Emergency Funds

How and why you should build your emergency savings

When it comes to savings, “expect the unexpected” is more than just a clever turn of phrase; it’s a guiding principle for the importance of setting aside dollars to have on hand just in case. Read on for some of our top resources on how to build an emergency fund, why it matters, and how much you should have. 

Am I financially prepared for an emergency?

When you think “savings account,” what comes to mind first? Maybe it’s a down payment for a new home, or maybe you’re planning a big vacation. But before you can start saving for big future purchases, you need to make sure you’re prepared for the unexpected with an emergency savings account. Get the details here.

Long-term vs. short-term emergency funds

Here’s an interesting fact for you: According to the American Psychological Association, 72% of Americans name money as their #1 stressor at home. If you find yourself among that 72%, we have a few suggestions to help you financially prepare for the unexpected and hopefully ease your anxiety.

It’s good to consider emergency savings for the short term as well as long term. Let’s take a look at each.

How much should I save each month?

No matter how large or small your savings goal is, it’s a good idea to factor contributions to your savings account into your monthly budget. Use this calculator to compute the monthly deposit amount needed to reach a savings goal.

Best accounts for emergency funds

Keeping an emergency savings fund just makes good financial sense. Not only does it help keep you from relying on credit when an emergency arises, but it’s also just good for your stress levels! Knowing you have money set aside — even $500 is a great start, with the end goal of 3-6 months of expenses — can make a world of difference. But here’s a question that often gets overlooked: Where is the best place to keep your emergency funds? We’ve compiled some helpful information to get you started.

Small steps to a bigger emergency fund

Building an emergency fund might seem like a big undertaking, but really, even small steps can add up quickly. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Work with your payroll department to set up a separate direct deposit (or set up an automatic transfer from within your account) and divert a portion of each paycheck directly to your emergency savings — that way, the savings happen automatically and you won’t even miss those dollars.
  • If you have checking and savings accounts with UBT, you can enroll in our RoundUp program, which automatically rounds up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into your savings account each day.
  • Consider adding bonuses, tax refunds, or other unexpected income to your emergency savings (provided you don’t have other more pressing needs to address, like revolving debt or repairs you’ve been putting off).

Whether you use these methods or take a different approach, don’t forget to revisit your emergency fund needs from time to time — perhaps if you’ve dipped into those dollars or your financial situation has changed. And as always, if you have questions, we’re here to help.

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Emergency fund calculator

Our emergency fund calculator spreadsheet will help you determine how much you should set aside for the unexpected.

Build your emergency fund with our offer on new accounts

If you’re looking for the perfect opportunity to open a savings (or checking) account with UBT, the time is now. Get up to $200 when you open new UBT checking and savings accounts and meet requirements.

Checking offer not valid for primary accountholder on existing UBT personal checking account(s). Savings offer not valid for primary accountholder on existing Simply Savings or Simply Savings Student account(s). Offer not valid if existing checking or savings accounts closed 120 days prior to 05/02/2022. Receive $50 when you open a Simply Free checking account and complete the following within 90 calendar days of account opening: (1) have $500 in electronic direct deposits posted; and (2) enroll in e-Statements via online or mobile banking. Receive $150 when you open an interest-earning checking account (Simply Free Plus, Simply Free Platinum, or Premium Interest Advantage) and complete the following within 90 days of account opening: (1) have $2,500 in electronic direct deposits posted; and (2) enroll in e-Statements via online or mobile banking. Receive $50 when you open a Simply Savings account and complete the following within 90 days of account opening: (1) maintain a $2,500 balance; and (2) enroll in e-Statements via online or mobile banking. Bonus is credited to your active account within 100 days of account opening if you meet requirements. $50 opening deposit required on checking accounts (Simply Free Plus requires a $1,000 opening deposit). Simply Savings requires a $2,500 opening deposit in new money. Various Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) offered for interest-earning checking accounts based on the account and balance maintained. For example, Simply Free Platinum requires a $100 minimum daily balance to earn .05% APY. Simply Savings earns .20% APY. APYs accurate as of 07/28/2022. Fees may reduce earnings; rates subject to change. Promotion offers limited to one new checking account and one new savings account per person and cannot be combined with other offers. Simply Free Platinum accounts are designed for people ages 50 and over. Premium Interest Advantage is limited to residents of Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties in Nebraska. Promotions available 05/02/2022 to 09/30/2022. Member FDIC.

Learning Center articles, guides, blogs, podcasts, and videos are for informational purposes only and are not an advertisement for a product or service. The accuracy and completeness is not guaranteed and does not constitute legal or tax advice. Please consult with your own tax, legal, and financial advisors.