Starting an emergency fund is so incredibly important to your financial health. But you might wonder how you’re able to start an emergency fund when you don’t have any money to spare.
If that’s you, it’s even more important to build that emergency fund. If you’re unable to save any money now, what are you going to do when an emergency pops up (and they always do)? When you’re not prepared, you’ll be scrambling and stressed trying to figure out how to make it through.
Prepare yourself now so you can stay one step ahead of any emergency that comes your way.
Here are some ideas to quickly get you to your first $1000 in your emergency fund.
Ideas to Quickly Build an Emergency Fund
Switch to reusable products
Ditching disposable products like paper towels, k-cups, and sponges and replacing them with the reusable version has saved me money over and over again.
By making the switch, you’re cutting down the need to buy the disposable product ever or as often as you used to. Try making the switch yourself. The next time you need to buy a disposable product, look to see if there is a better reusable alternative instead.
We still use paper towels, but using cloth napkins and Skoy clothes have dramatically reduced the amount we use. Instead of going through a roll every 2 weeks, a roll now lasts us months (2 months and counting).
Swapping disposable products with reusable ones isn’t hard. And the best part is that you’re not only doing your part for the environment but you’ll definitely see a return on your investment.
Earn cash back on your groceries
Earning a little bit of cash back here and there can help reach your emergency goals faster. It’s easier when all you have to do is shop for groceries.
When I am deliberate with my grocery shopping, I’m able to earn about $15 – $30 a month to put towards my emergency fund. Learn how you too can earn cash back on your groceries.
Shop your pantry
You’ve been told over and over to eat at home if you’re looking to save some serious money, and it’s true. But did you know there’s more to it than just making home cooked meals?
Eating at home is definitely half the battle but once you get that down, you need to take it one step further: shop your pantry.
Shopping your pantry is when you go through your pantry and freezer and make an inventory of everything you have. There’s a good chance you bought something you meant to use but got lost in the back somewhere.
After you take inventory, start meal planning around the things you already have and only buy the stuff to complete the meal. That way you only buy the absolute necessities when you go grocery shopping.
Do you know how many subscriptions and memberships you’re a part of? Yes, that includes Netflix and Amazon. Do you absolutely need all of those subscriptions?
The answer is probably not. Let’s be serious here. As fun as it may be to try out the new makeup, meals, and a ton of other things that come to you in one of those subscription boxes, it’s really something that you can put on hold until you get your financial house in order.
Sell your stuff
We all have something in our house we’ve been looking to get rid of. Don’t wait any longer to sell it.
Gather all the stuff you’ve been looking to get rid of and have yourself a yard sale or sell it on Facebook. You’ll be able to get rid of the clutter around your house and make some extra cash in the process.
Share tv streaming services
If you’re like most people, you have to have your Netflix and/or Hulu. That doesn’t mean that you can’t save money while binge-watching Stranger Things.
Find a family member or a friend to split the service with you. You’ll both be able to keep watching your shows while paying half the price.
Save your tax refund
If you get a tax refund, save it! I know it’s so tempting to spend it as soon as you get it, but saving it will give your emergency fund a huge boost!
Treat your tax refund like a bill and pay it to your emergency fund. Better yet, have your refund go directly into your emergency fund so you never see it in your everyday bank account.
Save your birthday money
Celebrating your birthday can mean blowing your birthday money on stuff that you’ve been wanting to buy. Try out something new this year and put it in your emergency fund.
If you’re not ready to commit to stashing the whole thing away (I know it’s super hard!), put half of it away and use the other half to treat yourself.
Start a side hustle
Picking up a second job or a side hustle will help you quickly earn more money to put in your emergency fund.
Finding a side hustle that you really enjoy is ideal. If you have a hobby that you love like knitting or playing the piano, turn it into something lucrative. Sell your products or teach others your skill.
Cut back on unnecessary spending
Review your spending and cut out or cut back on the stuff that’s not necessary. If you’re finding that you are eating out 6 times a month, cut it back to 5 and put those savings into your emergency fund every month.
I’ve built splurges for fun into our budget. But if we needed to tighten up our spending, that would be the first thing to go.