There was a time when I thought I would never be able to save $1000 for a mini emergency fund. Now I can’t imagine life without it, as well as our big emergency fund (6 months worth of expenses). If you want to set aside for emergencies, but the idea of saving $1000 is intimidating or seems impossible I’m here to help. Emergencies will come, and you don’t want to be in a panic when they arrive. Having an amount set aside that you only touch for emergencies can really give you peac of mind. Before you start to pay off debt or invest, you need to have money set aside for emergencies.
Create a Written Budget. This will help you find ways to cut down. Where is your spending out of control? Before the month begins, write down every expense you anticipate for the month. This will help you see where your money is going and how you can shift some to start your mini emergency fund. Cut down everywhere you can while you are building your emergency fund to get it done quickly. For more info on how we changed our financial future, read The Total Money Makeover, the book that changed our lives.
Sell stuff. Take your books to sell at the used book store. Box up the clothes and toys your kids have outgrown and take them to a consignment store or sell them in an online garage sale on Facebook. Have a real garage sale and get rid of everything non-essential. If you get serious about it you could build your entire emergency fund this way in one weekend. You might be surprised by how much potential money is gathering dust in a closet.
Cancel Cable TV (or Satellite). Yes, I mean it. We gave up cable tv years ago and save over $100 a month. We subscribe to Hulu for $8.99 a month and Amazon Prime for $99 a year, and don’t miss out on a single show or movie. If you want to check out Amazon Prime you can get a FREE 30 Day Trial. Movies and tv shows are free to borrow at the library. I’ll be the meanie for a minute and speak some truth. If you are in debt and don’t have an emergency fund, you have no business paying for luxuries like cable tv. Yep, I said it.
Meal Plan. Just like a written budget, having a plan for all of your family’s meals for the week will save you a TON of money. It will also save you trips to the grocery store, which is a fabulous bonus. Meal planning can be a headache, but you can read my tips for basic meal planning here, and for setting a grocery budget here.
Have a “No Buy” Month. For the next 30 days, pledge with your family to only purchase essential items – food, gas, utilities, bills. No dining out, no new clothes or toys, no entertainment for 30 days – all of the extra money goes to the emergency fund. This is a great way to get a jump start on building your fund.
How do you save for emergencies?
Follow Becca Eby ~ Bare Feet on the Dashboard’s board Frugal Living on Pinterest.Join in the Fabulously Frugal link party below by sharing your latest frugal post. Join my co-hosts, The Mad House, Diary of a Frugal Family, Emma’s Savvy Savings, and I as we share our favorite fabulous and frugal tips of the week. Link up your own and visit the posts below to share the love. My favorite post from last week’s party was Five Ways to Save While Dining Out from Musings of an Average Mom.