Having an emergency fund is an essential part of being financially healthy. With that being said, it can seem like a huge task when the recommended 6 months of expenses is what you are expected to save from your paycheck. It does not have to be though.
Even though finding the money from your paycheck can be tough, starting an emergency fund is essential to financial security. Start small, Whether it is $5 or $20, any amount you can put a way gets you one step closer to your goal. There are tons of helpful financial apps like Betterment.com that can help you start saving and investing.
So that you do not set yourself up for failure, it is best to keep your emergency fund savings separate from any other checking or savings accounts. You also want to make a point to make deposits each week. Every little bit counts.
With many people living paycheck to paycheck, creative ways to save money are necessary. The first place to start to cut down is with your everyday purchases. Keep a log of all your expenditures so that you can see where you money goes on a daily basis. That Starbucks run or that lunch out can really add up. Choose what can be cut from your budget and you may even find you don't miss what's gone. When it comes to any larger amounts like bonuses, raises or tax refunds, those should be put into your emergency fund as well.
Cable can be so expensive these days and it can really make a dent in your monthly budget. For this reason, many people are opting to get rid of cable and get subscriptions to services like Hulu or Netflix. If you are not quite ready to cut the cord just yet, consider cutting out some of your channels or giving your cable company a call to see if you qualify for any promotions or discounts.
Your phone bill can be another drain on your finances. See where maybe you can cut down on it. Perhaps you are not really using much data. You can drop to a cheaper plan. If you have multiple people living in your household there could be bundling option that can save you some cash. The key is to just call your cell phone provider and see what they can offer. Any little bit you save can be put towards your emergency fund.
The internet offers tons of ways to make some extra cash. From surveys to focus groups, you can definitely generate some decent money to add to your savings. Nowadays there are tons of ways to make extra money if you are willing to do them.
Many of us have subscriptions to magazines, app services, gym memberships etc. These are typically tied to your checking account or a credit card. What tends to happen with these charges is they at some point are forgotten about since they are not a lot of money. With that being said, $10 or $20 charged month after month adds up over time. Take a moment to go through them and see which ones you are really using and which are just draining your budget. If you have a gym membership and you barely go, consider cancelling and working out at home or maybe creating your own workout group with your friends.
The thought of leaving work to head to another job or even working weekends may not sound ideal, but it is temporary. You want to do it now so you can set yourself up for later. If you are a stay at home mom, you may want to consider offering babysitting services to any friends or family that have their children in daycare.
We all have extra stuff laying around that we could probably sell. Whether its electronics or clothing, gather all your stuff and have a weekend garage sale. Consider selling your stuff on ebay.
So many Americans find themselves eating out more than they cook at home. This of course can wind up costing quite a bit of money. Skip the restaurant and cook at home. It can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. This goes for lunch too. Pack your lunch as many days a week as you can. Combine both of these and you will see your savings go up quickly.