Emergency savings is one of the most important things that you can have to protect your family. You know it’s that little nest egg that you “break the glass” in case of emergency, and NO buying an awesome pair of shoes is not an emergency.
Sadly most American families are still living paycheck to paycheck so when emergencies strike they have to take a hit on their credit and/or rack up their credit cards to get through the tough times. It’s can seem like it’s impossible to save money.
If your family is anything like mine just as you start saving money an emergency hits to deplete the account. Mr. Crunchy and I are just getting to the point when we can actually keep some money in savings. Since we have become successful at saving money, I thought I would share some tips with you! These are easy ways to build up emergency savings and manage your money. For us we have to make it easy or we won’t do it. (Fess up, you know you are the same way ;))
10 Tips to Build Up Emergency Savings.
- Calculate How Much Emergency Savings You Need: Use a great savings calculator like this one from Genworth Financial. It will tell you how much you need to have an adequate emergency savings fun for your family.
- Make it Automatic: If you can send your paycheck to more than one bank account, automatically send a portion to your savings account. If you can’t set up an automatic transfer between your checking and savings accounts.
- Limit Your Access: If you have a debit card for your savings account, don’t carry it with you. Some may not agree with me on this, but most emergencies you can pay after the fact or have time to go home and get your card. If you must carry the card, put it in a place in your wallet that you don’t remember it’s there. The less you see the card, the less likely you are to use it.
- Set Savings Goals: Challenge yourself. Set both a long term and short term goal on how you want to build up your savings. Having a goal will help you be encouraged to save.
- Have a plan: One of my favorite quotes is “A goal without a plan is just a dream.” Goals are awesome, but make sure you map out a plan how you are going to get to your goal.
- Make your goal manageable: When setting goals, don’t shoot for something so astronomical that there is no way your budget can support it. On the other hand don’t make it so small you will never build up any savings, that doesn’t help either.
- Bump it up: Once your savings is automatic, you won’t even miss the money. Every six months bump up the amount you are sending to your savings account. You will be amazed how fast the money adds up, and that you don’t even miss it.
- Shop interest rates: Once you have a decent balance, can even be as little as $500, shop around to see if there are CDs or savings accounts that are offering great interest rates. Make your money work for you.
- Reward yourself when you reach your goals: Do something nice for yourself when you reach your goals. Don’t go overboard, but get a mani/pedi, go out to dinner. Celebrate your accomplishment.
- Rinse and repeat: Once you meet your first short term goal, use these tips to keep saving above and beyond! It will be so reassuring to see that if your family has an emergency you will be covered!
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