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Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 Emergency Funds

P3097029Image by ArghMonkey via Flickr

Original Article

Here's the five emergency funds you need:

  1. The family emergency fund. Kept in the bank or other very safe location, comprised of enough cash for six month's of expenses, accessible by both spouses.
  2. Your emergency fund.  Kept in a safe location, comprised of $1000 to $2000, inaccessible by your spouse (however your spouse should be able to access the funds in the event of your death).
  3. Your spouse's emergency fund.  Kept in a safe location, comprised of $1000 to $2000, inaccessible by you (although you should be able to access the funds in the event of your spouse's death).
  4. A small emergency fund for each child.  Kept in a safe yet accessible location, comprised of around $500, accessible by you and your child (the challenge is to make the money accessible by your child in the event that they have a major crisis--ie: your death or incapacitation--yet kept in such a way they can't get to it for video games or the like).
  5. And random small piles of cash in a variety of locations (I keep about $500 in each of the following location: my vehicle, my BOB, my office, and my home...a bit more in my home).
The reason for all of these separate emergency funds is because in the event of a crisis, you need a pretty good-sized emergency fund to cover expenses should you be laid off or laid up for a period of time.  Each spouse should also have their own personal emergency fund in the off--but not unheard of--chance that one spouse goes to the bank one day and cleans out the family emergency fund (yes, it may not happen to you but I've seen it happen to enough people to know that it isn't in the realm of impossibility for anyone).  Now, too, I am a believer that each child should be able to access some emergency cash as well after talking to a teen aged boy who found out on the evening news that his dad had been killed in a car accident--at the time, he didn't even have enough money to put gas in his car to get to the hospital where his dad had been taken and he had no friends or relatives in the area to provide him any cash as they were new in the area and his father was the only parent he had.  Finally, the random piles of cash can come in handy for a variety of reasons (ie: you only have a second to grab your BOB so that's the only cash you will have, your house is leveled in an explosion--along with your emergency fund--and the only cash you have is what was hidden in your car or office, etc).

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