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I think we can agree that having an emergency fund is necessary. While none of us like to think about the unthinkable happening, the truth is, is can happen. Layoffs, job cuts, pay cuts. You just never really know. There can also be unexpected expenses that can appear without warning, and without an emergency fund, how can you cover them? The question becomes, how does one actually get an emergency fund. The short answer is, you need to build an emergency fund.
Before your eyes glaze over and you find yourself thinking, “easier said than done,” starting your emergency fund really doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds. In fact, it really can be easy.
First off, be sure to download my money saving cheat sheet below. It’s a great place to get started.
Grab Your Cheat Sheet
Grab your financial cheat sheet HERE!
Second, continue reading here and start implementing these things. And, do it today!
Here are 5 sneaky ways to get $1,000 in your emergency fund.
(this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you)
Nearly everyone I know has more stuff than they can ever use. If getting rid of stuff is hard, I understand. It’s hard for me, too. I have a hard time letting go of things we might use someday, and I also struggle to get rid of things that have special memories attached to them.
But, do you know what I do love?
Cold, hard cash.
And selling stuff is a great way to jumpstart your emergency fund.
Go on a spending freeze
The length of time you devote to a spending freeze can be personal to you, but 30 days is a great place to start. Unless things creep in that absolutely must be purchased, don’t buy them. For example, you may need to pay a repairman to fix your washer. However, many of us are guilty of buying plenty of things that are a want and not a need. These are the kinds of expenses that are targeted and annihilated while on a spending freeze.
The second step here would be to put the extra money you will have during the time you are on a spending freeze into your emergency fund.
For instance, let’s say that while on your spending freeze you are giving up your daily Starbucks visits. This could easily cost you $20 a week.
When you don’t spend that $20 a week at Starbucks, put that money into your savings.
Start using rebate or cash back programs
My two personal favorites are Ibotta and Ebates. Both programs are free to join, and both pay you back on things you buy anyway.
Ibotta is an app that you download on your phone. You clip coupons in the app for the things you’re going to buy anyway (think grocery store or pharmacy purchases), and then you take a picture of your receipt and the barcode of the item once you purchase it.
That’s it. It really is that easy.
The amount you save with your Ibotta coupons get added into your account. Then, you can have your balance transferred to a variety of gift cards or even transferred to a PayPal account. Just recently I paid for all my food and extra expenses while traveling using the cash from my account in Ibotta.
Ebates. Ebates, which is also free to join, is a program that offers you cash back rebates on nearly anything you purchase at any kind of store online. Clothing, household products, and even some services can all be found on Ebates.
Once visiting the website you want to shop at via Ebates, everything you purchase at that store becomes something you earn a rebate on.
Can you imagine how much money you can earn if you already shop online and use Ebates for things like back to school shopping or Christmas shopping?
If you are a regular online shopper, your savings really start to add up quickly!
Downgrade or downsize your cell phone plan, your cable plan, or any other monthly service that you can
It is so easy to think we need more than we actually do. My husband and I currently pay $90 a month for both of our cell phones with more calling, texting, and Internet service than we could ever use. Then, we have a simple prepaid phone for our kids. When they are at home, they have iPods they can use for Internet.
This setup has served our family well, and we have three teens!
We got rid of our cable years ago, and haven’t missed it one bit. You can read more about how we got rid of cable HERE. But I can tell you, thinking about getting rid of it was much worse than actually doing it.
When you downsize, take the money you were previously paying and dump it into your emergency fund.
Stop paying for what you can learn to do yourself
Conveniences are so…convenient. But, they are also something you pay for. And, if you want to get $1,000 in your emergency fund, you are going to have to get radical.
My husband and I have learned to repair many of our own appliances, I cook and bake so many things from scratch, and there are tutorials all over the Internet that will teach you how to do things like cut your kids’ hair, take on various DIY projects, and even sew basic things like curtains.
I have two kids in cloth diapers. Do I sacrifice convenience in doing that?
Sure, but I also save a ton of money in doing so.
Stop paying for conveniences and put the savings in your emergency fund.
You need an emergency fund. We all do. Get radical in applying these five things and you’ll get to your first $1,000 in no time.