Boost your cash buffer
Savings

Post-financial crisis, the revised guideline for emergency funds is to keep enough money tucked away to cover six months of living expenses, vs. three previously.

Sorry, but even that may not cut it if you're laid off: The average job search now lasts at least seven months, and the new position often pays less than the old one.

With an extra grand in savings, a typical family can cover one more mortgage payment -- with around $300 left to help with other bills.


  @Money - Last updated September 21 2012 02:00 PM ET
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