Could you cope if you needed instant access to money during an emergency? Learn simple ways to create savings for times when life throws you a curve ball.


Many expenses and changes in life can be planned, like buying a house, going on holiday, picking up groceries or having a baby. But there can be plenty of unforeseen changes as well, including job losses, shock bills, broken-down cars and illness. The good news is that you don’t have to get into debt if unplanned situations arise.

In a time where fluctuating costs and economic uncertainty can create financial stress, budgeting and saving become more important than ever. Follow these simple actions to create an emergency fund for that rainy day, and take another step towards financial peace of mind.

Assess your total income

Before calculating how much you can afford to put into your emergency fund, you’ll need to evaluate just how much money you have now, plus what’s coming in. This might be straightforward if you have a regular pay cheque, but if your income is sporadic or ad-hoc, it might need a bit more working out. Don’t forget to include any expected income from shares or interest from existing savings accounts. And, while you’re thinking about making money, consider other immediate revenue streams – like selling unwanted stuff you have lying around the house.

Work out what you spend

Just where does your money go every month? Think about all the bills you pay (rent or home loan, mobile phone, internet, utilities, insurance etc), any memberships you have, transport costs , how much you spend on groceries and personal care. Many of these expenses are essential, but you may have some non-essential expenses as well: eating out, entertainment, buying unnecessary clothes, having three takeaway coffees a day… You can keep track of your expenses using tools like the AMP Budget Planner Calculator, it makes this process much easier and helps you re-evaluate your savings goals down the track.

Set a goal for your emergency fund

How much money do you want to have in your emergency fund, and how soon do you want it? Figures quoted by experts can vary widely, with some suggesting you should have enough to cover three to six months of your expenses, whereas others recommend at least a year of your income. What all agree on is getting started – having something in your emergency fund, even a few hundred dollars, is better than nothing. So, set a goal that’s achievable and realistic, and not so daunting that it’ll prevent you from even getting started.

Plan how you’ll do it

Once you know how much you want to save, you need to work out how to get there. Saving for your emergency fund should take into account your income and savings goals, and then look at all the ways you can cut back on your expenses. This is where you need to be ruthless, slashing unnecessary spending , ie your wants, as opposed to your needs.

Let’s say you want to save $2,000 in six months: that’s about $330 a month, or around $11 a day. Go through your spreadsheet of expenses and look at all the areas that can be tightened or eliminated completely to make this goal achievable. You’ll find most are the non-essential expenses listed above, but you can also save money by talking to suppliers, like your electricity, water and gas suppliers and mobile phone provider to negotiate better plans.

Get cracking

Your emergency fund is just that – a safety net. It’s not a chunk of money for planned everyday expenses or a holiday you want to take (that’s what your savings account is for), so you shouldn’t touch it until you need it.

To help avoid temptation of dipping into it, you could create a specific account for your emergency fund. Choosing an account with high interest can mean you’ll be financially rewarded for contributing to it. And opt-out of having a linked debit card, to remove easy access temptations. Set up an automatic transfer of cash from your primary account on a set day every month (like the day you get paid) and then just forget about it. This way, you don’t even have to think about your emergency fund, but it will be accessible when you truly need it.

AMP Saver Account

Deposit at least $1,000 in the previous month and you'll earn a 5.4% pa ongoing variable rate.*

What you need to know

The credit provider for all banking products is AMP Bank Limited ABN 15 081 596 009, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234517. Approval is subject to AMP Bank guidelines. Terms and conditions apply and are available at or by calling 13 30 30. Fees and charges are payable.

Any advice and information is provided by AWM Services Pty Ltd ABN 15 139 353 496, AFSL No. 366121 (AWM Services) and is general in nature. It hasn’t taken your financial or personal circumstances into account.

It’s important to consider your particular circumstances and read the relevant product disclosure statement, Target Market Determination or terms and conditions, available from AMP at, or by calling 131 267, before deciding what’s right for you.

You can read our Financial Services Guide online for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relation to products and services provided to you. You can also ask us for a hardcopy.

All information on this website is subject to change without notice. AWM Services is part of the AMP group.

* Effective 01 February 2024, Up to 5.40% pa ongoing variable rate on balances up to $250,000 and is subject to change without notice. For Accounts opened from 1 April 2021, offer is limited to one account per person. For any portion of the balance over $250,000 and up to $5,000,000 the interest rate reverts to the AMP Saver Account standard rate only. The maximum ongoing balance per customer name is $5,000,000. Terms and conditions apply. Fees and charges are payable. Any application is subject to AMP Bank’s approval. A target market determination for this product is available at To learn more about the AMP Saver Account, see the product page.