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OffbeatHere's how much you should have in an emergency fund

19:55  06 december  2018
19:55  06 december  2018 Source:   gobankingrates.com

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As a millennial herself, Erin Lowry knows the trials and tribulations of figuring out your finances in a world where student debt is the norm and homeownership is a far-off dream. She also knows how critical an emergency fund is to your financial well-being.

How much should you have in an emergency fund ? It depends. Here ' s how to find the best answer for you . Good: At a minimum, you should have three months of living expenses in your emergency fund . This means if you need ,000 a month to cover your basic needs like your mortgage or rent

As a millennial herself, Erin Lowry knows the trials and tribulations of figuring out your finances in a world where student debt is the norm and homeownership is a far-off dream. She also knows how critical an emergency fund is to your financial well-being.

Lowry is the author of “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together,” which was named one of the best money books of 2017 by MarketWatch, thanks to its refreshing and conversational style. She is currently working on her second book, “Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling-Up Your Money,” which focuses on helping first-time investors grow their wealth.

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If you 're trying to get your financial house in order, any number of experts will tell you the same thing: Build up an emergency fund of at least three to six months' worth of living expenses. But Suze Orman, financial expert and former CNBC television host, thinks otherwise.

Saving for a rainy day is crucial. In fact, some experts advise building an emergency fund even before tackling your debt. Just how much should you have stashed away in case life throws you a curve-ball? Six months' worth of living expenses, says billionaire Mark Cuban.

Click to find out how Lowry saved up — and how you can grow your savings, too.

What is your money mantra?

You control money or money controls you.

Before achieving financial success, what was your biggest obstacle? How did you overcome it?

I hated, and still don’t love, math. At a young age, I confused being good at math with being good with money. Even though I was a saver with a love of delayed gratification, I didn’t trust myself to go into business or finance. I figured it was out of my league and that I could only handle my basic budgeting.

What is a good rule of thumb for how much of your income should be used for reducing debt versus put into savings?

You should build an emergency savings fund regardless of your debt burden. Otherwise, when the inevitable emergency arises, it will have to get financed with credit cards. You need to at least make your minimum payments on all your debts and then put some towards emergency savings and any towards an employer-matched retirement plan so you can at least get the match. Once you’ve built your emergency savings to between $1,000 to $1,500, then you can redirect your focus toward putting more money towards your debt. You can also focus on ways to be earning more money during this time period in order to pad your savings or pay down debt more aggressively.

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Here are some benchmarks that can help you determine if you ’re making good progress—or if you need to be more prepared for that rainy day. Essentially, not bearing the responsibility of a mortgage or minor children makes having an emergency fund of more than three months a nice thing to

" Emergency funds are one of the most important things you can do for yourself, but the least sexy," said Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock, a financial services firm for millennials based in Boston. So, how many months of income should you have in

What advice would you give your younger self about money?

Start contributing to a Roth IRA with that taxable income you’re earning. I do wish I’d started investing earlier with something as simple as Roth IRA in college.

What is the best piece of advice you received along your financial journey?

My mom once told me that everything I owned should fit in the back of a van. She meant it specifically for my early career years when I was moving to New York City and unsure of where my life would lead, but it sure kept me from wasting my money and accumulating a bunch of cheap furniture and other junk I didn’t need.

Click to learn more about Lowry’s story and her blog, Broke Millenial.

What is the best thing you did to begin building your savings from a young age?

I set specific, actionable goals. Even as a little kid, I would determine what I wanted to buy and then do the math on how much it would cost and how long it would take me to get there at my current earning rate.

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Here ’ s another thing that can happen: your home might suffer damage after a natural disaster and you suddenly need to pay for repairs. One of the most common questions people ask when starting an emergency fund is “ How much of an emergency fund should I have ?”

You should build an emergency savings fund regardless of your debt burden. Otherwise, when the inevitable emergency arises, it will have to Click to read more about the Best Money Experts. This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Here ’ s Exactly How Much You Should Have

Click to read more about the Best Money Experts.

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