What would you consider to be an adequate amount to set aside as an emergency fund? If you were able to set aside money to meet any potential emergency that might arise, how much do you feel would be adequate to cover your expenses?

Conventional wisdom has always been to set aside an amount equal to six months of your gross monthly household income as a reserve for emergencies, and especially to sustain your normal lifestyle should you lose your current income source (typically, your job) and require time to replace it (to find new employment).

However, wisdom has not seen an economy like this one during the tenure of its present conventionality. That is, high unemployment, declining real property values, foreign insurrections causing gasoline prices to skyrocket, volatility in the stock market as never before seen, federal government bail-outs of commercial enterprises to keep them afloat, billion-dollar budget deficits in most states, the unparalleled freezing of credit markets, terrorist activities (or the fear thereof) choking commercial transportation, the dumbing-down of America caused by outrageous college tuitions, and the proliferation of taxation to levels that would embarrass even the most unabashed progressive (to name a just few of the unconventional anomalies assaulting our heretofore tenuous economic sensibilities). Any of these events occurring individually would normally push reserve requirements to new heights, but the simultaneous occurrence of all of them, as we are now witness, makes the conventional wisdom of post-war modernism seem mundane, and suggests that a doubling or even tripling of what seemed to be adequate before would be wise.

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