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The (Minimum) Emergency Savings Needed in Every State

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The ever-popular saying, “Expect the unexpected,” certainly relates to life’s expenses. Having an emergency fund can offer you financial protection when things don’t go according to plan. But how much money is enough to really pad your savings? The general rule of thumb is three to six months’ worth of living expenses.

Related: 23 Tips To Build Your Emergency Savings
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A recent GOBankingRates’ survey found that 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, which isn’t a whole lot when it comes to cost-of-living expenses. The average total annual expenditures per year in the U.S. is a whopping $61,224, according to the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey. Having a rainy day fund is crucial — if you have no money stowed away, you’ll have to finance your emergency with credit cards, and your hard-earned cash will go toward this debt instead of providing a larger cushion for your savings. You can’t avoid the unexpected repairs or purchases, but you can certainly prepare for the inevitable.

To determine how much emergency savings are needed in every state, GOBankingRates multiplied the national estimate of average annual expenditures, according to the BLS, by the average cost-of-living index for each state, per the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Estimates were calculated to determine how much in savings an individual would need for three, four, five and six months if they wanted to maintain an “average” lifestyle. The states are ranked from the lowest to the highest amount needed in emergency savings.

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Due to cost of living and annual expenditures in the region alone, you can gather that residents in the Northeast would need significantly larger emergency funds if they wanted to keep living comfortably. Meanwhile, those in the South or Midwest likely contribute to emergency funds that are much more manageable in size. Think about an emergency fund as it relates to your spending habits and less about your annual income — where are you spending the most money? Find out how much you need to save for your emergency fund in every state.

Last updated: Aug. 17, 2021

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1. Mississippi

  • Total annual expenditures: $51,918
    • Cost-of-living index: 84.8
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $12,979
      • 4 months: $17,306
      • 5 months: $21,632
      • 6 months: $25,959
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2. Oklahoma

  • Total annual expenditures: $52,959
    • Cost-of-living index: 86.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,240
      • 4 months: $17,653
      • 5 months: $22,066
      • 6 months: $26,479

Psychology: 16 Effective Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

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3. Arkansas

  • Total annual expenditures: $53,326
    • Cost-of-living index: 87.1
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,332
      • 4 months: $17,775
      • 5 months: $22,219
      • 6 months: $26,663

Learn: Why You Should Start Saving Now for 2022

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4. New Mexico

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,000
    • Cost-of-living index: 88.2
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,500
      • 4 months: $18,000
      • 5 months: $22,500
      • 6 months: $27,000
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5. Kansas

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,183
    • Cost-of-living index: 88.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,546
      • 4 months: $18,061
      • 5 months: $22,576
      • 6 months: $27,092
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6. Missouri

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,183
    • Cost-of-living index: 88.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,546
      • 4 months: $18,061
      • 5 months: $22,576
      • 6 months: $27,092
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7. Tennessee

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,244
    • Cost-of-living index: 88.6
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,561
      • 4 months: $18,081
      • 5 months: $22,602
      • 6 months: $27,122
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8. Alabama

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,612
    • Cost-of-living index: 89.2
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,653
      • 4 months: $18,204
      • 5 months: $22,755
      • 6 months: $27,306
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9. Georgia

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,612
    • Cost-of-living index: 89.2
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,653
      • 4 months: $18,204
      • 5 months: $22,755
      • 6 months: $27,306
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10. Michigan

  • Total annual expenditures: $54,979
    • Cost-of-living index: 89.8
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,745
      • 4 months: $18,326
      • 5 months: $22,908
      • 6 months: $27,490

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11. Indiana

  • Total annual expenditures: $55,653
    • Cost-of-living index: 90.9
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,913
      • 4 months: $18,551
      • 5 months: $23,189
      • 6 months: $27,826
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12. West Virginia

  • Total annual expenditures: $55,653
    • Cost-of-living index: 90.9
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $13,913
      • 4 months: $18,551
      • 5 months: $23,189
      • 6 months: $27,826

See: 23 Tips To Build Your Emergency Fund

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13. Nebraska

  • Total annual expenditures: $56,081
    • Cost-of-living index: 91.6
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,020
      • 4 months: $18,694
      • 5 months: $23,367
      • 6 months: $28,041
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14. Texas

  • Total annual expenditures: $56,265
    • Cost-of-living index: 91.9
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,066
      • 4 months: $18,755
      • 5 months: $23,444
      • 6 months: $28,132
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15. Iowa

  • Total annual expenditures: $56,265
    • Cost-of-living index: 91.9
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,066
      • 4 months: $18,755
      • 5 months: $23,444
      • 6 months: $28,132
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16. Ohio

  • Total annual expenditures: $56,816
    • Cost-of-living index: 92.8
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,204
      • 4 months: $18,939
      • 5 months: $23,673
      • 6 months: $28,408
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17. Louisiana

  • Total annual expenditures: $57,000
    • Cost-of-living index: 93.1
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,250
      • 4 months: $19,000
      • 5 months: $23,750
      • 6 months: $28,500
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18. Kentucky

  • Total annual expenditures: $57,000
    • Cost-of-living index: 93.1
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,250
      • 4 months: $19,000
      • 5 months: $23,750
      • 6 months: $28,500
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19. Idaho

  • Total annual expenditures: $57,122
    • Cost-of-living index: 93.3
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,280
      • 4 months: $19,041
      • 5 months: $23,801
      • 6 months: $28,561
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20. Illinois

  • Total annual expenditures: $58,102
    • Cost-of-living index: 94.9
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,525
      • 4 months: $19,367
      • 5 months: $24,209
      • 6 months: $29,051
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21. North Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $58,163
    • Cost-of-living index: 95.0
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,541
      • 4 months: $19,388
      • 5 months: $24,235
      • 6 months: $29,081

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22. Wisconsin

  • Total annual expenditures: $59,020
    • Cost-of-living index: 96.4
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,755
      • 4 months: $19,673
      • 5 months: $24,592
      • 6 months: $29,510

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23. South Carolina

  • Total annual expenditures: $59,081
    • Cost-of-living index: 96.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,770
      • 4 months: $19,694
      • 5 months: $24,617
      • 6 months: $29,541
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24. Utah

  • Total annual expenditures: $59,632
    • Cost-of-living index: 97.4
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,908
      • 4 months: $19,877
      • 5 months: $24,847
      • 6 months: $29,816
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25. North Dakota

  • Total annual expenditures: $59,877
    • Cost-of-living index: 97.8
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $14,969
      • 4 months: $19,959
      • 5 months: $24,949
      • 6 months: $29,939
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26. Florida

  • Total annual expenditures: $60,122
    • Cost-of-living index: 98.2
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,030
      • 4 months: $20,041
      • 5 months: $25,051
      • 6 months: $30,061
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27. Arizona

  • Total annual expenditures: $60,979
    • Cost-of-living index: 99.6
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,245
      • 4 months: $20,326
      • 5 months: $25,408
      • 6 months: $30,490
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28. South Dakota

  • Total annual expenditures: $61,653
    • Cost-of-living index: 100.7
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,413
      • 4 months: $20,551
      • 5 months: $25,689
      • 6 months: $30,826
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29. Virginia

  • Total annual expenditures: $62,081
    • Cost-of-living index: 101.4
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,520
      • 4 months: $20,694
      • 5 months: $25,867
      • 6 months: $31,041
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30. Minnesota

  • Total annual expenditures: $62,142
    • Cost-of-living index: 101.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,536
      • 4 months: $20,714
      • 5 months: $25,893
      • 6 months: $31,071
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31. Wyoming

  • Total annual expenditures: $62,265
    • Cost-of-living index: 101.7
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,566
      • 4 months: $20,755
      • 5 months: $25,944
      • 6 months: $31,132

Take a Look: How Much Cash You Need Stashed for a National Emergency (Like a Pandemic)

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32. Pennsylvania

  • Total annual expenditures: $62,693
    • Cost-of-living index: 102.4
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $15,673
      • 4 months: $20,898
      • 5 months: $26,122
      • 6 months: $31,347
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33. Colorado

  • Total annual expenditures: $64,163
    • Cost-of-living index: 104.8
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $16,041
      • 4 months: $21,388
      • 5 months: $26,734
      • 6 months: $32,081

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34. Montana

  • Total annual expenditures: $65,081
    • Cost-of-living index: 106.3
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $16,270
      • 4 months: $21,694
      • 5 months: $27,117
      • 6 months: $32,541
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35. Delaware

  • Total annual expenditures: $66,061
    • Cost-of-living index: 107.9
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $16,515
      • 4 months: $22,020
      • 5 months: $27,525
      • 6 months: $33,030
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36. Nevada

  • Total annual expenditures: $66,367
    • Cost-of-living index: 108.4
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $16,592
      • 4 months: $22,122
      • 5 months: $27,653
      • 6 months: $33,183
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37. New Hampshire

  • Total annual expenditures: $66,428
    • Cost-of-living index: 108.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $16,607
      • 4 months: $22,143
      • 5 months: $27,678
      • 6 months: $33,214
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38. Washington

  • Total annual expenditures: $67,408
    • Cost-of-living index: 110.1
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $16,852
      • 4 months: $22,469
      • 5 months: $28,087
      • 6 months: $33,704
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39. Vermont

  • Total annual expenditures: $69,979
    • Cost-of-living index: 114.3
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $17,495
      • 4 months: $23,326
      • 5 months: $29,158
      • 6 months: $34,990
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40. Maine

  • Total annual expenditures: $71,387
    • Cost-of-living index: 116.6
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $17,847
      • 4 months: $23,796
      • 5 months: $29,745
      • 6 months: $35,694
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41. Rhode Island

  • Total annual expenditures: $72,673
    • Cost-of-living index: 118.7
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $18,168
      • 4 months: $24,224
      • 5 months: $30,280
      • 6 months: $36,336
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42. New Jersey

  • Total annual expenditures: $75,734
    • Cost-of-living index: 123.7
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $18,934
      • 4 months: $25,245
      • 5 months: $31,556
      • 6 months: $37,867

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43. Connecticut

  • Total annual expenditures: $77,448
    • Cost-of-living index: 126.5
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $19,362
      • 4 months: $25,816
      • 5 months: $32,270
      • 6 months: $38,724
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44. Maryland

  • Total annual expenditures: $78,122
    • Cost-of-living index: 127.6
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $19,530
      • 4 months: $26,041
      • 5 months: $32,551
      • 6 months: $39,061
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45. Alaska

  • Total annual expenditures: $78,550
    • Cost-of-living index: 128.3
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $19,638
      • 4 months: $26,183
      • 5 months: $32,729
      • 6 months: $39,275
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46. Massachusetts

  • Total annual expenditures: $79,652
    • Cost-of-living index: 130.1
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $19,913
      • 4 months: $26,551
      • 5 months: $33,189
      • 6 months: $39,826
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47. Oregon

  • Total annual expenditures: $82,040
    • Cost-of-living index: 134.0
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $20,510
      • 4 months: $27,347
      • 5 months: $34,183
      • 6 months: $41,020
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48. New York

  • Total annual expenditures: $84,061
    • Cost-of-living index: 137.3
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $21,015
      • 4 months: $28,020
      • 5 months: $35,025
      • 6 months: $42,030
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49. California

  • Total annual expenditures: $84,305
    • Cost-of-living index: 137.7
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $21,076
      • 4 months: $28,102
      • 5 months: $35,127
      • 6 months: $42,153
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50. Hawaii

  • Total annual expenditures: $117,428
    • Cost of living index: 191.8
    • Savings needed
      • 3 months: $29,357
      • 4 months: $39,143
      • 5 months: $48,928
      • 6 months: $58,714
More From GOBankingRates

    Methodology: GOBankingRates defined the minimum emergency savings needed in every state as the amount needed to afford 3-6 months’ living expenses. GOBankingRates created estimates of living expenses in every state in two ways: 1) Multiplying the national estimate of average annual expenditures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2018 Consumer Expenditure Survey by the overall 2019 average cost of living index value for each state from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. This estimate captures the minimum emergency savings needed in every state to continue living the “average” lifestyle for 3-6 months without cutting any expenses; 2) Selecting only the “necessity” expenses from the 2018 CES’s breakdown of annual expenditures and multiplying them by the corresponding category index value from MERIC. Necessities included groceries defined as “food at home” from the CES, housing defined as “shelter,” utilities defined as “utilities, fuels and public services,” transportation defined as “gasoline, other fuels and motor oil” plus “other vehicle expenses,” healthcare and miscellaneous expenses. This estimate captures the minimum emergency savings needed in every state to cover basic expenses for 3-6 months. States were then ranked by their necessary emergency savings, with the state requiring the least amount of money in emergency savings listed as No. 1 and the state requiring the most in emergency savings listed as No. 50. All data was compiled on and up to date as of Feb. 12, 2020.

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