Having an emergency fund is an awesome way to prepare for the unexpected and prepare you for the future. If you don’t yet have an emergency fund, please check out this post to learn how to start one and why you need it!
#1 – Sell Anything You Don’t Love
Let’s be honest, we all buy way too much junk that we don’t actually need. I’m going to guess that you have a few pieces of clothing in your closet and trinkets on your dresser that you could sell for a few dollars and you wouldn’t even remember that you owned them.
If you do a little purge through your house you can probably make a couple hundred dollars in a day or two. You can easily sell this kind of stuff on Facebook Marketplace or have a garage sale!
Once you have this money, you need to resist the urge to spend any of this money. Put it right into your emergency fund!
#2 – Get a Second Income
The best way to get anything done when it comes to your finances is to obviously make more money. For a lot of people, this is easier said than done but the truth is, it’s not that hard to find some way to side hustle.
I heard someone say recently (it was on a podcast but I honestly don’t remember which one) that it’s very possible that you’re already side hustling but just not charging people for it.
Are you baking cupcakes for a local organization? Are you making crafts for your friends or family members? All of these things could turn into a side hustle.
Personally, my favourite way to make money online is to start a blog! Blogging is now my main source of income (which is insane and amazing) and it makes me so happy every single day. You can start a blog for less than $5 a month and turn it into something really amazing! Learn how bloggers make money here!
#3 – Start Meal Planning
There is nothing more important to me than meal planning and it can save you an insane amount of money. The best way for meal planning to support your emergency fund is to do a month of spending tracking on for food. Write down every single way you spend money on food; eating out, groceries, impulse snacks, everything! Then, start actually meal planning and put the difference between the two into an emergency fund!
Don’t know how to start meal planning? There’s this awesome website called $5 Meal Plan that will create a meal plan (& a grocery list) for you every week for only $5 a month! Try it for free for two weeks here!
#4 – Put Yourself on a Spending Freeze
Spending freezes sound very intimidating but they don’t need to be. Putting yourself on a spending freeze is a great way to save a lot of money really really quickly because you just don’t spend ANY.
So, for those of you who have never heard of a spending freeze before, let’s dig in to the basics. When you decide to do a spending freeze you get to choose how long. You can do a spending freeze for a week, a month, or even be a little crazy and do an entire year. The only thing you’re allowed to buy is groceries but not in excess. A big thing that people on spending freezes do is shelf cooking which means that they just cook everything in the back of their cupboards and in their freezers!
A spending freeze is a really awesome way to put a bunch of money away that you probably would’ve spent on things you don’t really need!
#5 – Save ALL Your Spare Change
Okay, I get it, it’s not 1990. We don’t carry as much cash these days which means we don’t have nearly as much change laying around for us to save. But, there is still a lot of change still around us that can add up really easily.
If you were to not spend your change for an entire year but just throw it in a jar and save it, you could easily save a couple hundred dollars which would be a nice addition to your emergency fund!
#6 – Add an “Emergency Fund” Line to Your Budget
If you don’t already have a budget, that’s the first step. Get on that. Get a budget, please. A budget is the single most important thing you can do for your finances because it tells your money exactly where to go and that just makes everything easier.
All you need to do is add an “emergency fund” line to your budget and designate a specific amount of money to it each month. It doesn’t have to be a ton of money, it could be $25 a month! That’s still $300 a year towards emergencies!
#7 – Devote Your Tax Refund to Your Emergency Fund
If you’re working a regular job (and not a freelancer who has to pay a ton of taxes each year) chances are you get at least a few hundred dollars back each year at tax time. A lot of people see their tax refund as “fun money” but the truth is, you’ve already earned that money from your job but the government borrowed it for a while (haha).
I understand that it’s fun to use this money towards a trip or some home improvements but if you aren’t financially secure and prepared for emergencies you should definitely be using this for emergencies.
#8 – Get Cashback
There’s this amaaaaaazing website called Ebates that can give you cashback on purchases from online websites like Amazon where you probably shop all the time! Ebates pays you 4 times a year so it gives you a good amount of time where you can build up your cash back on purchases you have to make and when they pay you, just throw that money right to your emergency fund account! It’s a great way to build it up! Try Ebates for free today!
#9 – Unexpected Cash Windfall?
This one goes right along with the tax refund concept, except this is money you didn’t know was coming. Let’s say you get a bonus at work for good performance, or a distant family member passes and left you a bit of money. You have two choices (1) spend it on stuff you won’t remember in a few months or (2) save it for your future!
Using this money for your emergency fund is going to help you be much less stressed and be prepared for anything. The best part about using this money is that you didn’t know it was coming, so it doesn’t have to hurt when you put it in your savings like money you earned does!
#10 – Save for Christmas NOW So You Won’t Forget It Later
Did you know that Christmas comes every year!? Woah, I never realized that (jk, I’m very obviously being sarcastic here). One of the best things you can do to build your emergency fund is not spend your emergency fund. This doesn’t just have to apply to Christmas. If there are any coming up that you know you’re going to need money for, you need to plan for it. There’s this amazing thing called sinking funds that can help you plan for things like Christmas!
What are your favourite ways to build up your emergency fund? Let us know in the comments!
Hey! My name is Taylor O’Halloran and I’m a huge fan of saving money any way I can.I’m obsessed with dogs and I love all kinds of cheese even though my stomach hates it. I’m a recent university graduate who just wanted to do her own thing and see what happens! Follow me on the journey!