Men Have Over 3 Times as Much Money in Emergency Savings as Women, Survey Shows

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  • It's important to have cash reserves for emergency expenses at all times.
  • New data reveals that women lag behind men in that regard -- and risk landing in debt due to not having ample savings. 
  • It's a good idea to have money put aside to cover at least three months' worth of bills. 

That means women are at greater risk of racking up debt due to unforeseen bills.

An unplanned bill could land in your lap at any time. You could fall on the way to work and wind up with an ER bill (and also, a pair of crutches). You could run over a nail and end up having to spend a few hundred dollars to replace a busted tire. Or, you could wake up to find your water heater has decided to quit on you. 

That's why it's so important to have money in your savings account for emergencies. That way, you won't have to immediately resort to using a credit card when unplanned expenses strike. 

But a recent Transamerica survey finds that when it comes to emergency savings, women have a lot of catching up to do compared to men. The median emergency fund balance among women as of late 2021 was just $2,000. By comparison, men had a median emergency savings balance of $7,500 at that time.

Now for some people, $7,500 isn't even sufficient for an emergency fund. But for many people, $2,000 will definitely fall short. And so if your emergency fund balance is comparable to that of the typical woman, it's probably time to give your savings a boost.

Make sure you're adequately protected

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 living expenses. Now if you happen to only spend $667 a month, you're pretty well set with $2,000 in savings. But chances are, your bills amount to a lot more than that. And so if you're far from having enough cash reserves to cover three months of essential bills, it's a good idea to calculate your needs and do your best to boost your savings.

It's also worth noting that three months' worth of expenses in savings is really the minimum financial experts tend to recommend. Some will even tell you to try to amass enough cash to cover a year's worth of bills. That may be a little extreme for some people, but an emergency fund that can cover six months of bills might be a good goal to work toward over time.

How to boost your emergency fund

If your emergency fund needs work, a few savvy moves on your part could lead to a higher balance within a few months. First, slash non-essential spending for a period of time. No one expects you to take an oath to never go to concerts or spend money at restaurants ever again. But if you're lacking in emergency savings, cutting out these purchases for two or three months is reasonable.

At the same time, look at getting a second job. You can use your earnings to boost your savings since you won't have bills that income is earmarked for. 

Having some amount of money in savings is far better than having no savings at all. But if you're only sitting on about $2,000, you probably don't have enough to cover three months of bills. And in that case, the sooner you're able to catch up, the better. 

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