How do you estimate what your expenses would be as a newlywed couple? Trying to figure out how much of an emergency fund I should build up but don’t know much more than about $3.5k rent + util. Any advice or recommendations? I was thinking 20K. TIA!

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I calculate total expenses as housing costs (mortgage+insurance or rent plus renters insurance) + utilities (water, gas, electric, internet) + Food (groceries, eating out) + Health (gym, yoga, sports, other activities) + entertainment + % discretionary spending. It is very personal as we all have different spending habits. Our family’s monthly expenses come to $2200-2500 per month. We keep 12 months of emergency fund, yes could do away with 6, but 12 is what helps me sleep well at night.

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Amazing that all in you’re at 2.5k. That’s only 30k annual- not bad. Ppls housing is that alone.

Are you both employed and no dependents/obligations beyond your rent? Do you have a reliable family or friends safety net?

If so 3-6 mo is probably sufficient. Your rent alone is $21k at 6 mo (unless that was a 3 mo number) but assuming the above and your jobs are relative safe you can go closer to 3 mo. Maybe take your average expenses (outside of rent) and multiply by 2 if you are going the 3 mo route until you get a more accurate picture of monthly expenses as a combined household.

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My partner will be in grad school. There is a family safety net but I’d prefer not to fall back on it. My debate is not maxing out my 401K so that I can save more cash, and I was thinking 20K for 6 months all inclusive of rent, (2) cars insurance, utilities and groceries.

My SO and I took our generally monthly expenses (minus things like travel, eating out, etc.) and multiplied by 6 to get our bottom figure for the emergency fund. No kids or other dependents, so it was pretty straightforward. I think we’re at around 40k between the two of us.

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