Where do you keep your emergency fund? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-27-2009, 01:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm talking about your TRUE emergency fund... the money you would only touch in case of unemployment, serious medical problems, disability, death, etc. Not something you dip into for big unexpected bills, as I have those accounts separate and I would ideally like those to be more accessible than my emergency fund. I currently have them both in ING ISAs, but I'm wondering if I should put the emergency fund into something less accessible that has a higher interest rate, since the chances of me needing it are so slim and even if I had to pay a penalty to access the money I figure the extra interest would be worth it.

Where do you keep yours?
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:54 PM
 
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Ours isn't fully funded yet (although, we'll be debt free next month and THEN finish it, but we keep it in our ING account. I haven't been tempted to touch it. There really aren't that many higher interest rate options out there right now, and if there are, they more than likely have penalties. I don't want to be penalized for using my money when i NEED it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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IMO emergency funds should be liquid and easily accessible. My emergency fund is in an Emigrant ISA.

me, 28 & dh, 32.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:27 PM
 
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Mine is liquid and accessible so a savings acct... doesn't gain much but its not there to make me money... and its only a baby one for now... after debt is all gone then it will be larger...

Seperated, Cape Dress Wearing, Covered, Conservative Mennonite Mama to big girl K.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:30 PM
 
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We keep ours in an ING account. If it's for an emergency, it needs to be somewhat liquid. We have enough in savings that if we had to fly somewhere overnight, it would be no problem but you want to make sure you can get to your money without paying penalties.

You can ladder CDs. They're a little higher in interest and you'll have them maturing every month or so (depending on how you set it up).
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:33 PM
 
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I plan to use ING when the time comes. For now I have another savings account with my regular bank that is accessible (currently the balance isn't high enough to bother, basically)
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:24 PM
 
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ING, we have it in rolling CDs, with some amount in one of their regular savings.

Mightymoo - Mom to DD (6) and DS (4)
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Old 05-27-2009, 03:57 PM
 
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Emergency Fund is in Vanguard Prime MMMF. We have a lot of other savings accounts. We like to keep them separate for each project we know will need to be addressed in the short-term. Within the next 5 years we'll need a new car, a new stove, a new barn, and to replace some of dd's furniture that she will outgrow. Those we keep in ING. Then we have savings that is just for whatever comes up (a car repair, a fee for an activity, an unexpected plane ticket, etc.) which is in our savings account that is at the credit union.
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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We keep all our savings in one account. We just mentally divide it up. So we know we can skim off the top for home repairs or such but would never allow the account to dip below a certain amount unless we were in an extreme situation.

Mom to Kira March 2009
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:02 PM
 
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OK, ladies, let's please talk rates! I just parked our EF in Ally Bank for 2.5%. Is anyone beating that? I have zero loyalty towards the banks at this point and would switch in a minute!
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:12 PM
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I keep 1000 in my local bank for need the money now type emergencies and my ffef in ING.
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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Our emergency fund is not about earning interest, it's about having liquid funds in case of an emergency. But I must admit it was nice when interest rates were decent.

Oh, to answer the question, ING.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:05 AM
 
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cash

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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Old 05-28-2009, 12:22 AM
 
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I'm the only one who cares about interest rates??? I mean, it has to go somewhere, why not maximize it?
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
I'm the only one who cares about interest rates??? I mean, it has to go somewhere, why not maximize it?
The rates just aren't there now. I used to get 5.5% in Emigrant Direct a few years back. Now it's 1.65% or something. It's not that we don't want better rates, they just aren't available.

To answer the OP, our dire dire EF is in a VERY dumb place - stock market. But it's not a true EF, it's money I got from my parents and hope to pass along to my kids, pay for my daughter's wedding, etc. It's down a lot and while that's sad, I'm not devastated (anymore). It's there if we need it and I consider it a long term investment. Our savings are Emigrant Direct.

Katherine mother to DS 8/03 and DD1 9/06 and DD2 6/10
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:35 AM
 
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I have a "hidden" $1K in my checking account as well as 2 credit cards with zero balances but available credit of $13K. Also have some limited cash in the house.

My actual EF for job loss or whatever, is 6 months of expenses in ING. Rate is 1.5%, dismal from what it was a few years ago, but better than my local bank and I do not want to tie it into a money market, CD's or other forms of investing with these funds.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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HSBC and rolling CDs
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:59 AM
 
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Our true emergency fund is probably different than most. Our idea of "emergency" is needing to leave the country in a hurry (not that we're criminals, but we're anarchists, so it's much the same thing, lol), or other things of that nature. That we keep in a safe that's bolted to the floor in our condo.

Losing our job emergencies - part of that is also in a safe, and part of that in a regular savings account.

First special delivery - April 2010 :
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:29 AM
 
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It's abroad and a bit difficult to get to, but it's there if we need it.

For less emergent purposes, we have a bunch of accounts here and there, and, of course, hard cold cash.
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:59 AM
 
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Very interesting responses.

We have a variety of accounts for different scenarios, based on dollar amount needed:
Credit Union Checking account - balance never drops below $500 by design
Credit Union Savings account - we're saving for a vacation
Money Market Mutual Fund - we consider this our mid-term savings and it contains enough for 6-9 months of living expenses (we're going for 9-12 months)
Mutual Fund Retirement Accounts - our long-term savings and it would need to be a pretty dire situation for us to withdrawal these funds since we are in our early 40s

We had a major flood on May 1 and we have had a slew of other house-related "issues" come up since then. We first dipped below the $500 threshold in our checking account. Once our adjuster gave me to verbal okay to start replacing items, we switched to using our balance-free credit cards. The claim is close to being settled, so the check will arrive before the bills. When I needed the neighborhood teenager to haul the old water heater tank to the recycling center, I dug into my "fun cash stash" to pay the fee and his gas money. Ultimately, our vacation is likely to be significantly delayed simply because insurance doesn't cover a lot of the things that have happened.

"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless." - Mother Teresa

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Old 05-28-2009, 09:48 AM
 
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After a Sunday afternoon plumbing issue and a plumber who wouldn't take a personal check, we keep part of ours in cash in the house! The rest is in our checking account at the credit union. The very nature of an Emergency fund is that it is available immediately in case of emergency!

~Amy~ Wife to my best friend Brandon. Mama to my sweet girl Eden (11/6/06) and my little man Theo (6/25/09)
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
I'm the only one who cares about interest rates??? I mean, it has to go somewhere, why not maximize it?
No, we care too. I mean, I'm not using the money so why not get $3 instead of $0.25?
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Old 05-28-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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We keep ours in a savings account at the bank where our checking account is located. This way when something comes up or we decide to make a planned purchase, we can easily just do an online transfer. We keep the minimum amount we need for monthly expenses in our checking account and the rest is always put in the savings account. We have more than enough to consider our savings account our "emergency fund" but it also is how we pay for all of our larger expenses (property taxes, remodeling, etc).

We've only *once* had an issue where we couldn't access it and really needed it. Our refrigerator died suddenly last year on a Sunday leaving (while it was freshly stocked full after our monthly shopping trip) and we needed a replacement that day. We couldn't afford losing all that food and we couldn't transfer on a Sunday. We ended up borrowing the money from a family member for the day but if we couldn't have I guess we would have had to use coolers w/ ice and risked loosing a bunch.

I can see that our set up might not work for some people for 2 reasons - 1) you can only transfer/withdraw on a business day and 2) there *is* very easy access to the savings which for some people might lead to overspending. It does work for us for the most part though.

I am considering keeping some cash on hand though, as our bank decided to switch computer systems for 4 days over the Memorial Day weekend (Fri-Mon) with *NO* notice. We hadn't had a chance to deposit/transfer any money to our checking account and spent the weekend with a balance of $20 since they didn't show any transactions/deposits during that time I needed to pick up groceries, dh had a project that he couldn't buy supplies for, etc. It was a huge pain in the rear and if we had known prior we could have done something about it.

~Rebecca~
mama to a sweet girl , & 4 silly boys

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Old 05-28-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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We keep cash (I'm telling where)

... and the stock market

and
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