Couple at table making financial plan with laptop, paperwork and calculator

Be prepared: Save for an emergency

September is National Preparedness Month, so we’re partnering with the Office of Emergency Management and Office of Business Continuity to help the Case Western Reserve University community be more prepared in the event of an emergency. Each week, we will highlight a specific theme, as outlined by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

One important component to being prepared is saving for potential emergencies. To better prepare financially, check out FEMA’s tips:

CWRU expert take

We checked in with Mary Sasmaz, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Accounting and a certified public accountant and certified financial planner, on what the campus community should know about emergency savings. She provided the following information:

“An emergency fund is an extremely important part of anyone’s financial plan. Emergencies can range from an unexpected car repair or automobile accident to property damage from a storm to the unexpected loss of a job.

“The goal of the emergency fund is to allow you to absorb some of the cost of these unexpected situations without breaking your regular budget. While insurance may be in place to assist with some of these types of emergencies, most policies also have a deductible, or an amount you must pay before the insurance kicks in so the emergency fund can help you in such a situation.

“In general, individuals should work to save an emergency fund of three to six months worth of living expenses. And when any portion of the ’emergency fund’ is used up, individuals should work toward saving to replace the used amount.

“These funds should be kept in a fairly liquid and easily accessible account. Having an emergency fund can also reduce the stress of worrying what you’ll do in the event of an emergency, and less stress is always beneficial for overall wellness!”