How to Create Your Emergency Fund


Every family needs an emergency fund or a rainy day savings account. Available for emergency car repairs or illnesses, creating some rainy day savings is not negotiable. While you may recognize that it would be lovely to have money set aside for such an occasion, finding the extra money to set aside can be more of a challenge. Here are some ideas to help you create the savings you need, so you will be ready for a rainy day.

Get Healthy and Save Money

Our society is fraught with activities that are detrimental to both your health and pocketbook. While the most obvious culprit is smoking, there are other guilty pleasures that cost you a pretty penny. Water is essentially free, but sodas are expensive. Bad for your teeth, health and budget, you can switch to water and save the money normally spent on pricey sodas. If you cannot stomach water, then buy powdered mixes to make your own fruit punch, lemonade or delicious tea. Other potential savings that will help your body and your finances include cutting back on fast food and reducing alcohol consumption.

Do for Yourself and Save Money in the Process

Going out to eat and being waited on is enjoyable, but you pay dearly for the experience. Even a modest casual dining restaurant will cost a family of four more than $40 for dinner. That money could buy enough groceries to make three or even four meals at home. Save the dinners out for special occasions and watch your ability to save rise. Other services you can perform yourself to save money include changing your own oil, packing lunches for the kids and yourself and taking your own coffee to work instead of stopping for a gourmet cup.

Look for Savings in Monthly Bills

Ask yourself how often you really go the gym and watch movies on the pricey premium cable channels. If you are paying for services you really don’t use, it’s time to drop them. Call your phone provider, cable company and even Internet company to see if you qualify for any savings or special discounts. You might get a discount just for signing up for electronic payments, so you will save money and ensure that you never miss a bill again. Even if you will only save a few dollars on each bill, remember that those dollars are better served in your savings account. Over time, they will add up and become a powerful amount.

Stop Spending Raises

If you are expecting a raise, then you might be wondering what you can get with that money every month. You may be eyeing a new car, planning on eating out more or thinking about buying a new gadget. A better option is to take that money and start tossing it in the savings account. You will start to feel more secure financially as the number rises, and there is nothing you can buy that will give you that same great feeling.

Meet with a Financial Planner

A financial planner will help you stay on track. They will help you find those hidden dollars that could go into savings, and they can show you how your meager savings every month will start to add up. They can steer you away from purchases that will set you back and help you attain the financial freedom you seek. Even if you only have a small amount to work with, they can still help you make the best possible choices for your situation.

All of these steps are changes that anyone can make. It is possible to find a little money to put in savings every month, but you will have to make some changes in your lifestyle to make it happen. Once you start building a savings account, however, you will discover that having money in the bank is far more enjoyable than eating out or driving a new car.

Tara Heines writes for McKinley Plowman & Associates. Click this link to read more about getting your finances in order.

Additional Resources

Six Simple Steps to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
Ways to Overcome the Holiday Debt Monster
Making Tax Season Easy
5 Personal Finance Resolutions for the New Year

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