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6 Tips To Build Your Emergency Fund Faster

Published May 24, 2017

calm piggy bank holding an emergency fund

 

If you’re on a path that leads to getting out of debt, you know the value of an emergency fund. Chances are, you’ve been in a situation before where you had a credit card for emergencies. The only problem with a credit card for emergencies is that your emergencies can often become less and less severe until you start making emergency purchases at retail stores and restaurants. Never fear! Here are some great tips that’ll help you save more money faster.

Want to save $1000? The best way to save more is to spend less.

  • Eliminate the latte effect
    • How often do you stop off at Starbucks on your way to work? How much do you spend each visit? If you went three times per week, spent $4 bucks and tipped $1, that adds up to $780 in a year. And that’s a pretty conservative estimate. We’re not saying to stop drinking coffee; we’re just saying that there are ways to enjoy good coffee for less. Buying quality beans and brewing your own thermos of coffee will cost you less than $1/day.
  • Pack your lunch
    • If you’ve been wanting to save money or lose weight, preparing your lunch is a great way to exercise control over your food cost and nutritional intake. Here’s some fun math: if you eat lunch out three times per week at $8/meal (still a conservative estimate!), you’d be spending $1248 each year on lunches.
  • Pay off your card with the lowest balance first
    • This way, you’ll pay that card off quickly, freeing up that money to put towards paying off the next card. This helps you build momentum toward becoming debt-free.
  • Plan date night
    • Most of us dine out too frequently because of convenience or habit. The truth is, you can save a lot of money by cooking at home. Americans spent more on dining out than the did on groceries from 2015 to 2016, to the tune of nearly $55 billion! Make dining out an event rather than a habit. This way, you can spend your restaurant budget more intentionally and enjoy better experiences in the process.
  • Don’t have a car payment
    • Being in debt has become a habit. Instead of leasing (gasp!) or buying a car above your price range, opt for buying the cheapest car you can live with. It doesn’t have to be a 1987 Ford Pinto with one wheel! Instead of paying full price, buy a gently used model that meets your needs and will be much friendlier on your wallet. If you can do without a car, all the better. If public transit is a viable solution, consider going carless!
  • Have a budget
    • If you’ve never written out a budget, how do you control your cash flow? Do you understand your monthly cost vs. your monthly income? It’s to get clear about your finances and your outlook for the future. No matter your age or status, you can get back in control of your financial tomorrow.

Not sure how to get started? Visit CreditGUARD of America for the latest information on getting out of debt, budgeting, and saving, and to speak with a certified credit counselor who can advise you on the best way to master your financial future.

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