Emergencies happen, and they can be costly. If you don’t have the cash to cover them, you may end up having to borrow the money. Here’s why you should set up an emergency account—and how easy it can be.
Although you don’t know exactly what will happen when, you can expect something to happen sometime. And if you don’t have the cash set aside, then you’re left borrowing from family, friends, credit cards, or financial institutions— all of which come at a cost, monetary or otherwise.
How do you get started?
1. Set a goal for how much you need
Experts usually recommend having three to six months’ worth of expenses set aside in an emergency fund.1 Although that may seem like a lot, consider that if you lost your job, you could be out of work for a few months. And that “home repair” could mean a broken refrigerator—or a new roof.
2. Decide how much you can save every month or every paycheck
The more money you contribute, the faster you’ll reach your goal—but how do you decide the right amount? One popular rule of thumb is the 50/15/5 rule.2 This model suggests allocating 50% of your income to essential expenses, 15% to retirement savings, and 5% to an emergency fund. This plan allows you to meet your immediate needs and plan for the future before you spend on anything else.
3. Set up an account
Although you may already have a checking and/or savings account, those already have a purpose. Checking accounts are used to help you pay for your regular expenses, and your savings account is where you put excess cash that you want to be able to access quickly for expenses you don’t cover with your checking account. So that your emergency fund doesn’t get lost in your other accounts—and get spent accidentally—set up a separate savings account only for emergencies.
4. Start saving
An easy way to make sure you continually put money in your emergency account is to use automatic payroll deductions. But if you can’t do that, you can set up automatic transfers from your checking account to an emergency savings account. Then you don’t have to remember to do it every month, and you’re less tempted to spend that money on more immediate purchases. And of course, when you get a gift or a bonus, you can deposit those any time. Once you reach your goal, you can decide what to do with the amount you’re saving each month—maybe set up a vacation fund or start saving for a child’s education.
To start your emergency savings fund, sign up for a free emergency savings account today. There are no account management or distribution fees, and you can withdraw at any time. The registration process makes it easy, just follow the steps to create an account, so you’re ready when an emergency strikes.
1 “Personal Finance: How much should you set side in emergency savings?” The Spokesman-Review, 8/15/21
2 “3 budgeting rules to help you save money,” John Hancock, 2021.
Emergency savings is a product offered by John Hancock Personal Financial Services, LLC, an SEC investment advisor registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The assets in emergency savings accounts are swept into interest-bearing, FDIC-insured deposit accounts, as described below.
Apex (the account custodian), in its sole discretion, may sweep the cash in a client’s emergency savings account into and out of interest-bearing, FDIC-insured deposit accounts opened by Apex at participating banks (participating banks). Participating in the emergency savings program does not guarantee that any or all of the cash in a client’s account will be swept into a participating bank. FDIC insurance only applies to assets in a client’s account that are swept into a participating bank. Assets in the client’s account that are not swept into accounts at participating banks are not insured by the FDIC and have no bank or government guarantees but are instead covered up to $250,000 by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), of which Apex is a member.
Interest paid on a client’s emergency savings account will vary over time and can change daily without notice to the client. Interest paid on a client’s emergency savings account may be lower or higher than interest paid on the bank account used by a client to fund the client’s emergency savings account or the interest paid on deposits at the participating banks or at other banks.
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