Sometimes when it rains, it pours. A rainy day fund should be big enough to cover you in either case.
Think "what if I lost my job, what if there was another recession?" said Scott Tucker, president and founder of Scott Tucker Solutions in Chicago.
"In the world we live in today, anything can happen," said Drew Horter, founder and chief investment officer at Horter Investment Management in Cincinnati. "We're at a high end of the stock market and the low end of interest rates," he said. "People need to take a hard look at the positioning of their assets."
Still, many Americans are woefully ill-prepared for any unplanned expense, let alone a job loss, so much so that 66 million U.S. adults have zero dollars saved for an emergency, according to a recent Bankrate.com study.
Nearly half of all Americans said they either could not afford an emergency expense of $400, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money, according to a separate report by the Federal Reserve Board's Division of Consumer and Community Affairs.
Yet in 2015, consumers spent an average $55,978 per household, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent consumer expenditure survey. That means they are shelling out over $4,600 a month on expenses as food, housing and health care. In other words, they're spending more in one week than most people could cover with their emergency savings.