Oh, the emergency fund. The amount of stress it can cause sometimes is the worst – especially when you don’t have enough of it. Well, I’m going to talk about some ways you can start saving to build an emergency fund. Emergency funds are great because they give you cushion when unexpected expenses come up, in turn, alleviating any debt that could accrue.
Take advantage of credit card cash back
If you’re responsible enough, you can use a credit card for almost all of your expenses [as long as you pay it back each paycheck or at the end of the month]. With this spending strategy you can rack up cash back points without the agony of a monthly interest charge because you’re constantly paying the card back in full [and not carrying a large balance]. Redeem your cash back and put it directly into a savings account.
Use cash back shopping sites
There are plenty of cash back sites out there. I personally like Ebates. I shop online 99% of the time and even though you might not get the most money back it’s nice to get that check in the mail every once and awhile! Put the money right into your savings.
Don’t spend your tax return, Christmas or birthday money
I know we all love that big check that comes in the mail or in the Christmas cards, but save it. You may need it for a future emergency. Use the money you make now to buy other stuff and if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Buying things you can’t afford leads to no progress in saving because then you’re just constantly paying off debt.
Downsize your life and budget better
To piggy back on the last point, take a look at your lifestyle. Is the way you live now causing you to go from paycheck to paycheck? If so, you might want to re-evaluate the car you have and get one with a smaller payment. Or, find an apartment that isn’t bleeding you dry. Roommates might be necessary, but if they’re good ones, it can benefit you greatly. Stop buying coffee and lunch everyday and keep eating out to just the weekends. Delete monthly subscriptions you don’t need. Re-evaluate how often you use that gym membership. There are plenty of ways to downsize, you just have to have the discipline to do it. The need to have a certain status in society will always be there, but why compromise your future for something so materialistic? Prioritize what’s most important to you. Travel? Great, have a simple car. Nice car? Cool. Probably can’t travel much. It’s all about give and take. One day, eventually, you might get to a point where you can have both, especially if you work for it.
Find a side hustle
There are so many ways to make extra money nowadays, you just need to be motivated to do it. Even if it’s a measly $25/week. That overtime can add up. Dog walker apps, online stylist sites, freelance writing, blogging, survey taking, babysitting, the list goes on!
Take advantage of new jobs, pay raises and promotions
Just because you got a new job, promotion or raise, doesn’t mean your lifestyle needs to change. A lot of times people think of new money coming in as an opportunity to get a better car, better apartment, etc. Instead, take that extra money and save it.
Last but not least, when you pull money from your emergency fund, replenish it. Don’t use the money up so that you’re left with nothing.