IF you don't have a lump sum ready to put into an easily accessible deposit account as an emergency fund, then you should try to put by at least €100 to €200 a month – if not more – to build up this fund to a target amount of between three and six months' worth of your salary.
The best rates for regular savings accounts are Ulster Bank's Special Interest Deposit Accounts and Permanent TSB's Online Regular Saver Account (although you need to be a PTSB customer) at 3.5pc AER. The next best rates are the EBS's Family Savings Account at 3.1pc and AIB's Saver account at 3pc.
If you have a €10,000 lump sum, Ulster Bank comes out tops again, with its Direct Saver account at 3.1pc AER interest rate (which lasts only for the first 12 months), followed by KBC's Smart Access Demand account at 3pc and Rabodirect's Online Savings On-Demand account at 2.75pc. Nationwide UK and Permanent TSB bring up the rear with accounts offering 2.5pc.
If you were able to keep your money in an account for five years, then you could benefit from the DIRT tax-free State Savings Cert at 2.83pc. But of course, if the purpose is an emergency fund, agreeing to this condition would miss the point.