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Good Question: How Much Should We Have In Emergency Savings?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – With a lot of us worried about the economy — or our jobs — Americans have cut down on spending, but we’re still not great at saving.

So how many of us are saving money for an emergency? And how much do we really need in emergency savings?

“Oh man, I would say most people don’t have enough saved up,” said David Tysk, a personal wealth adviser for Ameriprise Financial in Eden Prairie.

“The textbooks are going to tell you that you should have three to six months of income in savings. I don’t think you need three to six months of income, but I do think you need three to six months of expenses,” Tysk said.

According to Bankrate.com, 28 percent of us have no emergency savings, 21 percent have less than three months expenses, 17 percent of us have three to six months of expenses, and just 25 percent have six months or more.

Tysk says Americans can save well. But the problem is that they spend what they save.

That’s OK, he said, as long as you replenish that emergency fund right away.

“I think the best thing is to make it automatic,” Tysk said. “Figure out a way to work with your employer…work with your bank to make it regular.”

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