What I think is dead wrong is where you should place your money. Dave Ramsey recommends a Money Market account, Suzie Orman says a Checking with Interest account, guess what I totally disagree. There is a few factors that in this, but I believe the best place to keep your emergency fund is in an individual stock that you know and trust. Here's how I got here.
When first starting out to build your emergency fund, whether it's the initial $500, $1000, or arbitrary amount that you see fit, this should go to an account that you have limited to no access, whether it's only online at a separate bank or you have to physically step into a branch to get your money, play Hide and Seek with your Emergency Fund. So you are building up your emergency fund on a weekly, monthly basis congratulations and you have to climb up Mt. Everest to get those funds, not make a transfer from Savings to Checking.
I'm quite sure not everyone is going to read this article and say this guy is brilliant I'm listening to every word this guy's the smartest man alive. Ok now here's the risk tolerance for your Emergency Fund, Las Vegas Style, see where you are at, since as of right now you have already made the Hide and Seek choice.
- Low-You think going to Las Vegas involves going to see a show and eating the Buffett(non-seafood)Open a Checking or Savings at a Local Bank/Credit Union that's separate from your main account, you might not even do that your probably just putting it over to your savings you already have, less risky that way.
- Medium-You go to Vegas with ready for a show, some slots, and maybe even a drink at the casino, who knows I might be feeling crazy. Chances are you are still going to put it a money market of some sort and probably online after you checked out the best online accounts available.
- High-You go to Vegas with cash in your pocket and only the clothes on your back, because you will be buying new ones with the money you will be making. This is me in a nutshell, I have a little gamble to me, I'd rather double down than and risk it then take a small win. I suggest and use investing in direct company stock, here's GRS read on How to Invest Using Direct Stock Purchase Plans.
I started many months ago and found I was able to set aside $50 month towards my emergency fund into a company I felt comfortable with and in this case absolutely love, Nike. I have since upped my contribution to a little over $100 month. I find that having money in an online account that is separate from my everyday expenses and automatically drawn monthly from my checking is the best plan for me. It gives me that little gamble of a my stock purchase going up or down(my money is on up, literally). This also gives me the liquidity to sell my stock and receive the funds in about 3 business days. There's a small risk in every aspect of my choice, but if you used to play poker online, enjoy fantasy football or a good survivor pool, or even buy a lottery ticket when it's 350 million dollars you probably agree with every word I'm saying. I can't be boring, I have to have some risk and if this is the most risk I'm taking, I think I'm going to be just fine.
Here's something to think about if you think I'm the craziest man alive after reading the last paragraph(also possible). Here's a quote from Insurance Industry Basics: Float and Motley Fool "The great thing about premiums is that the insurer collects the money up front but doesn't have to pay out claims until later down the road. In the meantime, the company "floats" these unpaid premiums. This float is invested in stocks, bonds, and other securities, and the insurance company pockets the profit."
So let me get this straight they use the Insurance Premiums or Emergency Fund equivalent and try to make a profit off of this money until they have to pay it out? That's exactly what I am suggesting, run your emergency fund like you are an insurance company!!!!