How to Build a $1000 Emergency Fund in 100 Days!
An emergency fund can be the key to starting a more secure financial future. Having this little cushion to fall back on might just be the single most important thing you can do to protect your finances!
As humans, our lives are incredibly complicated and you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.
So many people are living paycheck to paycheck with no savings to fall back on and nowhere to look when they need help. This means that we often turn toward credit cards during emergency situations which just add to the problem!
How serious are you about saving money? Is an emergency fund something you are willing to develop and promise not to spend unless it’s a real emergency? Let’s build you a little emergency nest egg!
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I’m going to challenge you to a 100 day, $1000 savings challenge. The only rule is that you need to save $1000 in 100 days, and you aren’t allowed to dip into it unless it’s a matter of life or death (ouuu, spooky).
You can make this happen in any way you can, I’m going to outline some tips & tricks and habits you can add to your life to try and make it happen! Let’s do this.
WHY you need an emergency fund
Life is seriously unpredictable, that’s what makes it life. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow and a lot of the time it’s going to cost you some money and if you aren’t prepared it can really throw a wrench into your plans.
Here are a few things that could possibly happen where you’d need to have some quick emergency cash.
The car you use to get to work & drive your kids to school breaks down and needs a big repair.
Your work hours are cut because of something out of your control.
Someone (or a pet) needs emergency medical attention.
Your landlord sells your home and you unexpectedly have to move.
Someone you love passes away and you need emergency plane tickets to go to the funeral across the country.
All of these situations are things you can’t be prepared for all the time, but having an emergency fund can really set you up for success when dealing with these hard times.
Having money set aside is going to stop you from using credit cards and making bad money decisions which will be a great step in the right direction!
WHEN can’t you dip into your emergency fund?
The first step to a successful emergency fund is the ability to distinguish between your wants and your needs. You need to understand that this emergency fund is just that, an EMERGENCY fund. It is not a “dip into it whenever I want because it’s my money” fund. Let’s discuss a few reasons NOT to use your emergency fund.
Your friend invites you to lunch but you don’t get paid until tomorrow.
You promised to buy your daughter a new pair of shoes but didn’t budget properly.
You “need” a new outfit for an event you’ve known about for a month.
Do you understand why these things aren’t emergencies? All of the above are things you could’ve planned better for, and don’t need in order to stay alive another day.
Emergency funds are there for things that come up unexpectedly and you don’t have an opportunity to plan ahead for them. The only time you are able to dip into this fund is if there is a serious medical emergency, your car is undrivable, or your home is breaking.
STRATEGIES to build an emergency fund
The first step to setting up an emergency fund is set up a separate bank account that you have a semi-difficult time taking money out of. Personally, I have a regular chequing account that I can use at ATM’s and regular stores and then a separate account that takes 2 days to transfer to my regular account. In most cases, an “emergency” isn’t THAT emergent and it’s possible to wait two days before dishing out the cash.
The two day waiting period (or however long it would be at your bank) will help you realize what is really an emergency and by the time the money transfers over I’ve found another way to cover it and the money goes right back into my emergency fund.
The second thing I’m going to want you to do is set up a direct transfer to your emergency fund every payday for the next 100 days. If you do a $25 a week (or $50 if you’re paid bi-weekly) transfer you’ll have $350 of your $1000 in just 100 days. If you don’t think you can muster up $25 a week, you may need a little extra time. Maybe start with a $10 transfer, this will still be $520 in a year and that’s a better place than where you started.
The third thing I’d love if you did is to start making all or your purchases in cash. Going to an ATM and taking out money is a hassle and it honestly might stop you from buying something just because you have to go to an ATM before you can get it. Another huge bonus from paying in cash is that you can take all the change you get from cash purchases, throw it in a jar and once it’s a substantial amount you can cash in that change and throw it in your emergency jar!! That can easily add up to $250 over a 100 day period.
Finally, take a good look at everything you have in your home. How much of it do you actually need? If you were to try and sell some of your old stuff on Facebook Marketplace you could EASILY make a couple hundred dollars. Since that’s money you wouldn’t have already had, it can go directly into your emergency fund savings account.
WHAT to do when you hit $1000
Once you’ve reached $1000 in your emergency fund, you have a decision to make. You can either keep building up this nest egg (preferably to a 3-6 months of expenses range) or start paying down your debt. Having a huge nest egg isn’t always the best plan if you’re in $20,000 in credit card debt and still have student loans.
Just focus on the good and work toward a better financial future, one step at a time! You can do this. If you need any help with building up your emergency fund or have any questions leave them in the comments section below or message me through the contact page.
Thanks for reading,