What to do with cash?

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Topic Author
achen9291
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What to do with cash?

Post by achen9291 » Thu May 21, 2020 6:09 pm

I was gonna spend roughly 48k in cash on a car purchase that fell through over the last month. I'm not entirely sure if another one will come across anytime soon and the process of buying a car is pretty draining for what I'm looking for. Kind of shot myself in the foot wishing I could have invested it when the market crashed during covid but now the market has been half way up already and I missed that "opportunity".

Some points to mention

- Already maxing out roth IRA/401k.
- I gross 10k/mo and net about 2-3k after expenses.
- Currently have 10k emergency fund I'm wondering if I should beef this up to 15k? My expenses are around 3k/mo (1k is donated as charity but I'm including it as an expense)

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Image

I'm thinking about just dumping a bunch of it into taxable or keeping about 50k in the bank in case another opportunity for car shows up or could be used as a downpay for a house which I don't see happening anytime soon since I'm single. Should I leave it alone and just start saving the extra 2k/mo into taxable?

gr7070
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by gr7070 » Thu May 21, 2020 6:17 pm

I'd double the EF to 6 months/20k. Could still invest 3 months of EF.

No, you don't need 12 months EF. Were it different times 3 months could be reasonable, especially if din/k. Single, I'd do 6 months.

If you're likely to eventually buy a car, which seems like you might be, just hold onto the rest.

justsomeguy2018
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by justsomeguy2018 » Thu May 21, 2020 6:21 pm

achen9291 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:09 pm
I was gonna spend roughly 48k in cash on a car purchase that fell through over the last month. I'm not entirely sure if another one will come across anytime soon and the process of buying a car is pretty draining for what I'm looking for. Kind of shot myself in the foot wishing I could have invested it when the market crashed during covid but now the market has been half way up already and I missed that "opportunity".

Some points to mention

- Already maxing out roth IRA/401k.
- I gross 10k/mo and net about 2-3k after expenses.
- Currently have 10k emergency fund I'm wondering if I should beef this up to 15k? My expenses are around 3k/mo (1k is donated as charity but I'm including it as an expense)

Image
Image

I'm thinking about just dumping a bunch of it into taxable or keeping about 50k in the bank in case another opportunity for car shows up or could be used as a downpay for a house which I don't see happening anytime soon since I'm single. Should I leave it alone and just start saving the extra 2k/mo into taxable?
(1) Beef up emergency fund
(2) Check if your 401k plan offers mega backdoor Roth (aka immediate in-plan transfer from after-tax bucket to Roth); if so, put excess cash into this
(3) DCA rest into taxable

Topic Author
achen9291
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by achen9291 » Thu May 21, 2020 6:30 pm

justsomeguy2018 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:21 pm
achen9291 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:09 pm
I was gonna spend roughly 48k in cash on a car purchase that fell through over the last month. I'm not entirely sure if another one will come across anytime soon and the process of buying a car is pretty draining for what I'm looking for. Kind of shot myself in the foot wishing I could have invested it when the market crashed during covid but now the market has been half way up already and I missed that "opportunity".

Some points to mention

- Already maxing out roth IRA/401k.
- I gross 10k/mo and net about 2-3k after expenses.
- Currently have 10k emergency fund I'm wondering if I should beef this up to 15k? My expenses are around 3k/mo (1k is donated as charity but I'm including it as an expense)

Image
Image

I'm thinking about just dumping a bunch of it into taxable or keeping about 50k in the bank in case another opportunity for car shows up or could be used as a downpay for a house which I don't see happening anytime soon since I'm single. Should I leave it alone and just start saving the extra 2k/mo into taxable?
(1) Beef up emergency fund
(2) Check if your 401k plan offers mega backdoor Roth (aka immediate in-plan transfer from after-tax bucket to Roth); if so, put excess cash into this
(3) DCA rest into taxable
Should 15k be sufficient? I've never really needed to dip into my emergency fund. My current 401k (the one with 10k in it) offers only pre-tax 401k there is no roth 401k offered so I'm guessing there is not a mega backdoor Roth, I wish I did though! I guess DCA might be the best option since not really sure where the market is going. I was going to lump sum in January but thank goodness I didn't

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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by abuss368 » Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 pm

* I would keep building cash over time. There is an old saying "cash is king" and for good reason. Cash provides a lot of flexibility and peace of mind. I simply use a money market fund. I don't bother with complexity or calculations such as number of months, ratio's, etc.

* I would reevaluate spending $48,000 on a car. Cars are a wasting asset.

* Can you combine the 401k accounts or move a 401k account to your Vanguard IRA?
John C. Bogle: Two Fund Portfolio - Total Stock & Total Bond - “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

gr7070
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by gr7070 » Thu May 21, 2020 10:16 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 pm
There is an old saying "cash is king" and for good reason.
Is that because its power is eroded with every year?

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whodidntante
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by whodidntante » Thu May 21, 2020 10:30 pm

gr7070 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:16 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 pm
There is an old saying "cash is king" and for good reason.
Is that because its power is eroded with every year?
LOL. Good one.

gr7070
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by gr7070 » Thu May 21, 2020 10:48 pm

; )

In large part, cash is only useful if I'm buying something. And even then, not necessarily more so.

* Note that's more applicable to accumulators.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 pm

Buy EE bonds.

It’s basically the same as keeping it in cash, except 20 years from now you get a nice surprise.

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imak
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by imak » Thu May 21, 2020 11:49 pm

Long term Municipal bond fund (VWLTX or VTEB) is a good option for parking cash for 1+ year horizon
Asset Allocation: 30% FNDX, 30% FNDA, 10% FNDF, 10% FNDC, 10% USRT, 10% EDV; Discipline matters more than allocation ~ W Bernstein

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William Million
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by William Million » Thu May 21, 2020 11:59 pm

imak wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:49 pm
Long term Municipal bond fund (VWLTX or VTEB) is a good option for parking cash for 1+ year horizon
Good funds but you have to be prepared, in a worst case scenario, to lose 5-8%.

sd323232
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by sd323232 » Fri May 22, 2020 5:03 am

48K on a car? dang man, you can invest that in real estate and make some passive income stream instead. throwing that much on a car is basically burning all that cash.

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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by abuss368 » Fri May 22, 2020 7:08 am

gr7070 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:16 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:34 pm
There is an old saying "cash is king" and for good reason.
Is that because its power is eroded with every year?
For me personally I view cash as providing insurance and peace of mind. Unfortunately in the last 12 years a return on cash has become second. Having cash when the opportunity calls for it (and for us that has happened) is important.
John C. Bogle: Two Fund Portfolio - Total Stock & Total Bond - “Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

lakpr
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by lakpr » Fri May 22, 2020 8:14 am

I will echo the calls to beef up the emergency fund first.

I had an epiphany, with this Covid-19 crisis. Prior to February, I was happily getting along, with 6 months expenses as emergency fund, and maximizing all my tax-advantaged space first. But suddenly this crisis hit, my portfolio took a 27% tumble (it recovered by now of course, with only 9% losses YTD), my employer's revenue for the first quarter took a 80% drop year-on-year compared to same period last year. If I were to be laid off (it is still a high possibility, even though as of this moment I have my job), the EF would have lasted me exactly that: 6 months beyond any unemployment benefits. With 33 million people looking for employment now, I doubt I would be fortunate to find a new job before the EF + unemployment benefits run out. I would have to tap into my retirement accounts. I am also turning 50 this year, at least 5 years younger than age 55 where I can tap the 401k funds based on Rule-of-55, and I doubt due to my age if I will be successful in landing a job.

In other words, suddenly the 6 month EF felt very inadequate. It needs to be at least 1 year, in my revised assessment. That felt like suddenly I found myself in a $30k to $35k in debt (additional 6 months expenses), with a 32% interest rate on the debt { 10% penalty assessed on premature withdrawals on retirement assets, plus 22% ordinary income tax rate }. If I were to come to this forum and say "Hey guys, I currently carry a $35k debt with an interest rate of 32%, but I have this $20k money to invest, which funds should I invest in?", I would be rightly laughed at first, then told to pay off the debt as fast and as furiously as possible before even thinking about investing.

Exactly the same principle. So my advice to self is to beef up the EF to 1 year. I reduced the 401k contributions to just capture the full match at work, every other dollar is being hoarded into my bank account until it hits the level of $60k (1 year expenses), before ramping up the 401k contributions. With our salary (we are in the 24% bracket), I think we can reach our goal by around September/October, then ramp up the 401k contributions to still reach the annual $19.5k maximum. My job, if I still have it by then, allows us to contribute up to 65% of our paycheck to 401k in one go.

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anon_investor
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by anon_investor » Fri May 22, 2020 8:19 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 pm
Buy EE bonds.

It’s basically the same as keeping it in cash, except 20 years from now you get a nice surprise.
I Bonds are probably better for the OP, especially if the funds may be used in less than 2 years.

If no need for 20 years, then EE Bonds are great.

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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri May 22, 2020 8:24 am

Name the car. That would be a very well bought 996 turbo in my book. Will not depreciate. They aren't skyrocketing like the air/oil cooled cars but they're slowly rising.
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by Maverick3320 » Fri May 22, 2020 10:04 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:24 am
Name the car. That would be a very well bought 996 turbo in my book. Will not depreciate. They aren't skyrocketing like the air/oil cooled cars but they're slowly rising.
May not depreciate, but what the does the maintenance cost?

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achen9291
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by achen9291 » Fri May 22, 2020 11:30 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:24 am
Name the car. That would be a very well bought 996 turbo in my book. Will not depreciate. They aren't skyrocketing like the air/oil cooled cars but they're slowly rising.
1994 Toyota Supra. It was going to be a weekend car. It takes months and possibly years to find a good one at the right price.. so now I can't foresee when I would have another opportunity but for now I still have 48k in the bank.

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BL
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by BL » Fri May 22, 2020 11:32 am

imak wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:49 pm
Long term Municipal bond fund (VWLTX or VTEB) is a good option for parking cash for 1+ year horizon
Not so sure. The last couple months have been quite a bumpy ride! (I didn't have enough in there to worry about, thank goodness.)

MMiroir
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by MMiroir » Fri May 22, 2020 1:06 pm

achen9291 wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 11:30 am
1994 Toyota Supra. It was going to be a weekend car. It takes months and possibly years to find a good one at the right price.. so now I can't foresee when I would have another opportunity but for now I still have 48k in the bank.
A 94 Supra will continue to appreciate for another decade at least. Was it this one by chance?

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1994-toyota-supra-42/

I had a similar issue a number of years ago when I was looking for a chrome bumper Alfa. Before BAT, they were very hard to find, so I bought a cheap spider until the right car came. About a year later, it eventually did, and broke even on selling the spider after a couple of seasons of use.

If you don't have a weekend car yet, you might consider getting an inexpensive one while you wait for the right Supra to come along. In the mean time, just leave the cash in the bank collecting interest.

striker79
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by striker79 » Fri May 22, 2020 1:29 pm

Cash is king right now. I would sit on it and wait for opportunities, real estate or stock market. If we dont have a second wave of coronavirus in the winter months, I would put it all into the market then, Still lots of downside to this market even though you feel like you "missed the opportunity." Buffett and many other investors also "missed the opportunity" except they never saw it as an opportunity, just a period of a lot of uncertainty, and with uncertainty comes a lot of risk.

gr7070
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by gr7070 » Fri May 22, 2020 4:49 pm

achen9291 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:30 pm
Should 15k be sufficient? I've never really needed to dip into my emergency fund.
I despise the ultra conservative EF of 1-4+! years that far too many Boglehead's have and recomend.

With that said, above I recommended going to 20k/6 months. You're a single income and the potential to tap an EF is far, far more likely today than usual.

Additionally, you have the cash handy - it's not like you'd have to scrimp and save extra or forgo typical retirement savings to add the extra three months.

You could even keep 10k cash and invest 10k in any fund you like, balanced or TSM. Just recognize a little more risk, and likely something less than that 10k realized.

Long ago I moved 3 months of my 6 month EF into Star and Wellington. I wanted a balanced fund for slightly more stability, less risk. Were I to do it today I'd probably go TSM. Maybe? A balanced fund isn't a bad compromise of risk, reward for my EF even in taxable???

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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Fri May 22, 2020 5:52 pm

anon_investor wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:19 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 pm
Buy EE bonds.

It’s basically the same as keeping it in cash, except 20 years from now you get a nice surprise.
I Bonds are probably better for the OP, especially if the funds may be used in less than 2 years.

If no need for 20 years, then EE Bonds are great.
Here is the beauty of the EE bond self-constructed “annuity”. You put in $10k per year (x2 with a spouse, x3 with a trust) and then if you need it in an emergency you you pull out the most recent tranche(s). This preserves your earlier tranches to double as planned and still gives you liquidity with the recent tranches without much opportunity cost.

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anon_investor
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by anon_investor » Fri May 22, 2020 6:39 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 5:52 pm
anon_investor wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:19 am
HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 10:55 pm
Buy EE bonds.

It’s basically the same as keeping it in cash, except 20 years from now you get a nice surprise.
I Bonds are probably better for the OP, especially if the funds may be used in less than 2 years.

If no need for 20 years, then EE Bonds are great.
Here is the beauty of the EE bond self-constructed “annuity”. You put in $10k per year (x2 with a spouse, x3 with a trust) and then if you need it in an emergency you you pull out the most recent tranche(s). This preserves your earlier tranches to double as planned and still gives you liquidity with the recent tranches without much opportunity cost.
That is actually a really good idea. I will have to look into that for myself, as I am trying to shift my large emergency fund out of CDs (as they expire). I am ready maxed out I Bonds and started adding LTT.

For the OP I Bonds might be better if the OP do not plan to make regular EE Bond purchases.

WolfgangPauli
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by WolfgangPauli » Fri May 22, 2020 9:27 pm

imak wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:49 pm
Long term Municipal bond fund (VWLTX or VTEB) is a good option for parking cash for 1+ year horizon
I am not sure about that and certainly not just because of the turmoil on the MUNI BOND market. Three things bother me with this:

1) The OP does not appear to be in the tax bracket where the tax benefits matter much.
2) I like to align my duration of investment with duration of when I think I will need the money. If I did not think I would need it for 6 - 10 years then pehaps. But if I think I need the money in a year I would not buy a bond fund with a duration of 6-10 years.
3) If my number 1 assumption is accurate, I would not take the extra risk of MUNI BONDS as their is not much payback for the risk.
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by anakinskywalker » Fri May 22, 2020 9:41 pm

WolfgangPauli wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:27 pm
imak wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:49 pm
Long term Municipal bond fund (VWLTX or VTEB) is a good option for parking cash for 1+ year horizon
I am not sure about that and certainly not just because of the turmoil on the MUNI BOND market. Three things bother me with this:

1) The OP does not appear to be in the tax bracket where the tax benefits matter much.
2) I like to align my duration of investment with duration of when I think I will need the money. If I did not think I would need it for 6 - 10 years then pehaps. But if I think I need the money in a year I would not buy a bond fund with a duration of 6-10 years.
3) If my number 1 assumption is accurate, I would not take the extra risk of MUNI BONDS as their is not much payback for the risk.
I too, am in favor of this Muni Exclusion Principle.

Anakin

Blue456
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by Blue456 » Fri May 22, 2020 9:56 pm

lakpr wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 8:14 am
I will echo the calls to beef up the emergency fund first.

I had an epiphany, with this Covid-19 crisis. Prior to February, I was happily getting along, with 6 months expenses as emergency fund, and maximizing all my tax-advantaged space first. But suddenly this crisis hit..., the EF would have lasted me exactly that: 6 months beyond any unemployment benefits.
This is exactly what went through my mind in March this year. We decided to beef up our emergency fund as well. The old rule of 3-6 months no longer apply in my opinion. We are looking more at 1-2 years.

justsomeguy2018
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by justsomeguy2018 » Sat May 23, 2020 10:33 pm

achen9291 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:30 pm
justsomeguy2018 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:21 pm
achen9291 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 6:09 pm
I was gonna spend roughly 48k in cash on a car purchase that fell through over the last month. I'm not entirely sure if another one will come across anytime soon and the process of buying a car is pretty draining for what I'm looking for. Kind of shot myself in the foot wishing I could have invested it when the market crashed during covid but now the market has been half way up already and I missed that "opportunity".

Some points to mention

- Already maxing out roth IRA/401k.
- I gross 10k/mo and net about 2-3k after expenses.
- Currently have 10k emergency fund I'm wondering if I should beef this up to 15k? My expenses are around 3k/mo (1k is donated as charity but I'm including it as an expense)

Image
Image

I'm thinking about just dumping a bunch of it into taxable or keeping about 50k in the bank in case another opportunity for car shows up or could be used as a downpay for a house which I don't see happening anytime soon since I'm single. Should I leave it alone and just start saving the extra 2k/mo into taxable?
(1) Beef up emergency fund
(2) Check if your 401k plan offers mega backdoor Roth (aka immediate in-plan transfer from after-tax bucket to Roth); if so, put excess cash into this
(3) DCA rest into taxable
Should 15k be sufficient? I've never really needed to dip into my emergency fund. My current 401k (the one with 10k in it) offers only pre-tax 401k there is no roth 401k offered so I'm guessing there is not a mega backdoor Roth, I wish I did though! I guess DCA might be the best option since not really sure where the market is going. I was going to lump sum in January but thank goodness I didn't
At $15k you have 5 months of expenses in what may be the worst employment market in modern history. I would add another 4 months of EF. If you lose your job you will be competing for the few available jobs out there with thousands of other newly unemployed people.

LeeMKE
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by LeeMKE » Sat May 23, 2020 11:38 pm

The OP does not mention his age, so that affects the discussion about how much you need in your emergency fund:

20s: 3 months living expenses is a good target since you'll probably move in with your parents or a friend if you get in trouble.
30s: 6 months living expenses because you have less flexibility in reducing your overhead in an emergency
40s: 12 months living expenses because you likely have others depending on your support who can't add to the family income.
50s: 24 months living expenses because if you lose your job, you'll need more time to find another, or will have to use your emergency fund to coast into an early retirement.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

hudson
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by hudson » Sun May 24, 2020 11:53 am

achen9291

I'll just deal with the 50K that you might need soon.
If it was me, I would put it in AMEX Bank at 1.3%....unless they've dropped again since I looked last.
Any of the high yield savings places are fine. I like AMEX because if I ask for a transfer before 11:30 AM, it's usually in my checking account by 3:30 PM.


Bottom line: Short term needs; short term very safe location

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achen9291
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by achen9291 » Wed May 27, 2020 9:26 am

So I ended up increasing my emergency fund to $20k @ 6 months expenses, mostly sitting in online savings in Ally, $5k of it sitting inside other online banks at 5% interests. Another $2k of it is inside a brick and mortar checking account to avoid fees. I still have an excess of 2-3k a month after expenses so I will start investing 2k/mo in taxable account to at least get started on that when I get paid (monthly). Not really a bonds person so I will just continue to put in VTSAX. The remainder of the car fund I will continue to fund until it reaches 50k (currently at 39k due to funding emergency fund with it) I don't want to spend more on the car if it goes over that limit. I'd probably have to get lucky since the car tends to increase in value over time. Hopefully the car fund doesn't sit in the online savings account for long but at least can be used for something else if car doesn't ever come along.

I'm 28 if that matters. But seems like 20k sounds about right with what some of you are saying for emergency fund.

gr7070
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by gr7070 » Wed May 27, 2020 10:38 am

All that is perfectly reasonable.

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bt365
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Re: What to do with cash?

Post by bt365 » Thu May 28, 2020 7:37 am

VIO Bank (division of MidFirst Bank) offers 1.5% APY high yield saving account. Of course chasing best yield tempered in that rates may fall at anytime. Many seeking safe parking place for cash, moved into high yield savings account and seen teaser rate fall very next day/less than week later.

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