30% of Americans Are Resolving to Build Emergency Savings in 2023. Here's Why You Should, Too

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  • Bolstering your emergency fund is a good goal for the new year.
  • There are steps you can take to ramp up your savings.
  • Follow a budget, rein in non-essential spending, and pick up a side gig to boost your bank account.

It's a good time to boost your cash reserves.

It's kind of hard to believe we're nearing the end of 2023, but alas, here we are. And at this point, a lot of people are starting to figure out their financial goals for the new year. In a recent Bank of America survey, 30% of respondents said they'd like to build emergency savings as a New Year's resolution. And that's a really good goal for 2023 in particular.

For months, financial experts have warned that economic conditions could decline significantly in 2023. The more savings you have, the better protected you'll be in case a recession hits and your job winds up compromised.

Even if a recession doesn't strike in 2023, the reality is that you need an emergency fund for personal emergencies -- things like sudden home and car repairs. And remember, it's not just layoffs that might force you out of work for a period of time. You might get hurt or sick and need to take a leave of absence, thereby giving up your paycheck for a while.

As a general rule, it's a good idea to have enough money in your emergency fund to cover at least three full months of essential bills. For even better protection, though, you'll want to aim higher -- say, six to nine months of bills, or even 12 months.

If you're serious about building an emergency fund in 2023, the right strategy could get you closer to your goal. Here are some tips for boosting your cash reserves.

1. Follow a budget

You might feel that budgeting is boring. And okay, it's not the most exciting activity. But it's also a very necessary one. If you stick to a budget, you might end up spending less and saving more. And that's really a win.

If you're not sure how to set up a budget, play around with different options. A simple spreadsheet might work for you, or you can look at different budgeting apps that allow you to link your savings to your credit cards to more easily track your purchases.

2. Be careful with non-essential spending

If you're sitting on little to no money in savings, it's time to cut back on non-essential spending. That means instead of ordering takeout twice a week, cut down to once a week. And instead of buying coffee at the local shop five mornings a week, treat yourself on Fridays only and brew your remaining cups at home.

3. Get a side hustle

While a recession has the potential to hammer the gig economy in 2023, we're certainly not there yet. So if you're serious about building emergency savings, consider getting a second job. It doesn't have to be something you commit to forever. If you hold down a side gig for even a year, it might help your savings grow in a serious way.

Although it's always important to have emergency savings, now's a really good time to ramp up if you're not well protected. Use these tips to give your emergency fund a boost -- and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with it in the new year.

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