Financial emergency preparedness is an important topic, especially as we continue to navigate a global pandemic. If you’ve had to tap into your emergency savings since the start of COVID-19, know that you are not alone. However, unexpected moments like these illustrate exactly why an emergency fund is so important. If your current financial situation allows, Civista encourages you to contribute to an emergency savings.
An emergency savings provides more than just funds to cover unforeseen expenses. Saving away extra money for emergencies can give you peace of mind and help keep you from resorting to using high-interest credit cards or liquidating investments.
How much should you save?
An emergency fund is something you can build over time; continually working towards a savings goal. That goal may change as you become more financially stable, grow in your career or your financial obligations increase. Typically an emergency savings should have enough funds to cover at least 3-6 months’ worth of expenses. However, if your household is supported solely by your income, your income greatly varies from month to month or if you plan on taking any unpaid leave in the near future, you may want to consider increasing your emergency savings to cover at least 12 months’ worth of expenses.
Tips To Help You Save
Before setting your savings goal, you may want to first establish a budget. A budget will allow you to understand your finances and how much you can afford to save each month. For how to start budgeting, visit our Jump-Start Your Budget blog post. After you know what you can save, direct a portion of your paycheck to be automatically deposited to your savings account and watch as your emergency fund builds each payday.
Where to keep your emergency savings?
Make sure you’re getting the most out of your emergency fund. Keep your fund in an account that has the most benefits for your needs. Civista offers a variety of savings options, including a basic savings account that has no minimum balance requirement for the first year, to help you get started. As your savings grows you may want to consider a Civista Money Market Investment Account, which gives savers the potential to earn higher rates with growing balances. Other savings options available include Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Christmas Clubs, and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Visit https://www.civista.bank/personal/bank/savings to learn more about the savings account option that is right for your budget.
For more information about emergency savings accounts visit our Civista Learning Vault course here, or try our Emergency Savings Calculator to see how much you should be saving.