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If you’ve recently gotten on board to the idea of better managing your budget, then you also know how important it is to have an emergency fund in place to keep you from falling back on old mistakes and bad habits. Here are 14 ways to build an emergency fund without pulling from your budget.
14 Ways to Build An Emergency Fund Without Pulling From Your Budget
Emergencies can happen at any time and cost us a lot of money. But where is this money supposed to come from when you’re already barely scraping by? We have a few ideas on how to do it, without having to pull from your budget and savings.
Sell Your Stuff
When you are striving to build an emergency fund quickly, one of the first places that you should start is to take a look around your house at some of the things that you could sell.
There is a pretty good chance that you will find things that you probably should not have bought in the first place or things that you are still making monthly payments on.
Check out the Top 10 Place to Sell Stuff Online for Cash.
Don’t get caught up on the idea that you won’t get what you paid for it, because in all honesty, you won’t. That money is already long gone anyway.
At this point, you are merely trying to come up with a solution that helps you save towards your emergency fund so that you are no longer relying on a credit card to solve any more of your problems.
You can also look at having a large yard sale in your area and sell s bunch of things over a weekend.
Related: How to Have a Great Yard Sale (and actually profit!)
Find a Second Job
Chances are, you probably put in a huge chunk of hours each week at your full-time job already, but you may be surprised how a few extra hours of work can quickly add up.
Remember your current situation and don’t have to go looking for a job that is going to be your future career. There’s nothing wrong with working at a grocery store or fast-food chain to save every dollar that you can.
Related: 60 Things to Make Instead of Buying
Make Several Cuts in Your Budget
We already know that you have fixed monthly payments that come out of your account each month, but what are some other areas that you could cut back on?
Maybe you simply need to start cutting out coupons, or getting rid of cable tv and turning to Netflix or DisneyPlus? Are you paying too much with your current phone company? There are always cheaper options.
Are there any magazine subscriptions or memberships that you could cancel?
Although they may seem like only a few small chunks of change that you are handing out each month, it will surprise you how much you can save by taking this step.
If for whatever reason you find that you can’t part ways with your cable or phone carrier company, at the very least consider renegotiating your contract.
You are probably already paying them too much already and you shouldn’t feel bad about doing so. These companies also don’t want to lose your business and in most cases will be willing to renegotiate a lower monthly payment plan with you.
Related: How I Feed My Family of 6 on $200 a Month
Save on Utilities
Do you feel that you are paying too much on your electricity, heating or water bill? There are certain companies out there that can help you find better rates and then split the difference with you.
One of these companies is called BillCutterz, and they only get paid if they are able to help you save money.
This one will take some diligence on your part, but remembering to turn the light out or lowering the temperature on the thermostat when no one is at home will also reward you with extra green each month.
Evidence of this will show up on your next month’s bill.
Related: 55 Ways to Save on Your Electric Bill
Work From Home
If you happen to be a stay at home mom or going out and finding work is not an option, consider working at home. There are several different types of jobs that are available to you and more than you might think.
Families are always in need of child care or afterschool care for their children, and it’s also another way to provide your own children with friends to keep them out of your hair.
Do you happen to be gifted with computers? You could be a virtual assistant. Do you consider yourself to be a decent writer?
There’s the possibility that you could work from home as a freelance writer and write articles just like this one. If you are still looking for more ideas on ways that you can work from home, check out some of these other options.
Related: Make Money Selling Your Cell Phone Pictures
Go Easier on Eating Out
Let’s face it, our lives are extremely busy, and if you have kids, you may be on the go even more. We are willing to bet that leaves you little time to even think about dinner, let alone the time to prepare it.
There’s a pretty good chance that your family visits the fast-food drive-thru window multiple times each week. Maybe it’s the sitdown restaurants that trips up your family’s budget?
Have you ever stopped to consider how much money you are spending by eating out? You’re probably spending close to double or more on what it would cost to feed your family by staying home.
This is one of the places that you could cut back to quickly get your emergency fund built up.
Consider taking a day and filling your freezer with meals you can warm up in a hurry!
Related: 88 Great Depression Recipes
Challenge Yourself to a Spending Freeze
Do you struggle with spending money on things that you don’t really need? If so, grab a friend or get your family on board with the idea of a spending freeze for a while.
Those new pair of tennis shoes will have to wait, or that candy bar at the checkout counter needs to remain where it is.
Related: One Tip Even Beginners Can Do That Can Save You $1200 a Year on Groceries. No Coupons Needed!
One of the biggest items and most expensive items that you have in your house are electronics. If you need to fully fund an emergency fund ASAP, then get rid of the electronics.
They will get you the most money for your buck. Plus, you can replace them later, when you aren’t so financially strapped.
Related: How to Get Cash From Old Cell Phones
Offer Services to Friends
When you need to fully fund your emergency fund, you may not be set on being a long term babysitter or lawn care provider.
However, you can easily offer this to friends and family for a short time period. This can help you store away cash ASAP!
Work on cars, fix lawnmowers, fix bikes, become an organizer, think outside the box, and offer that service to everyone you know!
Related: 19 Extreme Frugal Tips From WWII Housewives – 1940s Housewives
Cancel All Subscriptions
Do you know how fast $5 and $10 adds up? You can add to your emergency fund a lot quicker by canceling all subscriptions.
Netflix, Disney +, and all of the other services you’re paying for can be canceled to help you get to that emergency fund goal a lot faster.
Related: 26 Ways People Were Making Money During The Great Depression Era
Use the Cash Envelope Budget System
One of the best budget systems I have used is the Cash Envelope Budget System. Set up your budget and any extra money at the and of the month put right into your emergency fund.
I turned this into a game for myself to see how much I could have leftover each month.
Related: 20 Extreme Cheapskate Ideas You Can Actually Do
Play the Cash Grocery Game
This is kind of a spin-off from the tip above. Get a set amount of money each month for groceries, in cash. Then try to make your meals as cheap as possible.
Spend as little as possible on your groceries than at the end of the month but that money right into your emergency fund. I make this a game and it's one of my favorite ways to build an emergency fund.
Related: Great Depression Cooking Tips That Will Save You Money
Earn Free Gift Cards
One of the best ways I love to help lower my grocery budget in the tip above is to use free Amazon Gift Cards. I use those 45+ sites and earn free gift cards from Amazon and if I really work at it I can Earn $210 (or more!) a Month in FREE Amazon Gift Cards.
I then use those gift cards to get things I need from my grocery budget then I add that money to the emergency fund. So here is how it works.
I earn $50 in Amazon Gift Cards.
I head to Amazon and maximize that $50 in groceries and household items. Normally I do so in Amazon Prime Pantry with their coupons.
Then I take those items off my list for when I got to the store and add that $50 to my fund!
Related: 13 Items They Made During the Great Depression (But We Pay for Now)
Get Rebates on Money You Have to Spend
We all need things like groceries, so no matter how much you trim your budget you will still be spending money here. So if you HAVE to spend money why not get cashback or rebates on these purchases?
Sites like Ibotta, Check Out 51, and Fetch Rewards all off rebates on your groceries.
You can also get cashback when you buy gas for your car. It's true! Check out these 10 Save Money on Gas Tips & 4 Gas Rebate Apps!
Even if you don’t have a lot of money that you can save for your emergency fund, there are still several areas that you can cut back or look at differently. You’ll be surprised by how quickly the money starts to add up by doing so.
What are some other ways to build an emergency fund without pulling from your budget have you found?
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