How to Build a $1000 Emergency Fund in 100 Days!
Having an emergency fund is one of the single most important things you can do to protect your finances.
As humans, our lives are incredibly complicated and you never know what is going to happen tomorrow.
More than half the people in North America are living paycheck to paycheck. When living with minimal income and no savings people are often left feeling like
When living with minimal income and no savings people are
often left feeling like there is nothing they can do and they resort to using credit cards to help them in all emergency situations.
Credit cards can be an extremely difficult situation, with high-interest rates and other fees credit cards are only going to push you further into debt.
How serious are you about saving money? Is an emergency fund something you are going to develop and promise not to spend?
If you really want this to work, you need to stop using credit cards.
So let’s build you a little emergency nest-egg!
I’m going to challenge you to a 100 day $1000 savings challenge. You can do this any way you see fit using as many or as few of the strategies I’m going to outline throughout the rest of this post.
The only rule is you need to have $1000 in 100 days and you aren’t allowed to dip into it unless it is a matter of life or death.
When can you dip into your emergency fund?
A lot of people are going to think they can take out $20 for lunch if they don’t have any spare cash but a whole fridge of food. NOT AN EMERGENCY.
The only way you can dip into your emergency fund for food is if there isn’t 1 morsel of food left in your cupboard, not even 1 crumb left for the mice under the stairs to eat.
Another situation I’ve heard a lot over the years as an excuse to dip into an emergency fund is commitments.
It is NOT AN EMERGENCY if you promised your daughter a new pair of shoes, or promised your best friend that you were going to go out this weekend and blow $100.
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 house starts to cave in.
DO NOT make excuses for dipping into the fund. This isn’t going to help you in the long run.
Okay, so are you ready for the strategies in which we are going to build that little $1000 emergency fund?
The first thing you are going to want to do is set up a separate bank account that you have difficulty taking money out of.
I have an online banking service here in Canada where I have a chequing account that can be accessed through an ATM as well as a savings account that I can only get into if I do an online transfer into my chequing and then wait 2 days. TWO DAYS.
This 2 day waiting period usually helps me to cool down on the things that I think I need and the money goes right back into my savings account.
The second thing I’m going to want you to do is set up a direct transfer situation every payday. $25 a week, or $50 if you’re paid bi-weekly.
100 days is a little over 14 weeks. This will account for $350 of your $1000 in 100 days. That’s a pretty big chunk.
If you don’t think you can do $25 and want to give yourself a little extra time to build your emergency fund because money is tight, start with $10 a week. You’ll still have added $520 in a year and that’s better than where you started!
The next thing I’d like for you to start doing is making all your in-person purchases in cash.
Going to an ATM and taking out money is a hassle on many occasions and it may stop you from buying that $5 coffee if you need to go to an ATM to be able to get it.
Another big bonus of using cash is that you can take all the change you get from your purchases, throw it in a jar and once its a substantial amount roll that money up and throw it in your emergency fund!
This can easily add up to $250 over a 100 day period. The key is to never spend the change!
Next, 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 buy and sell groups you could make a couple hundred dollars EASY.
Since that is money that you wouldn’t have already had, it should go directly into your savings.
Once you’ve reached the $1000 emergency fund limit, you have a decision to make. You can either keep building your nest egg or move onto saving for something else. Perhaps a new car, a down payment on a home, or just paying off other debts.
You can do this.
If you need any help with building your fund, feel free to email me at email@example.com or through my contact page!
Let’s build that emergency fund!