Having an emergency fund fully built will help you manage your finances in the event something unexpected should arise. This can include car trouble, an appliance needing replacing, or an injury that requires you or your partner to be out of work.
Most people save $1000 in an emergency fund before working on paying off debts and saving for other things. If you want to build your emergency fund fast, check out the helpful tips below! My husband and I have employed most of these techniques for building our own emergency fund and I know that they work!
1. Sell items you no longer need. It’s likely you have several items in the closet, attic or basement you haven’t used in months or even years. Declutter these areas and sell unwanted items on eBay, Craigslist or local Facebook groups.
2. Start a side hustle. There are tons of tips online on ways you could make a little extra money online, but anything you can do on the side to “hustle up your emergency fund” is essential. During the winter, offer to shop for the elderly or wrap gifts for busy parents in your neighborhood. In the summer, mow lawns or walk dogs to earn extra cash.
3. Cut back on expenses. You may love that $5 cup of coffee on your way to work, but that’s $25 you could add to your emergency fund if you cut it out! Figure out other changes you can make to stop spending and start saving.
4. Record your spending. If you don’t have a written or digital budget already monitoring your spending, start one ASAP! It’s important to see where your money is going, so you can redirect more of it to your emergency fund.
5. Use coupons. Start browsing sales ads and clipping coupons that work with sale prices to save more on groceries and household items. This will make it easier for you to fund your emergency account.
6. Have date nights at home. It can be tempting to go out every weekend and spend $75 on a nice dinner and movie. However, if you found more frugal ways to spend time with your honey, you can have the emergency fund built quickly!
7. Carpool to work. Ride to work with co-workers to save on gas money. Find 5 people who live nearby, and alternate who drives every day. That right there can save you $20+ per week!
8.Toss your change in a bucket. Saving your change each day will help you increase your emergency funds quickly. We typically carry coins around and they may get lost in the sofa or dropped in the parking lot. Empty your pockets nightly, cashing in the change once your bucket (an oatmeal jar or large pickle jar is perfect!) is full.
9. Start buying used. Many times, you can find things that you need at a fraction of the cost by buying gently used. Shop consignment shops for clothing and shoes. Also, browse eBay and Craigslist for appliances or furniture if the need arises
10. Reduce energy bill. Think about ways you can cut down on the money you spend on electricity each month. Make sure the lights are off when you leave a room, and rely more on blankets or fans to control the temperate in your home.
11. Renegotiate bills. Are you paying the lowest you can for cable or your cell phone? Give your provider a call and see if there is any way they can save you money to put toward your emergency fund. Sometimes, you can even score a lower interest rate on your credit card just by calling!
12. Have money automatically transferred to savings. Most banks will allow you to set up an auto-draft from your bank account to savings account. You should do this with each payday, moving over $20 or more. The more you move, the quicker your emergency fund will be built!
13. Rent your belongings. If you have room in your home that isn’t being used, consider renting it out for a weekly or monthly fee. The same can be done for an extra car, an RV, a boat, or a vacation home. Stash this money for your emergency fund.
14. Cash in credit card rewards. If you have a credit card or perhaps a debit card that offers rewards for spending, cash those in. Put the money straight in your savings account, and try not to use the credit cards anymore until your emergency fund is full!
15. View it as a bill. See your emergency fund as a weekly bill. It’s something you must pay! This will put you in a mindset to get that fund full faster than normal.
What do you think about these tips for building an emergency fund fast? Have you tried these techniques yourself? Do you have other helpful tips to offer? Let me know in the comments!