Money has always been a limited resource. No matter how much you sort out your finances, the fact that you would eventually run out is just unavoidable. Inevitability and uncertainty are life’s worst enemies, and the same could be said with unexpected expenses, which are always almost associated with emergencies.
And speaking of emergencies also comes the importance of having an emergency fund.
Why create an emergency fund?
An emergency fund is a sum of money set aside, particularly for unexpected expenses. It is basically a safety net for your finances, which you can fall back on and gain plenty of time to get back on your feet.
Having an emergency fund means you won’t have to put yourself in debt or rely on others to sustain your needs, which backfires more often rather than helping solve the problem right at hand. Preparing for emergencies might sound trivial at first, but this would prove to be useful when the time of need inevitably comes.
But as easy as it sounds, kickstarting an emergency fund might be quite difficult for some people. So, the question lies: how could you save money for an emergency fund?
5 Ways to Save Up for an Emergency Fund
1. Plan ahead
Most battles were won by those who had planned ahead for the longest time. The same could be said when it comes to managing finances and saving for an emergency fund.
Being able to gauge what emergencies might possibly happen in the future should be a good starting point. Once you pin down what your priorities are, the mindset of setting aside money for future emergencies could become a less tedious task.
2. Budget smarter
Most people nowadays work a nine-to-five job, and the truth is, the income is really just enough to cover an average person’s daily expenses. The idea of saving for an emergency fund often becomes the least of someone’s priorities due to budget constraints. But instead of ruling out the possibility of saving for a contingency fund, smart budgeting could help create extra breathing room for emergency funding. As the saying goes, “Work smarter, not harder.”
Try to keep tabs on where your monthly budget is going and cut back on expenses where you can. A little tweaking on your spending habits can help free up more money to contribute to your emergency fund.
3. Avoid unnecessary expenses
Cutting back on unnecessary expenses is probably the simplest way to make leeway for extra funds without completely changing one’s budget allocations. One good example of this is instead of going out to the movies or eating in a fancy restaurant, renting a movie, or cooking at home might do the trick. Who knows? It might actually turn out to be a more fun experience compared to the former.
You could also start doing your own laundry instead of regularly going to laundromats, which are not really cost-efficient in the long run. Not only will you save money from laundry, but you will also get much-needed freedom when it comes to washing your own clothes.
4. Find a side hustle
One good thing modern times have taught us is that it is literally jam-packed with opportunities. Finding side hustles is easier than ever thanks to the internet, and the best part is you could present yourself as a freelancer as long as you have the skills and talent to accompany you. The great thing about freelance work is that you can often set your own rates and hours, which means it would not get in the way of your main job. The extra cash earned through side hustling could then be funnelled towards your emergency fund.
5. Create a separate account for your emergency savings
Temptation is hard to resist especially when it involves money. Keeping your emergency savings in a separate account could help avoid using your saved cash for expenses that are not emergency related. One common problem for people trying to save money is they tend to mix in their savings with other expenses which makes it even more tempting to spend and defeats the actual purpose of saving cash.
Additionally, having a separate account for your emergency funds could help you track your progress towards your goal. When you can see your savings grow as time passes, it could get even more motivating to stay on track in saving more money. Keeping your emergency funds in a separate account could also help you earn money interest. It might not be much but the longer your emergency savings stay in a different account, the larger the interest could become.
Emergency funds are hard to appreciate in the meantime when things are currently good. One thing is for sure though, its importance will shine through once you find yourself in a pickle and having an available source of cash will speak for itself when the time of crisis comes. Building an emergency fund might take a while but once you do, you’ll surely be prepared for whatever life throws at you.