11 Ways to Quickly Build Your Emergency Fund

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Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

An emergency fund can get your family through job loss, car repairs, medical emergencies, and home fixes. Most financial experts would agree that we all should have an emergency fund of some sort. A few months back I posted 4 Reasons Why Everyone Should Have an Emergency Fund. Today, I’d like to talk about ways to quickly build up your emergency fund.

Are you in serious debt between your credit cards, medical bills, car loans, and mortgage? You need to get on a budget and start your emergency fund before you start paying off debt. The quickest way to build up your emergency fund is to spend less and earn more. Here’s 11 ways to quickly build your emergency fund.

1. Sell Stuff

This is a good opportunity for a garage or yard sale. Craigslist, Facebook, and eBay are also good options. Check out this article here for 5 ways to sell your stuff.

2. Renegotiate bills

Remember everything is negotiable. Call up your service providers and ask for better rates. Ask your cell phone provider for a better rate. I called AT&T this week and got more data for the same monthly cost. If they won’t give you a better deal shop around with companies like Ting or Republic Wireless. Ask your internet provider for a better rate. Again, I called AT&T and got our internet bill lowered by $10 a month simply by asking. Ask your home, auto, or insurance company for better rates. If anyone is unwilling to negotiate shop around for a better deal.

3. Stop Eating Out

Pack your lunches and brown bag it to work. Drink fewer Starbucks lattes. Plan your grocery list, cook at home, and eat at home. This could literally save you thousands of dollars a year. Also, consider becoming a casual or serious couponer.

4. Get a Second Job 

Nobody wants to consistently go from their day job to a 2nd night shift job delivering pizza. That said, a 2nd job is temporary and is for a purpose. What is that purpose? To help you get your emergency fund in place and protect your family. Is your family worth the short-term sacrifice of multiple jobs to reach a long-term goal of financial freedom?

5. Cut the Cord

Make the decision. Ditch cable or satellite. How much are you paying each month? Do you have a contract? How much would it cost to terminate your contract? At $50 a month you are spending $600 a year on cable. At $100 a month you are spending $1200 a year on cable.

6. Buy Used

Instead of paying retail visit consignment or thrift stores. We went to Just Between Friends a few weeks ago and saved a ton by buying items gently used. Compare prices with Amazon or search Craigslist. Maybe you already had your own garage or yard sale for the year. However, there’s probably still plenty of those going on. Check out your local neighborhood or surrounding neighborhoods for good deals. Try even to barter or to get some free stuff.

7. Save Your Change

Collect all your loose change around the house and put it in a jar. When you buy your groceries, gas, etc. with the cash envelope system put your loose change in a jar. You will be amazed how much you can save just in loose change in a month.

8. Give Up Bad Habits

Some bad habits you could give up include smoking, paying bills late, shopping when you don’t need anything, and buying coffee at your local Starbucks. How much could you save a month by quitting smoking? How much could you save a month by paying bills on time? How much could you save by not buying that new purse or pair of shoes? How much could you save by not spending $5 at Starbucks every day? Join this Facebook group called The No Spend Challenge to reset your spending habits. Consider doing free activities as a family and going on free dates too!

9. Carpool or Take Public Transportation to Work

How far away do you live from work? Save money at the pump as well as wear and tear on your vehicle by carpooling with a co-worker. Or, if available, take public transportation to work.

10. Check Your Withholding

Forgo a nice big check from the IRS in the spring. Use the IRS withholding calculator and adjust your withholdings accordingly. Put your retirement contributions on hold for a month or two while you gather your emergency fund. You need money in case of an emergency now not in a few decades.

11. Make Money Doing Stuff You Enjoy

Get a side hustle! Use your talents and skills to earn you some extra cash. Since you eliminated cable or satellite your nights and weekends are wide open. While many are successful at them, a multi-level marketing opportunity is not guaranteed money. Get a steady paycheck. You can try out the latest fad when you have the money to invest into it. Remember, you are gathering this emergency fund in order to protect your future and your family.

Further Reading:

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Do you have an emergency fund? Which of these suggestions are you going to use to build your emergency fund this month?

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About Jonathan Key 112 Articles
Jonathan graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Ouachita Baptist University. He also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. While he works for a contractor buying specialized tools, his passion is personal finance, frugal living, blogging, and stewardship.

34 Comments

  1. I struggled with saving when I was a new mom, limiting the eating out and the shopping helped a lot. I learned how to save as the years went by. I always love your posts about saving! Thanks.

    • Thanks Elizabeth I’m glad you found this post useful. Yes eating out and shopping can be big expenses. Best to learn to minimize those which comes with time and experience as you said. Thanks for reading!

  2. I agree emergency fund is so important as it can do a lot of good to you in need. We usually make sure to stop eating out & prepare something at home. And selling stuff also has helped us in the past.

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