Saving tips


How much of a savings safety net should I have?

2 minute read

What is a savings safety net?

A savings safety net helps prepare you for unexpected expenses. How would you cope with a large, unexpected bill? What if you have a leaking pipe or the exhaust has fallen off the car? Things like that can happen at any time, but having a safety net could take the stress out of the situation and help you manage the cost.

How much should I have in my savings safety net?

It’s recommended you have at least 3 month’s worth of living expenses in a savings safety net, ideally up to 6 months’. Here's a simple way to calculate this: 

  1. First, examine your budget. Read our quick guide to better budgeting here
  2. Then list out all of the expenses that need to be covered every month (rent, bills etc.)
  3. Finally, add them up and then multiply that figure by three or six (3 or 6 months)

How to build up your savings safety net

1. Reduce your monthly outgoings

look at your budget and decide whether you could reduce any spending each month (then reduce it!)

2. Open a savings account

if you don’t have one already. You may want to might want to think about opening a new one with instant access just for your savings safety net.

3. Set a savings goal

based on how much you need to have for an emergency fund. Once you’ve met your target, you could set yourself a new goal to save towards 

4. Pay yourself first

set up a regular payment into your savings account for when you are paid – just like you would for a rent or mortgage payment.

Final thoughts

Hopefully now that you have a better idea of what a savings safety net is and what it should be used for, you could start building your own safety net so that you'll be prepared for if something unexpected happens.

Remember, everyone’s safety net will look different but the sooner you start saving and putting some money away, the better prepared you’ll be.

NatWest Money Blog team

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