How To Build An Emergency Fund On A Tight Budget

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Want to build your $1,000 emergency fund savings? These tips and ideas will help you save money for your emergency fund fast!

Building an emergency fund on a tight budget might seem like a daunting task. Little changes and tips will help you build up your emergency fund in no time. The more tips you can implement, the faster your savings will grow!

Keep A Separate Savings Account

One of the simplest tricks to building savings to to make sure you have a way to keep this money separate from your everyday funds. If you have extra money in your main checking account, it’s easy to spend it. By keeping this extra money in a separate place, it creates a mental separation and you’ll be less likely to use or spend it.

If possible, open a separate savings account to build your emergency fund. If you don’t have enough money to meet a minimum balance requirement, keep the money in a jar or box at home. The important thing is that it be kept separately from your everyday money to deter spending.

Build Your Emergency Fund With Automatic Deposits

If you told yourself that you’d transfer money to your savings account with every pay, how often would you remember to log in to your internet banking and make the transfer? Chances are, there would be several times it would slip your mind.

In the book The Automatic Millionaire, David Bach’s key money management principle is to automate whenever possible. Automating your savings is a highly effective way to building your savings faster.

If you set up a direct deposit from your payroll for every pay, the deposit would happen every time and build your savings faster! Even if only do a small amount like $10 per pay, it’s a positive step in the right direction.

Use A Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you are disciplined enough to use a credit card and pay it off each month, a rewards card is a great way to earn cash back for what you are already buying. Each month you use your card for as much of your everyday spending as possible, including groceries, gas, and even bills! When the statement comes, be sure to pay the bill in full.

I’m not a big spender, but I manage to earn anywhere from $30-$50 a month. These rewards get redeemed and go straight to my savings account. It may not sound like much per month, but over the course of a year, this adds up to $400-$500!

Use Ibotta

Ibotta is a great way to earn cash back on groceries and they also have a huge selection of rebates for online shopping. When combined with special rebates and bonuses, your cash back earnings can add up quickly. I regularly earn $20-$30 a month on the things I’m already buying.

Read more about Ibotta: Why Ibotta Is The Best Rebate App

Make Building Your Emergency Fund Fun

Saving money often feels like a chore. Something we know we should do, but can’t find the motivation to get started. Or we start strong and the inspiration quickly fades.

To keep motivated to save money, find a way to make it fun.

  • Challenge yourself to save a certain amount each week (or month).
  • Create a visual to inspire you on your savings journey.
  • Challenge yourself to spend less in a certain category each week (or month).

Check out: 5 Fun Challenges To Grow Your Savings for ideas.

Earn Extra Cash To Save Money Faster

Find ways to increase your income like taking on extra hours at work or starting a side gig. Pet sitting, house cleaning, and child care are also easy sources of additional income that don’t require any monetary investment.

Any extra money you earn should go straight to your emergency fund account.

Increase Your Savings By Cutting Expenses

Add some wiggle room to your budget by finding a couple of expenses to cut back on. Whatever money you save, be sure to add it to your savings account.

Need some inspiration? Check out my huge list of 100 ways to be frugal. There’s something on the list for everyone!

Clean out your closets

What do you have around the house that you aren’t using anymore? Instead of letting these things collect dust, sell them for some extra cash.

Have a garage sale to clear out a bunch of stuff at once. Or if you have items that are of higher value, use Craigslist, Facebook buy/sell groups, or another similar site to cash in on your stuff! Furniture, baby gear, kid’s toys, and yard equipment/tools all disappear fast if priced right. Your closets and wallet will thank you!

Building Your Emergency Fund Fast

Finding little ways to cut expenses will allow you to save money for your emergency fund. Earning cash back for with rebate apps and credit cards is an easy way to build up savings. Add in other sources of income like selling unused items or working extra hours and you’ll have your $1,000 emergency fund ready in no time!

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