Emergency Fund, Polls, Savings

Reader Poll: Short-Term Savings

I’m interested in knowing, “How much money do you keep in short-term savings?”, but the more I think about that question, the more difficult it becomes to define “short-term savings”. So, I’m asking you to do two things. First, take a second to answer the poll question and second, leave a comment and let me know your idea of “short-term savings”. I’ll leave this poll up until next Friday. Thanks for your participation.  (This poll is still open!  Click here for a review of the results as of August 29th…)


26 thoughts on “Reader Poll: Short-Term Savings

  1. short term savings for me right now is my emergency fund, which is at $900 as of this post. By tomorrow, $1000. And there it will stay til I’m out of debt. lol

  2. We have over $310,000 in short term savings earning 5.05% interest in an online bank. We’re waiting to see how the market does over the next few weeks/months and will get it gradually into the market. We have over $1.8 million invested in stocks and mutual funds, so I’m comfortable having that much cash out of the market. This money is from years of saving and also from an inheritance.

  3. I think the term short term savings is a rather flexible concept. For me, my short term savings is the money that I put into a savings account to cover irregular expenses that are too expensive to come out of other budgetary categories. Examples of items that my short term savings covers are gifts, travel, auto maintenance, and large purchases such as furniture and appliances. This fund is a constantly revolving fund which I contribute around $5000 a year to.

  4. I have a savings account and then a goal account. The savings account is for emergencies that may occur with my investment property. The goal account is for those irregular expenses that come up during the year including: auto ins premiums, homeowners ins, landlord ins.

  5. I keep up to $10,000 in a 5% savings account for small emergencies. I define “short term savings” as money I don’t use for retirement planning purposes AND it must be able to be transferred in full within 3 business days.

  6. For me and my family, short term is less than five years and non-emergency related (IE: IRS with holding, vehicle replacement, car insurance, gifts, insurance deductible, etc…)

  7. To me short-term savings is the money I save up to have my car serviced, take a short vacation, or buy Christmas gifts. It’s separate from my emergency fund and I generally keep the balance at $500.

  8. At the moment I have about 18€ in my savings account. I’m trying to build my emergancy fund to a thousand euro minimum, with extra money going in for planned purchases repairs etc.

  9. I keep £3,500 in short term savings at the moment (~$7,000). It should be at least £4,500 but I just bought a house.

    This is essentially my emergency fund. I have a separate fund (separate in my mind/excel, not necessarily in a different account) for irregular expenses, like holidays and so on which has a balance of between £0 and £3000 depending on when the expenses come up. I don’t consider this fund to be savings, it only lives in a savings account because I may as well earn interest on it.

  10. $1000 as an emergency fund at the moment. when all debts are paid (except mortgage) we will increase that to 6 months of expenses ($30,000). this will be kept in an online savings account with 5% interest. then pay off the mortgage. then invest future money into mutual funds.

  11. Short term is emergency, etc. We have a car fund, projects fund, and several other 5 year or so funds that we keep there both for emergencies and saving before buying.

  12. My “short term” is all money I could get to in about 2 days. It is in an online savings account.

  13. Our “$2000 emergency fund” is in an online 5.05% account and our regular “6 months of expenses emergency fund” is in another online

  14. I really don’t know how to define short-term savings, so I don’t know how to answer this. Technically some of my online accounts could count as short-term savings, but since I’m refusing to touch them, except for their purposes (downpayment, car, true emergency), I don’t know I count them. I rather consider them as “I don’t see it” money, because I don’t view it as available money.

  15. My short-term savings covers two things:

    1. I have to pay quarterly estimated taxes, so we build up that money in this account.

    2. We use it for a “slush” fund, and it is tied to our checking account, just in case. The good part is, we haven’t needed it for this for about 10 months or so, and we don’t plan on ever needing it for this again.

    In total, we average about $1000 in the account at all times.

  16. $1004.23, and possibly up to $2000 to cover a used car we may have to buy this winter.

    I tend not to keep any more than $1000 though, because I put it all towards debt instead.

  17. Right now, my short term savings is only about $115. When my husband got a new job 3 months ago, I would have done the $1000 first thing if it weren’t for a couple of items:

    1. We had one credit card that was about $350 over the limit and getting worse all the time because of the over the limit fees. I had to throw as much money at that as I could afford each week to get it below the limit and get it low enough that adding on the finance charges don’t put it back over the limit. I’ve finally succeeded!

    2. We’re going to be moving soon because of the new job, which means we’ll be buying a new home. Because of this, I desperately wanted to get a handle on my credit before even attempting a new mortgage. So, I got that one card down below the limit, and have now paid off two smaller cards. The other cards are all on time, as well as every other bill I’ve paid in the last three months. This will make us look much more reliable and worthy of a mortgage when it comes time to buy than if I had concentrated on saving up $1000 for an emergency fund.

    As soon as we get moved and have a month or two to get used to new expenses (changes in power bill, car gas, etc.) then I will start funding my emergency fund.

  18. I define my short term savings as the money
    sitting in my Wachovia savings account that
    serves as overdraft protection and all around
    cushion for our checking accounts. I’ve got
    about $800 in the account, it makes little to
    no interest and its only real purpose is over-
    draft protection.
    My ING accounts are my mid-long term savings
    which includes sub accounts for our emergency
    fund, savings for a nused car, savings for
    travel/vacation, and our escrow accounts for
    taxes and insurance for our various properties.

  19. I have my small emergency fund in a savings account. I won’t be accumulating anymore savings until after we pay off the debt.

  20. I checked the $500-1000 box. I only counted my ING balance for this poll. I also have about $1700 in Treasury bills, but I look at that as more medium-term.

    Although I have no credit card debt, I do have a mortgage (not bad!) and a line of credit (bad! I bought a car on it, in addition to home improvements) which take about $2400 each month to service. I do fully fund my Roth IRA and my 401(k). However, I am really bad at general savings. I really need to work on an emergency fund!

  21. Hmm – I counted money that is not for Retirement (long-term) and in the stock market (mid-long term), and also not what’s in our checking acct since it’s earmarked for spending. That leaves about $10K in our emergency fund, and other short term saving funds (honeymoon, kitchen remodel, local income tax).

  22. Perhaps this survey could be redone with a more specific question.

    I would *like* to keep 10k in an e fund (currently around 7k). Then I would assume I’d have other savings for things like vacations and a new car, which would be revolving and not “kept” in short term savings, but saved up for a goal, then emptied.

    And I keep less than 300 in checking. 🙂

  23. As of today we have 519.00 in our short term savings also known as our emergency fund. We are trying to get it up to 1,000 so it can pay for any of those little emergencies that seem to come out of nowhere. Which is why we have less than 1,000 right now, those darn unexpected emergencies!!!

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