Preparing for an emergency to strike is one of the most important things you can do to be fiscally responsible. When you’re prepared, experiencing a serious storm or having to pay an unexpected medical bill can be less daunting and relieve at least a fraction of the stress that comes naturally with any emergency.
You can build an emergency savings fund by putting just a small portion of money away each month. A good rule to live by is to have about six months’ worth of living expenses saved.
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But what happens when you actually have to use it? The fund runs low and you’re back to square one. To replenish your emergency fund as quickly as possible, here are four easy tips that will expedite the process.
1. Cut corners elsewhere. Pumping as much as possible, as quickly as possible, back into your depleted emergency fund should be one of your greatest priorities because you never know when another emergency may happen. To have more money to put away, it’s best to cut some corners. Try limiting electricity use, cutting back on dining out on weekends, canceling that gym membership you rarely or never use, and restricting yourself from making unneeded online purchases. Take public transit (if your city provides it) to avoid spending on gas. Anywhere you can save will make your savings increase at a faster rate.
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2. Keep track of how much you can save. Tracking daily expenses will let you know exactly how much you can put in the account while still keeping up with charges you can’t steer clear of. How much are you saving by bringing lunch to work instead of buying it? How much are you saving by cooking at home instead of ordering takeout? By configuring how much you’re not spending each day, you can determine how much more you can put toward your emergency fund.
3. Put funds in a separate account. The emergency fund you’re trying to build up should not tempt you in any way. Make sure that your emergency fund is in a completely separate account so it’s money you never touch. Consider setting up direct deposit in such a way that a portion of your paycheck goes directly to the fund. That way, you won’t see the money being transferred, so you won’t be tempted to use it for something else.
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4. Remember that it’s worthy of the sacrifice. Building up an emergency fund is incredibly important, and rebuilding it is even more essential to being prepared. It can help you get out of a pinch without putting your rent check in jeopardy. Still, putting money into an account that doesn’t have tangible benefits with instant gratification is hard. Continue to remind yourself that your purse strings won’t be tight forever. And it will help you again in the long run.
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