Did you know that most Americans can’t afford a $1,000 emergency? Even more wouldn’t be able to get through the loss of a job for an extended amount of time. According to Dave Ramsey, that’s why it is so important to have an emergency fund. How much of an emergency fund you should have depends on who you talk to but a good a starting point is $1,000 especially if you have debt.
Having at least $1,000 set aside for emergencies is a fantastic place to start and it will be the focus of this article. But by all means, don’t stop there! Get at least 3-6 months of expenses saved up if you can.
1. Sell Unwanted Things
Look around your house for things you could sell online. On Facebook you can sell absolutely anything from gently used kid’s toys to that older laptop you have stored in your at home office. Put all of the money you make from selling those things straight into a savings account you have specifically for your emergency fund.
2. Find One-off Jobs to Earn Cash
One-off jobs are those that you only do once and aren’t a repeated thing, though they can turn into them. This can be things like babysitting, dog sitting, or even going grocery shopping for someone. Ask your local Facebook group if they have any tasks they need to be completed or if anyone needs their dog walked. You might just get lucky. Craigslist is also a good place to find one-off jobs, but do be cautious, there are a lot of scammers there as well.
3. Get a Part-Time Job
A part-time job that you work in the evenings a few days a week is a great way to make money. This might be things like driving Uber or delivering pizzas. See what you can find in your area. Food delivery is especially lucrative on the weekends. If Uber Eats is too crowded in your area then get in touch with pizza and Chinese restaurants near you directly and see if they need anyone. You never know who is going to say yes!
4. Cut Back on Spending
Finally, there is the one that everyone hates to hear but it is really the easiest thing to do, cut back on your spending. Limit yourself to one trip to Starbucks a week and put all that money you save into your emergency fund. Try to cut back on things like eating out or cancel your Netflix subscription. Remember, all of these things are temporary while you build up your emergency fund. Also, call up your utility providers. Tell them you’re thinking about switching to another provider. In almost every case they are able to renegotiate your rates. If they aren’t, then shop around for a better deal!
When you do a combination of all of these things you’ll be able to get your $1,000 emergency fund in no time at all. But don’t stop there! Keep going until you have 6 months of your living expenses covered. Yes, it will take a bit of sacrifice, but it will be worth it if ever you need it.