This post contains some affiliate links. Read the disclosure here for more info.
An emergency fund is basically money which stays put, in a separate account, and will cover you for emergency situations, such as losing your job, providing you some fall-back money until you find another one. Or if you or another member of your family need to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Essentially any unexpected and unavoidable expenditure. An emergency fund is not generally used to pay for debts that your monthly income doesn’t stretch to cover (in this instance you would try to arrange a payment plan with the creditor). There are a variety of emergency situations we can face and knowing this emergency fund is available, is a comfortable feeling.
In an ideal world, your emergency fund should be three months’ worth of your living expenses, however, to make it a lot more achievable and not such a scary, unobtainable mountain to climb, it’s a good start to reach for $1,000 or £,1000 for example.
Even these amounts may seem somewhat unobtainable but I’ve created some easy to follow templates that you can print out, stick on your fridge, and tick off your achievements as you go. The way it’s laid out is so doable and broken down into bite-sized chunks that you will probably wonder why you didn’t already do this sooner!
If you would like one of these templates, please sign up to receive it – the form is at the end of this post (it contains USD $, GBP £, EUR and ZAR so just print out the page that’s relevant to you).
Tips for building your emergency fund saving ASAP:
For all the tips below, what you don’t spend on that item, must be put into the fund right away…!
- Put your Nextflix account on hold for a 3 months (saving: $25)
- Skip buying any coffee out for 1 month (saving: $80)
- Put your Audible account on hold for 3 months (saving: $25)
- Buy a cheaper washing machine powder – your clothes will cope for a while 😉 (saving: $5)
- Don’t run your washing machine unless its full for 3 months (saving $5)
- Stretch your older mascara an extra few weeks by letting it stand in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. It will glide onto your lashes beautifully (saving: $8)
- Don’t buy any take-away for 3 months. Buy plain or herb tortilla wraps and add cheese with a load of toppings for a lower-carb, delicious pizza (saving: $90)
- Don’t buy a new coat this winter, use your old one – it’s probably in perfect condition! (saving: $50)
- Turn your heating down half a degree for 3 months – and put an extra jumper on! (saving: $15)
- Don’t eat out for 3 months (saving: $150)
- Forget about buying magazines whether digital or regular for 3 months ($15)
- Sell 3 pairs of your unworn shoes on eBay (gain: $12)
- Only boil the kettle for the number of cups you will be making – for 3 months – and forever! (saving: $4)
- Don’t buy household cleaners for 3 months, rather make your own with white vinegar and lemon peels – or just buy plain ol’ bleach and dilute it half and half with water in a spray bottle (just be careful not to get an splashes on your dark clothes! (saving: $5)
- Meal plan and write shopping lists for 3 months and only buy exactly what you need when you go to the store (saving: $60 – but probably a lot more!)
- Don’t buy games or apps – for at least 3 months (savings: $10)
- Cancel your iTunes or Spotify membership for 3 months (savings: $30)
- No new clothes for 3 months – it’s just 3 months 🙂 (savings: $50)
- Skip the manicures or gel nails and do your own hands and feet – use a nice hand cream, cuticle oil, decent nail filing technique and a nail hardener and you’re set 🙂 (savings: $30)
- Don’t buy any new toiletries for 3 months – we all tend to have many lotions and potions stored around the house. Use them all up. Obviously deodorant and toothpaste you’ll have to (savings: $30)
- Don’t buy any new make-up for 3 months – same as above 🙂 (savings: $30)
- Go vegetarian for 1 month – your body will thank you and think of the good you will be doing by not buying into the slaughtering industry 🙁 Dried beans (to soak overnight) are so cheap and there are loads of ideas on Pinterest! (savings: $45)
- Hang your laundry up for 3 months instead of using a tumble dryer which uses a ton of electricity (savings: $30)
- Sign up for Fiverr and do a few tasks in your spare time (in 3 months you could have earned more than $1,000! You get out what you put in 🙂 Sign up for my Fiverr Freelancing course here. It walks you through from start to finish, showing you how to get started and get your first client within days!
If you implemented all the above doable tips, that’s more than $1,000 for your emergency fund in 3 months right there!!
Meal planning and only buying exactly what you need is really an excellent way to save money – I came across this extremely helpful meal planning guide and if you’re anything like me you will find it super useful! It walks you through meal planning, helps you decide what to make, set up your shopping lists and makes the whole process so simple. It’s such a positive step in the right direction for those interested in banishing food waste from their lives to save money!
** please note, savings are approximate and depend on your habits **
And the next thing you know………
You have an emergency fund!!