out my emergency calculator and let me know what you think. Bookmark this page now for future use. And feel free to share it with anyone!
A reliable emergency fund is the most critical part of my investment strategy. Check out this article for the best places to park your emergency fund. I created this emergency fund calculator to help you pinpoint exactly how much you need in your emergency fund.
ABOUT THE CALCULATOR
When creating this calculator, my goal was to make the most comprehensive emergency fund calculator. I based it on my own experiences and what I thought that most people would deem essential if they lost their job or ran into some other emergency.
After viewing other sites, I found their calculators to be lacking. So I ventured to make the best emergency fund calculator on the internet.
First, type in your monthly expense in each box. If the cost doesn’t pertain to you, either leave it blank or type “0”.
Type in the number of months that you’d like to calculate. The default is at 6, but you can change it to however many months you’d like.
And presto, you’ve got your emergency fund goal staring right at you.
EMERGENCY FUND ACTION PLAN
Now that you’ve got it calculated, do you have enough saved up for a rainy day? If so, congratulations! You are one of the elite few on your way to financial freedom.
If not, then start a game plan to get there. Set aside some money every month to stash away in your high-yield savings account. Keep it simple.
Every year when you get a pay raise at work, increase the amount you put away. If you’re starting from scratch, it may take you a few years to reach your goal. But don’t worry, even a 1-month emergency fund is better than nothing.
Sometimes, you’ll come up with additional money to put away. Here are some life situations that will allow you to save even more every month. Not all of them will pertain to you. But if any of them do, it’s like getting a pay raise at work!
- Paying off a car loan
- Paying off a student loan
- Paying off your high-interest credit cards
- Paying off a mortgage
- Getting a bonus at work
- Your child graduating from daycare to a free public kindergarten
- Moving to a home with lower rent or mortgage
- Eating out one less day a week
- Giving up or decreasing an expensive habit
- Inheriting money from a rich relative
- Picking up a side hustle
The list goes on. There are plenty of ways to increase your monthly income or decrease your expenses. By doing so, you’ll reach your emergency fund goal faster.
EMERGENCY FUND VERSUS INVESTING
What about investing? Should you give up entirely on investing while you’re building up your emergency fund?
No, you don’t have to. I believe that the best way to financial freedom is through investing. The earlier you start investing, the better.
Through the power of compound interest, it would be better to invest $10,000 at age 25 than to even invest $20,000 at age 35.
Consider this, $10,000 invested for 40 years with 10% theoretical returns would yield $452,592.56.
Investing $20,000 for only 30 years would only yield $348,988.05.
That’s an additional $100,000 starting ten years earlier with just half the amount!
That’s why it’s so important to start investing early.
EMERGENCY FUND 80/20 RULE
So how do you start investing if you’re still saving for an emergency fund? I made up this process called the 80/20 rule. Note that 90/10 or 70/30 would also work just fine.
Quite simply, if you haven’t reached your emergency fund goal yet, then dedicate 80% of your monthly savings to your emergency fund and 20% to your investments (e.g., 401k, Roth IRA, low-cost S&P 500 ETFs, etc.)
Once you’ve reached your emergency fund goal, then switch to 80% investments and 20% emergency fund.
For example, if you have $100 leftover every month after paying your bills, you would stash $80 toward your emergency fund and $20 toward your investments. If you already reached your emergency fund goal, then you’d put $80 toward investments and $20 toward your emergency fund.
Why would you keep putting money in your emergency fund if you’ve already reached your goal? Because you never know what’s going to happen. Your emergency fund target is not an exact science. You may need more or less depending on what life throws at you.
I err on the side of caution and would rather be safe than sorry. Warren Buffett famously stated his first two rules for investing. “Rule number 1, Never lose money. Rule number 2, Never forget rule number 1!”
By having an emergency fund, you can rest assured that even if your stock investments fall or if you lose your job, you still have something to fall back on.
I hope that you enjoyed this article. If you did, please leave me a comment below and share this with someone who could benefit from my free emergency calculator. Feel free to share it on your favorite social media site.
Happy saving and investing!
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Donnie Nguyen is the founder and CEO of Wolves of Investing. He started investing in the stock market in the early 2000s. He follows the teachings of Peter Lynch, Warren Buffett, and other investing legends. When he's not investing or blogging, he loves spending time with his family traveling and experiencing the world.
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