The 3 Savings Accounts You Need Today!

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I'm pretty big on having a savings account for unexpected situations, mainly because I have been in the situation where I needed money and didn't have a dime to my name and I've been I'm situations when I was able to tap into my savings.  As much as, I hated to part with my money, I like the latter better.

In the Personal Finance arena, you may hear about people having more than one checking and savings account, I am one of those people.  Having multiple bank accounts helps me organize my finances. I know some people are not a fan of that method so do what works for you. I believe everyone should use the method that is best for them (personal finance is personal right).  There are at least 3 savings accounts every person should have: an Emergency Fund, a Regular (Random) Savings and a Retirement Savings.

Emergency Fund

I know some people don't like the term emergency fund, but frankly I really don't care what you call it, oops fund, opportunity fund, long-term savings, whatever. The money is there to cover the large unexpected expenses, such as, a layoff, AC repair in the middle of the summer or a family emergency. Typically, you can save 3-6 months of expenses but it can be longer like 9 or 12 months, set the amount based on your situation.  I'm personally comfortable with 9 to 12 months, so my goal is to have 9 months of my normal monthly expenses saved, but 12 months is my stretch goal ( I will be investing and building up to the 12 month mark at the same time). Your emergency fund should sit in an account you can't access easily.  

Regular (Random) Savings (I call it Random, feel free to choose your own name)

You should always have a regular savings account, in addition to, your emergency fund.  It's for the non-emergency/random things that you either didn't think about or forgot about.  Like that baby shower gift you didn't plan for, the laptop that you or your kids need for school stops working or even better, the sound hardware on your kid's iPhone fails and he no longer can talk on the phone so you have to replace a phone (my latest drama with the kid and his phone).  It's basically the nonsense that doesn't stop the show, but you're definitely NOT pulling from your Emergency Fund to pay.  You can choose the maximum amount you want to save in your random savings but it shouldn't be more than $1,000 ( unless you have specific goal you are saving for) and it doesn't have to be static, so if it is just $500 don't sweat it.  Your funds can be held at your current bank, an online checking or savings account.

Retirement Savings

It's important that you save for your retirement so you are able to maintain the same standard of living once you are no longer working on daily basis. According to the Department of Labor, you will need a minimum of 70% of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living after retirement and if you are a low income earner, you will need more.  If your employer offers a retirement plan, such as, a 401k then you can sign up and contribute enough to get the company match (if offered) but the more the better. The contribution limit for 2016 is 18,000 or 24,000 if you are over 50.  If your employer does not offer a 401K or you do not qualify for your employer's plan you can contribute to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).  If you are married and do not work, the working spouse can contribute to an IRA for the non-working spouse.  The contribution limit for 2016 is $5,500 or $6,500 if you are over 50.  

For those out there who feel there's no point of saving money because you can't take it with you when you die, look at it this way, unexpected expenses will always comes up, so why struggle while you're living.