Emergency Fund Calculator: How Much Will Protect You?

Aim to save three to six months' worth of expenses in your emergency fund.
Margarette Burnette
By Margarette Burnette 
Edited by Yuliya Goldshteyn

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

An emergency fund cushions you against surprise financial setbacks. Use our emergency fund calculator below to help you pinpoint your savings goal.

How much emergency fund should I have?

Sudden car repairs, medical emergencies or job loss can all lead to unexpected debt if you're not prepared. It's difficult to predict how much these or other emergencies could cost — but three to six months' worth of expenses is a good goal.

If that seems too steep, start with a number that seems more reasonable. For example, having access to $500 in a savings account could help pay for a surprise car repair or medical bill without debt, so that could be a goal. If you put $10 a week into savings and don’t have to dip into the funds, it’ll add up to more than $500 after a year.

Keep in mind that it’s ok if you have to use the funds for emergencies before you reach your first goal. An emergency fund is meant to be tapped and replenished. After you reach your first goal, you can set another one to be prepared for more unexpected expenses later.

For inspiration and tips, learn more about how to save money.

If you need more info, here's our emergency fund explainer.

Barclays logo
Learn More

Member FDIC

Barclays Online Savings Account

Barclays logo


Min. balance for APY


EverBank logo
Learn More

Member FDIC

EverBank Performance℠ Savings

EverBank logo


Min. balance for APY


Where to stash your emergency fund

Once you have a target, find a savings account with a competitive interest rate where you can store your cash. (See some of NerdWallet's favorite online savings accounts.)

A savings account is the best place to keep your emergency fund — it provides easy access to cash if you need it. And a high-yield savings account will help you grow your balance by paying a higher-than-average interest rate.

» Find high rates across checking, savings and other accounts in NerdWallet's list of high-interest accounts.

On a similar note...

Find a better savings account

See NerdWallet's picks for the best high-yield online savings accounts.

⏰ Limited-time offer

NerdWallet rating 


SoFi Checking and Savings
Learn More

at SoFi Bank, N.A., Member FDIC



With $0 min. balance for APY



Limited-time offer

Earn up to $300 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.