Money anxiety can cause sleepless nights and health problems, but when you have a well-stocked emergency fund, the burden of being able to financially take care of situations that arise in life is lighter. Whether you’re a double income family or a single-parent, there are some easy ways to quickly grow your emergency fund. With some creativity and hard work, you’ll be on your way to having $1000 in the savings in no time.
1. Pick Up a Part Time Job
If you’re already working full-time at your current job, a second job may not seem like such a fun idea. However, being in debt is no fun either and having no money to pay for an emergency is even less. Those few hours that you spend working at your favorite store on the weekends or in the evenings can quickly add up to big savings. If you’d rather stay home, look for a job online doing something that is aligned with your talents and interests. Babysitting and cutting lawns are other options as well.
2. Save the Difference
Are you a fast food junkie? Instead of heading out for burgers and fries at lunch, make your sandwich at home and save the amount you would have spent. If you normally spend $7 on a meal, but it only costs $2.50 to bring lunch from home, put the remaining $4.50 straight into savings. Do this for a month and that $4.50 quickly turns into $135 toward your $1000 goal.
3. Cut Out the Extras
That expensive cable service you have is great…when you’re home to watch it. However, with bigger worries than who is doing what in your favorite tv show, it might be time to cut the cord. Switch to streaming video services like Netflix that are usually about 1/10th of what you’d pay for service from your cable provider.
4. Turn Down the Thermostat
Baby, it’s cold outside, but it doesn’t need to be 78 inside. Turn the thermometer down a few degrees during the day when you’re not at home and even lower at night when you’re sleeping. An extra sweater and some slippers on your feet will help you quickly adjust to the slightly lower temperature. Put the money you would have spent on higher heating costs directly into savings.
5. Have a Yard Sale
It’s time to declutter and bring in some cash. Go through the house and gather up all the things you’re ready to part with. From old furniture to toys the children have outgrown, gather it all and put it out to sell. After the big sale, donate whatever didn’t sell to charity, and deposit the emergency fund money directly into the bank!
6. Shop Smart
When heading out to grocery shop, do some price comparisons first using the stores’ weekly ads. Look for things on sale, coupons, and special offers. Stores like Aldi’s may not have everything on your list, but the savings on everyday meats, breads, fruits, and vegetables can make a huge difference on your monthly grocery budget. Be open to trying new stores so that you can buy food under budget and save the rest.
While it would be wonderful to have a large influx of cash to start building your emergency fund, the reality is that the small and simple steps you take over time can be the things that add up to big savings. The more open you are to changing old habits, the faster your emergency fund will grow. Before you know it, you’ll be debt free!