Simple Ways To Pad Your Emergency Fund
Emergency funds are the best way to prepare for life’s lovely little surprises. Having cash set aside will make unexpected car repairs, minor fixes around the house or medical bills less stressful. Being able to fund these emergencies with cash instead of going further into debt is priceless. The rule of thumb is that you should have a minimum of $1000 in an emergency fund to start. Then continue to add to that amount until you have 3 to 6 months living expenses saved. According to GoBankingRates (http://www.gobankingrates.com) 69% of Americans would struggle to come up with $1000 in an emergency.
The question at the top of the minds of the 69% is how can I start an emergency fund if I’m already strapped for cash? The answer is Be Creative. Break that initial $1000 down into $100 dollar increments. It is a lot easier to find a hundred dollars then it is to find a thousand. The first way to do get creative is to count loose change. There have been times in my life where I needed $100 quickly and I didn’t have anywhere to turn so I had to get inventive. One of the ways that I was able to do this was by raiding my change jar. Do you keep loose change? I’ve always kept change around and often forget it is even there but it really adds up. Recently I decided to tally up my change jar and had a little over $150 that I added to my emergency fund.
Return bottles and cans. If you live in a state with bottle deposits on pop, beer and other beverages those 5 to 10 cents really add up. With summer in full swing there are lots of barbecues, graduation parties and random gatherings and people are always leaving empties. Depending on how many parties you have at your place its doesn’t take much time at all to have an extra $20 or more to add to the emergency pile. While twenty dollars may seem like small potatoes, it adds up pretty quickly and when you are building every dollar counts.
Sell unused items lying around that house. Selling unused items is widely suggested for de-cluttering but it is also a great way to build or add to your emergency savings. I like this option because not only are you clearing space in your home, it feels like you have found money. Last year while de-cluttering I came across a designer purse and tote that I was no longer using that were still in great condition. I was able to list these items through local websites and sell them quickly for about $300. It can be challenging to know how to price things or where to sell them. For higher ticket items like electronics, designer purses or shoes you will want to do a quick search online. This will give you the confidence to price your items competitively so that you can sell them quickly.
There are countless ways to add extra extra money to your emergency fund but these three options are the easiest to do quickly. Once you have your first taste of success you will find yourself looking for other ways to add money to your stash. As an added bonus challenge your friends and family to see who can raise the most money using these methods. By turning savings into a challenge you take the focus off of your doubts. You never know. You may just exceed your initial goal.