8 Ways to Pad Your Emergency Fund

Here are eight simple ways you can start padding your emergency fund right now:

  1. Set a monthly savings goal: automate deposits for each week or month to reach it. Start small – even if it’s five percent – and build on it.
  2. Separate the “wants” from the “needs:” look carefully at where you’re spending your money.1 Scale back on any extra purchases such as unnecessary shopping, expensive coffee drinks and other non-essentials.
  3. Sell your unwanted items: purge your closet or home of things you no longer need and try selling them online or through a garage sale.
  4. Cash only policy: give yourself a weekly allowance and pay with cash only. This helps you budget more carefully instead of swiping your card and forgetting about it later.
  5. Keep the change: if you get change back, round up to the next dollar and move it into your savings. Some banks have the option to deposit $1 from your checking into your savings account for every transaction.
  6. Meal prep: there will always be good lunch deals but it’s not just the food that you’re paying for; it’s the cost of time and gas to get there. Take time to plan your meals in advance so you can eat comfortably during the week. You can also plan your meals around what’s on sale at the grocery store every week.2
  7. Use public transportation or carpool: some employers even reward employees for using alternative modes of transportation!
  8. Roll over any extra money you have at the end of the month to your savings.

It takes discipline to save rather than spend. But in the end, the benefits outweigh the cost when you see what you have. Remember: Saving even just a little bit of money for emergencies is always better than putting them on a credit card!

1 businessinsider.com, “12 Small Lifestyle Habits You Can Adopt To Save More Money,” January 7, 2017
2 thesimpledollar.com, “How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started,” November 23, 2015
3 upwork.com, “New Study Finds Freelance Economy Grew to 55 Million Americans This Year, 35% of Total Workforce,” October 6, 2016




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