Any wise financial planner knows how life-saving having an emergency fund is. In times of crisis, it serves as a cushion, helping you settle and survive for the time being. This way, you won’t be caught off guard and rattled. So, how can you make or save for an emergency fund?
Having an emergency fund prevents you from falling into debt. However, this somehow comes across as an additional financial burden. Yet as the name suggests, emergency funds will come in handy later and you’d be grateful you did start making and saving for it.
Why make or save for an emergency fund?
Financial stability is one of the main reasons. To say everyone wants financial stability is also to point out what is painfully obvious. But too often it can seem like a distant dream. Well, saving for an emergency is your first step.
Your emergency fund will come in handy when you are in financial trouble. It helps you with your obstacles and resolves your financial worries. It gives your that peace of mind before your go to bed and gives you that confidence that you are okay financially.
As it is better to be ready than sorry, here are 10 ways you can follow to save for an emergency fund.
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1. Breakdown your monthly expenses
This is the basic step in saving for an emergency fund. It is better to know what makes up your monthly expenses. Once you identify those items, it would be easier for you to go on to the next step.
So, begin with breaking down your expenses. List all those that you are spending your money on. Besides each item, specify the amount you usually spend for that. Round it up if you may. It is also necessary for you to be thorough on this and possibly, be honest.
2. Identify the amount of your target emergency fund
To save for an emergency fund, you got to identify the amount of your target fund. Is it a month or two months worth of your salary?
Ask yourself how much money you would put into your emergency fund. Before anything else, It is necessary for you to set a realistic financial goal. Think of your current monthly salary.
Are you earning a handsome amount of money? Or the minimum? Think of this then, and relate that to your target emergency fund.
In pursuing this, you have to be strict. Stick to your target but you can always adjust it whenever it’s necessary. If you have to change your lifestyle, do it. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice for something beautiful to happen.
3. Make a separate bank account
Since you are saving for the rainy day, it’s vital to have a separate account for it. It is more organized and neat. This certainly prevents you from commingling your emergency fund with the rest of your money.
Making a separate bank account for your emergency fund gives you a sense of purpose. It makes you even more responsible for your finances. Somehow, it serves as an effective motivator for you to save more.
4. Automate your savings
Automating your savings is one of the easiest way to make or save for an emergency fund. And you can do it in one step and one day.
As we are in a digital world, take advantage of this by automating your savings. This could save you the hassle of having to go out and transact over the counter.
Also, automating your savings could prevent you from getting tempted to spend a dime. This is important because first things first, you have to pay yourself. Paying yourself means, saving up for that emergency fund.
ALSO READ: 20 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON A TIGHT BUDGET
5. Consider the three-month worth of living expenses
Every goal has to start small. Thus, take your three-month worth of living expenses into account. Earlier, you made a breakdown of your monthly expenses. Compound them and multiply them by 3. Its total will give you a headstart on making an emergency fund.
This takes time to get used to. It might even demand a lot of self-discipline in you. You might feel daunted by it. But with consistency and sacrifice, you’ll be able to reach your target. And perhaps, you can proceed to save for a six-month worth of living expenses. Why not, right?
§. Set your monthly financial goals
Now that you have identified your three-month expenses, you could set up your monthly goals. You can take off 10% of your monthly salary and set that aside for your emergency fund.
What’s really important here is your capacity. If you tend to encounter unexpected events and you have to spend more, that might affect your ability to save some for your emergency fund. Regardless, you have to have a monthly financial goal.
7. Immediately transfer your allocated money to your emergency fund
To refrain from getting tempted to spend first, it is highly recommended that you immediately move your money allocated to your emergency fund. This will give you a sense of relief and security.
Whatever amount you can set aside, put it in your account. This will help you fast-track your goal of saving for your emergency fund so you could get on to your next journey.
8. Consider taking an extra job
You might probably consider applying for an extra job. However, this depends on your free time. If your schedule still has room for a freelance job, then nothing can stop you. Go ahead and set up a side hustle.
Having an extra job helps in boosting your capacity to complete saving for your emergency fund. The faster you can save, the better.
9. Be mindful of your daily spending habit
Even if you already have everything carefully planned and laid out, you couldn’t stop yourself to give in to some impulse. Most of us could be impulsive buyers from time to time.
Then, you have to focus on your target emergency fund. Be mindful of the things you’re buying. If they’re just there to satisfy a craving, it is perhaps better if you say “no” to them. There’s always time for everything but this time, prioritize your emergency fund.
10. Occasionally review and monitor your savings
Monitoring your savings gives you a boost to keep going, knowing that you are gradually making progress with it. Set a time – it could be weekly or bi-weekly. If you think you have to step up your game, you can always go and do just that.
Reviewing your savings keeps you on track. It gives you comfort because of the thought that you would have something to back you up when the time comes.
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Are you ready to save for an emergency?
Life is full of surprises and chances are, it will throw punches at you. If you’re not ready, you would fatally suffer the brunt. Making and saving for an emergency fund gives you the leverage to pick yourself up when a crisis hits you.
In the pursuit of saving for an emergency fund, you have to be always prepared and ready for whatever blows life gives. But always remember, you are doing this for yourself, for your peace of mind, for the unforeseen future, and of course, for your family as well.