5 Quick Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund

5 Quick Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund
  • Opening Intro -

    Living in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, even when you've got some extra money at the end of it, is stressful.

    One unexpected bill and your carefully planned budget falls apart.

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To keep this from being a big financial blow, it helps to have an emergency fund stashed away somewhere. But building that fund with a limited income isn’t always easy.

With these five simple tips, you can get ahead of your bills and start saving for emergencies. All without making significant changes in your daily habits.

1. Find a Side Gig

Do you have a little extra time on your hands that you fill with Netflix binging or other mindless tasks?

If so, it’s the perfect time to develop the skills to make some cash with a side gig!

You typically won’t get rich quick, but there are plenty of online opportunities to earn a little spare money straight from your phone. All you have to do is find the right apps (be cautious; they’re not always legitimate) and download them.

Set up your account and start taking surveys or playing games. You’ll earn points toward gift cards or cash. Take what you make and put it straight into your emergency fund.

2. Cut Your Costs

This is a simple one in theory, but harder to actually do for many of us. It’s hard to pay attention to your spending habits. In order to cut costs, though, you’ve got to get a good look at where your money is going.

Start with your daily habits. Make a list of everything you spend your money on regularly, like morning coffee stops, drive-thru lunches, or last-minute meals out.

Every dollar adds up. When you spend your money on incidentals like these, it could be going to your emergency fund instead.

Next, print out your bank statements from the past few months and look them over carefully.

Exactly where is all your income going?

Are there monthly subscription services you don’t need? What are you spending your money on that’s not necessary?

This can get eye-opening. It’s easy to forget about a few dollars here and there. Once you start adding up all the money you spend going out to eat or at Target, you might realize there’s a bit of a problem.

You can transfer the extra money from your cost-cutting measures over into your emergency savings account weekly.

3. Open a Savings Round-Up Account

If you want to save money, but it’s hard to put funds aside every week, it could be helpful for you to get a round-up account.

These are bank programs or financial apps that connect to your debit card. When you spend money on your card, the change “rounds up” and goes into your savings.

Because the amount is so small when it transfers over, you don’t even miss it. By linking your bank account to your savings, you slowly add pennies to your emergency fund every time you shop.

This type of program has been gaining popularity quickly. Now you can choose from reputable apps like:

Check with your banking institution, too. They may offer something similar, so you don’t have to use two different programs to access your money.

4. Sell Your Clutter

If you have stuff lying around that you don’t use anymore, someone else might appreciate it.

You know what they say: “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

In today’s eco-friendly world, this is often right on the money!

To get some extra money fast, go through each room in your house and declutter. Grab three baskets so you have one for donations, one for stuff to sell, and one for trash.

Scour the surfaces, nooks, and crannies for anything you don’t use or want anymore. Put it in the appropriate basket. By the time you’re done, you’ll have a cleaner house and a good amount of things you can try to make money off of.

You can always have a garage sale if you think you have enough to justify it. If not, you can post your unwanted things on your local swap pages or join an online site. Take what you make off of those old dust-collectors and add it to your nest egg!

5. Get Rid of High-Interest Debt

Pull out your bills and make a list of anything you’re paying off with interest. Write down the payoff amount and the interest rate next to the name of the bill.

Some of what you’re paying every month is going to waste. You’re putting the minimum payment straight to interest instead of principal. The interest rate you’re at now might have been what you were stuck with at the time, or you didn’t pay attention. If you still have a large balance to pay, it would be beneficial to try to get a lower rate now that you’ve noticed the problem.

Check over your credit cards and other loans. Is there any way you can refinance high rates or do a balance transfer?

If you have a lot of debt and it doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon, a personal loan or a debt re-consolidation program could be a solution.

other valuable tips:

Conclusion

When all your money is going straight out the window before you have a chance to enjoy it — it’s stressful. Having a cushion you know you can fall back on in case of an emergency helps ease some of that pressure.

It’s not easy coming up with the money to build a nest egg in a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. But these tips will help you slowly get your emergency fund in place!

Author Bio
Aaron Hunt is the property manager for Prime Place OSU. He can be reached by email at osu@myprimeplace.com or by call or text at 405-708-7605.

Image Credit: by twenty20.com

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Consumer Tips reference:

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