Personal Emergency Fund: A Way to Help Cope with Life’s Emergencies

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Personal Emergency Fund: A Way to Help Cope with Life’s Emergencies

By: Terry Burgess, Midlife Coach for Men

You never know when life is going to hit you with a curveball.  It could be a major appliance needing repair or replacement, your car needs transmission work, or you are faced with a layoff or loss of your job.  What effect would that have on your budget if you are living from paycheck to paycheck just to pay all the bills.  I have a solution to help you prepare for these emergencies before they happen.

Every individual or family should have a personal emergency fund to help with these situations.

What is a Personal Emergency Fund?

So, what is a personal emergency fund?  It is a separate savings of money which is easily accessible for use in an emergency.  It is best if this fund is kept in checking account or money marketing account with access via debit card or check-writing privileges.

How much should I have in my Personal Emergency Fund?

Financial guru, Dave Ramsey, recommends that a personal emergency fund should have at least three (3) to six (6) months of expenses if you are able to put aside this much.   However, if you are unable to do this at the start of this fund you should start with at least $1000.00 aside; then continually add to that amount.

When should you use the Personal Emergency Fund?

The personal emergency fund is not a source to be used for everyday emergencies.   You should ask yourself the following three questions to determine if the situation warrants using the Personal Emergency Fund.

  • Is it unexpected?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it urgent?

The more you answer “yes” the more it justifies using funds from your emergency fund.

Now, you have been introduced to what a Personal Emergency Fund is and how to use it. Our next blog will cover how to quickly create cash flow to put into your Personal Emergency Fund or to use for other needs.


Terry is a Personal Leadership and Midlife Coach for Men with Upward MC in Benton, Kentucky.  He can be contacted via e-mail at  or by phone at 270-493-0967. His website can be found at


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