No matter who you are it is important to have an emergency fund. An emergency fund helps you with just that, an emergency. Whether your car battery dies, or you have an unexpected trip to the hospital, or your pet accidentally swallowed something they shouldn’t and you have vet fees, an emergency fund can cover all of these expenses.
Or what if you were to lose your job or you had to unexpectedly quit your job. But you would still need money to survive. Your emergency fund could help you survive while you found other sources of income.
Now an emergency fund is meant for a true emergency. No, it is not a true emergency if you see that your favorite store is having a sale.
9 Ways to Create an Emergency Fund
So, you know how important it is to create an emergency fund, but you are not sure how to go about creating your emergency fund. Here are nine ways to create your emergency fund.
1. Figure Out How Much You Can Save – Budget
Your need to make a budget. I know the dreaded word when it comes to your finances. But if you track your spending, your expenses and how much you are bringing in, then you will know how much money you can put aside for your emergency fund.
At first, focusing putting $1,000 into your emergency fund because even just having $1,000 in your fund will drastically help you cover or fully cover emergencies that come up.
Eventually, you will want to beef up your emergency fund to have at least three months to six months worth of your monthly income. This is especially important if you are living on one income, you are a single mom (like me), or your job has a commission based structure. Having that extra money will give you a safety net in case things fail.
So, figure out how much you can save each month. If it is a small number, don’t worry because every little bit will help.
2. Set a Monthly Savings Goal
The goal you set might not be readily attainable, it might be a bigger goal that eventually you want to meet. Like for example, let’s say you want to put $300 into the fund every month, but realistically you can only afford to put $10 every month into the fund. So, start with the $10 and work up toward your goal.
Its a good idea to have a separate account to put the emergency fund in. I would say a separate savings account rather than a checking account because it is ould be too tempting to withdraw thatoney and use it for something else.
It is also a good idea to open the separate savings account in a completely different bank or credit union from the one you normally use. This will also drastically reduce your temptation to use the money outside of an emergency.
3. Adjust How Much You Save
Keep reevaluating your budget to see what you can cut out or down, so you can save more. Try to reach your monthly savings goal.
4. Keep Your Change
If you are in the habit of using cash when you shop, them keep your change. Whether that is small bills or coins keep them in a jar. Once the jar is full, deposit it into your dedicated emergency fund savings account.
Now, if you don’t use cash, so you don’t have change, there are money savings apps that will put change somewhere for you.
5. Sell Some Stuff
You’d be amazed at how many things you have lying around your house that you could sell. Those items might sell for a little or a lot.
You can sell your things on eBay, Craigslist, and even on Facebook groups. Or have a yard sale. Every little bit will help.
6. Side Hustle
So, you sold all of your extra things and you still need extra money. Do a side hustle. You could do surveys online to get a little extra cash or maybe a temp job.
Or maybe being a part of a focus groups or mystery shopping.
Or how about delivering food through DoorDash, GrubHub, UberEats or Postmates.
7. Get a Second Job
Yes, this idea can be trickier because you would be working extra hours which gets difficult when you have kids. But remember that it is only temporary and all the extra money you earn would be providing a cushion for you and your family.
8. Move Money into your Savings Account Automatically
Sometimes, your employer will allow to have direct deposit. When you do direct deposit, usually you have the option to designate how money you want where. You can do a specific amount of money or a percentage to go in different accounts.
This way you won’t need to even think about it. So, less temptation. I like to do it this way, so I don’t have to make sure I have the money to put in my emergency fund.
9. Save Your Tax Refund
When you file your taxes and you realize you will be getting money back, use that money to put in your emergency fund.
You never know when life is going to happen and you don’t want to be caught unprepared when it does. Believe me, I have been there and wow is it stressful.
So, create you emergency fund. It’s okay to start small. But the important thing is that you start and you keep going until you reach your goal.
What have you done to create your emergency fund? Do you have any other ways that you can use to create your emergnecy fund?