How Much Cash You Really Need

Determine how much cash you need in case of an emergency.

A hand holding three $100 bills.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In every stage of life, having a financial cushion (cash on hand) can prepare you for potential emergencies and provide some peace of mind. 

While most experts recommend maintaining three to six months' worth of basic living expenses in an emergency fund, the amount of cash you really need depends on a few factors, including your current life and financial situation, your risk tolerance and your goals. 

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Ben Luthi

Ben writes about all things personal finance, including consumer credit, credit cards, mortgages, student loans, investing and budgeting, as well as travel. Before his career as a writer, Ben worked in financial planning and insurance, banking and auto financing. After working as a staff writer at NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero, he started freelancing full time in 2018. Ben earned a B.S. in business administration with a finance emphasis from Brigham Young University. He lives near Salt Lake City with his two kids and two cats.