Prepare for the unexpected with an emergency fund

An emergency savings account is really a financial confidence account, says Truist Head of Financial Wellness Brian Ford. Save smarter and prepare for the unexpected with these tips. 

Preparation tips for the unexpected:

Define “emergency”

A financial emergency is an unforeseen, unexpected event—not something you’re able to predict, like annual property taxes or a vacation! An emergency fund can provide confidence and help keep your money and well-being in check when something happens. 

Keep it separate

Store your emergency fund in a separate account specifically for your emergency savings, like a high-yield savings account. The funds should be liquid—meaning you can easily withdraw them—but not so accessible that you’d be tempted to use them on a whim. 

Start small

When learning how to start an emergency fund, the first step is to save $1,000. Reaching this initial goal will give you confidence and motivate you to save more. 

Work your way up

Don’t stop after saving $1,000! Continue growing your emergency fund until it’s enough to cover 3 – 6 months’ worth of living expenses. Our emergency fund calculator can help you determine how much you’ll need. 

Save automatically

Make “paying yourself first” a habit by setting up automatic transfers using your banking app or direct deposit. Putting this money aside in your emergency savings account, without having to think about it, can help stop your temptation to spend. 

Spend wisely

Budgeting for your emergency savings and tracking your spending can help you see where your money is going—and cut down on unnecessary purchases. The more you save, the more you contribute to your financial confidence and overall well-being. 

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

Emergency savings calculator

This calculator is made available by one or more third party service providers. It is not intended to be an advertisement for a product or service at any of the terms used herein. It is not intended to offer any tax, legal, financial or investment advice. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. Truist Financial Corporation ("Truist") and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice. Truist cannot guarantee that the information provided is accurate, complete, or timely. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and are subject to change. Changes in such laws and regulations may have a material impact on pre- and/or after-tax investment results. Truist makes no warranties with regard to this calculator or the results obtained by its use. Truist disclaims any liability arising out of your use of, or any tax position taken in reliance on, this calculator. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.

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