No. of Recommendations: 5
Very late to the party, but I thought I'd contribute.

I voted 3-6 months but that isn't the full story. Ideally, I'd want 6 months or more. We're a two income household and for the period from October 2009 until May 2012, my husband was either unemployed or underemployed, working at jobs that bought in some income but paid less than half of what he'd been on before. While I just sucked it up and ensured that the mortgage and all the bills were paid, my biggest worry during that time was that something would happen to my income since he was bringing home less than our monthly mortgage payment.

(DH paid what he could when he had income. We apportion our contributions to the joint account for bills, etc, by percentage of joint income. Now he has a reasonable paying job, I think we're at 60% (me) and 40% (DH).)

Anyway, I think that if you're part of a couple, after you've got an e-fund, the next aim money-wise is to get to the point where both of you can cover the mortgage and essential bills out of either salary. It wouldn't be comfortable, but if my job went south tomorrow, DH's salary will now keep the roof over our heads and the utility bills covered. (I breathed a huge sigh of relief when we got to that point.)

- Pam (Hello, everyone! I'm still alive, just working like a maniac now my business has moved regions.)
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