Have you thought about what you’d do if you were faced with an unexpected financial situation? These are usually related to sudden events that you can’t predict, like losing your job, a health emergency, or tax penalties.
Emergencies could happen at any given moment, so it’s always good to be prepared!
The exact amount you should save for an emergency fund varies according to the individual and situation, but the general rule of thumb is having at least 3 months of living expenses if you live alone, and around 6-9 months at a minimum for families.
As you get better at saving, you should work towards having 12 months of living expenses stashed away for trying times. But for now, here’s a rough guide to how much you should aim to save!*
*All expense figures are quoted from the EPF’s Belanjawanku Expenditure Guide.
If you live by yourself
Living by yourself means that you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself. However, this also means that you need to be ready to count on yourself when things go wrong, making it all the more important that you have enough in your emergency fund for yourself.
If this sounds like you, we recommend that you save a minimum of 3 months worth of living expenses.
On average, a single person’s expenses should total to RM2490. Here’s a breakdown of what your monthly expenses might look like.
If you’re married
If you’re married without children, your joint living expenses should roughly follow the same pattern.
As you’re only supporting yourselves, you should have a minimum of 3 months in your emergency fund. But if your partner depends on you for income, consider saving 6 months worth of expenses.
If you’re married with one child
You should always make sure to set aside enough savings for your children should any emergencies come up. As they’re completely dependent on you, you’ll not only have to support yourself, but your children too – which means you need twice as much in your emergency fund!
This means that your emergency fund should have 6 months worth of living expenses put aside. If only one parent is working, put aside a minimum of 9 months worth of living expenses.
If you’re married with more than one child:
More children means that you need more savings! You should aim to have an extra RM1000 per month for every additional child, at the very minimum.
So, with two children, you’d need to save 6 months worth of expenses in your emergency fund.
Again, if only one parent is working, make sure you have 9 months worth of living expenses saved up for your family!
As you grow your savings, you should also think about putting your cash into other financial assets, like gold. This is because your ringgit won’t hold its value forever and could easily fall during times of inflation.
On the other hand, gold prices are likely to increase over time because it’s such a rare metal that can’t be found anywhere else, making it a great option for savings. Download HelloGold for a stress-free gold savings experience!