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Life is iffy, that’s why we all need an emergency fund amount to see us through tough times. But how much? How to we save it if we are spending almost everything we bring in, or worse, spending more than we are bringing it?
As a rule of thumb, financial advisers suggest a enough money in an emergency fund to carry you for three months if you are employed and six months if you are self employed. Others suggest a one-year emergency fund for all. A highly successful contractor we know recommends a 2.5-year emergency fund. He has seen it all and once had to use that 2.5-year fund. In recent years he built a strip shopping center on property in front of his office/warehouse building with money from his emergency fund. He considers that monthly rental an adequate emergency fund for now. He says that he does not need the net rent coming from these five stores so he is again building up his 2.5 emergency fund as well. For most of us, probably a six-month emergency fund would be adequate so long as we are not struck with a true disaster.

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