This time of year many people have made the resolution to take control of their finances and build a strong future. Whether you are jumping on the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover wagon or going it alone you can see the value in having an emergency fund. The good news is building your first Emergency fund can be painless. This vital first step to personal finance planning will put the power back into your hands when things get tough.
While $1000 dollars doesn’t seem like much for an emergency fund it can really go a long way to cover unexpected expenses The car needs repairs or your child flushed a toy and you NEED to call a plumber. These expenses are often too small to finance yet too large to find room in the regular budget. Giving yourself a bit of padding means when this stuff comes up you don’t have to go without to make it through a tough time. The hard part is gathering that $1000 when your budget is already tight.
How to Painlessly Build your first Emergency Fund
Clean out the house. You will be amazed how many things you do not need around the house that can be sold to fund your emergency account. Gather everything you don’t need anymore, clean it up, and post online for sale. Not only are you gathering funds for your savings you are clearing out clutter.
Dig out the coupons and rebates. This money you would be spending anyway so take the money you save and place it into your savings. You won’t feel a pinch and your emergency fund will grow. Use apps like Ibotta to get money back on things like milk, eggs, meat, and produce that you do not often find coupons for.
Provide a service. While babysitting an extra child on a Friday night may not be the fun thing to do it is a great way to get a little extra money. What other things can you do? Think about your skills and who needs them. If you have computer skills check with friends that run a business and see if they need that help. You can go as far as heading out to cut grass or shovel snow to get that $1000 without hitting your budget hard.
Save the change. While this takes time a change jar is a great way to painlessly gain a bit of money for your savings. Keep the jar out of sight of family members likely to snatch coins out rather than break a dollar.
Use sites like Swagbucks to earn PayPal gift cards then transfer them to your savings account. While this takes the time to build up you can get it by doing what you are already doing online. So it is painless.
Have the money come right out of your check before you see it. Direct deposit a small portion of each check into another account so you won’t even notice it being gone while your account builds up.
Look for bonus money you can transfer right to savings without ever touching it. Picking a bank that offers ATM refunds, change transfers to savings, and cash back rewards. Have all of these deposited into your savings without even looking at it.
Soon enough you will have your first $1000 in savings and be ready for when the unexpected happens. The trick is to distinguish between wants and needs and be sure to not dip into savings if you do not truly have to. If you do find you have to dip into this fund rebuild it as fast as you can. A key to personal finance planning for emergencies is don’t invest this money. Let it sit and slowly add to it as you can. It will GROW but if you lock it up you can not get it back tomorrow if need be.