Stuff happens. And then we have to spend money. It’s an occurrence that we all deal with. Hopefully you’ve got some money put away to help out when things happen. If you don’t, it’s time to start that emergency fund. Here are some easy, pain-free ways you can build up some extra cash.
Start with your tax return: If you’re getting money back at the beginning of next year, a great destination for that cash would be your emergency fund. Start putting a little away now, and when that big refund check comes, you can be on your way to having 3 to 6 months’ living expenses saved away.
Start a small direct deposit: Hardly anyone gets a paper check anymore, so I’m sure you’re familiar with direct deposit. Another easy way to start that emergency fund is to open up a savings account and put a small amount into your account every week. If money’s tight, and you don’t feel like you can afford to take too much out of your check each pay period, then it’s okay to start small. $10 a week won’t hurt your wallet too much, but will still help you put away almost 1000 bucks a year. Add that to your tax return and you’re off to a good start.
Start with coins: You probably have loose change piled up in multiple areas right now. I’ve got change in my car, change on my dresser, and change on my desk. I should throw all of that change into a jar and count it up. So, should you. That loose change might not seem like much, but if all your change goes into your new emergency fund, you’ll be surprised at how fast it adds up.
Start clearing out that checking account: If you’ve budgeted well you may not have much “free” money left in your checking account after the bills have been paid, the groceries have been bought, and the 401k has been stocked. If there’s a good bit still floating around, move a little into your fund. In fact, any time extra money finds its way into your pocket, put it away for emergencies.