10 CPR Tips to Boost Your Emergency Fund
If the car breaks down, the washer dies, or one of the kids chips a tooth after a close encounter with the pavement, where would you get the money to pay the bill?
Did anyone say, “My emergency fund?”
For most of us, unexpected events like these result in added stress and four-letter expletives that include: “Debt!” That’s why an emergency fund is so important. It can help you avoid debt and turn a potential crisis into a minor inconvenience. It can even improve your family relationships. (Think about it: Money – or lack of it – is often the cause of arguments.) But… seriously? After paying the bills and having a little well-deserved fun, who has money left to save for an “emergency?” Chances are pretty good that you do – if you know where to look.
Try these 10 tips. Use the money you save to breathe some life into your emergency fund.
1. Track it.
Start tracking your spending to the dollar, category by category. Then, go through your list line by line and cut out what you can. Example: Do you really need to buy every new app?
2. Dare to compare.
For necessary purchases like groceries and gas, comparison shop before you buy.
3. Make it automatic.
Ask your bank or credit union to automatically transfer funds from checking to savings every month. What you don’t see, you may never miss. Revisit the amount you’re saving after a few months. If you don’t miss $50 a month, would you miss $75?
4. Don’t shop – swap.
Swap your old books, CDs and DVDs for new ones – for free. Also check out sites like ThredUp to save on hand-me-downs you and your kids will actually like.
5. De-stress for less.
Instead of heading to the spa, try some basic yoga, stretching or meditation techniques at home. Do you really need that gym membership when you can run, hike, bike … outside?
6. Money in the bag.
Many stores offer rebates and incentives to customers who use environmentally friendly, reusable totes--and not to mention, it’s green!
Making coffee at home is cheaper than buying it from your favorite barista. Designate just a few days a week to treat yourself. Also, adopt a BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug) policy. It could score you a discount at your favorite coffee shop.
8. Free up some family time.
Save money on a sitter – and dining out. Take the kids with you, but choose a restaurant where kids eat free.
9. Meat in the middle.
Fruits, vegetables, soy and rice are generally cheaper than meat. Lower your grocery bills by eating healthier and reducing the amount of meat you eat.
10. Avoid the markups.
Before you order a big bucket of popcorn at the theater, consider the price you’ll pay. It could make you change your mind.
Written by Mary Thoele
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).