Illustration: David Wyffels

8 of 10
Why It's Important: By now I am sure you have started saving. The next step is to keep at it until you have at least eight months' worth of living expenses.

Do This Now: Go to for banks and for credit unions to verify that your emergency fund is tucked away at an institution that is federally insured. Never invest your emergency savings in the stock market. Safe, not sorry, is all that matters.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.