Find how to start or build an emergency savings account on a limited income.
It is possible to start to build, or increase, your emergency savings even when living paycheck to paycheck (like most Americans do) or when you are in effect broke. There are a number of ways to easily make a few extra dollars (often from things you do daily now) as well as ways to easily cut back and save money. Between those two things you can free up some cash for your emergency savings. Find tips, suggestions, and information on how to start or increase your emergency savings below.
When it comes to the amount of money that should be saved for an emergency, so called “experts” will say different things. They may say 6 months or a years worth of your salary. Or some experts say a few months of salary. The point is you should have some cash set aside for an emergency…even if just a few weeks. Low income families or anyone living check to check need to do this as well, as they are technically more on the financial edge.
Emergency savings are critical. That way if your car breaks down, you get sick or injured and miss work, a partner has a reduction or loss of income or anything else, you have some money set aside so you can continue to pay the bills. Anyone can build an emergency savings account; people living in poverty, those living check to check, the low income and anyone can start to save.
Complete absence of an emergency fund can set back your plans, and you will likely face roadblocks in your life. Whether you are higher or lower income, if you don't have an emergency fund to cover unforeseen bills, you'll have to scale back on some other costs or resort to credit cards to make ends meet.
An emergency fund is simply cash put aside to cover any unforeseen incidents. This money will pay for your living expenses for a few months if you lose your job or if anything unforeseen occurs that will cost a significant amount of money to cover. Consider it an insurance plan. Rather than paying an insurance company's fees, you're saving money for yourself to spend at a later date. This money will then be conveniently and quickly retrieved in the event of an unfortunate occurrence.
Make some money for your emergency savings
Of course you can work more hours at your current job (if you are not “salaried”) or get a higher paying job. Those are the obvious ways to make more money. But what we have noted below are maybe some non-traditional ways to increase your income above and beyond what you may currently be earning.
One of the easiest ways to start to earn money for your emergency savings is to literally monetize what you do now on a daily basis. Now all of these activities do require a little upfront work (such as registering for a site, downloading a phone app, etc.) but they do pay out. They will not make you “rich”, but that is not the point here. Rather it is to start to save some money for a crisis.
Some ways to do this include getting paid to watch TV or videos or movies. Marketing companies will pay for feedback for views. Almost everyone takes pictures on their cell phone these days. Well you can upload those “safe” or more “generic” pictures to online marketplace websites, and on occasion some company such as a news publication may license to buy photos from you. Find how to sell your photographs.
Another thing to start an emergency savings account is to rent stuff out. If you own a car you can put advertising on it. Or rent out an extra room in your home, unused electronics, and the like. Or simplify your life and sell some “clutter” or arts and cash for extra cash, and dump that money into an emergency savings account. There are a number of online marketplaces to sell crafts.
While not very recommended, another option is to sell plasma or a female selling Eggs. There is a healthcare impact to this though, so it is not highly recommended. Then of course you can sell your hair when you cut it.
Anyone living paycheck to paycheck, who things they will be broke forever, probably has a hobby. Yes, there are some hobbies that can help you build up an emergency savings account. Read more on turning a hobby into money for savings.
Save some money to apply to emergency savings
Of course the second way to start an emergency savings account (or to increase the size of it if you have one) is to save money. Now this sounds so easy to do, yet so few people do it. They do not have the time, discipline or energy to cut back. Or they just lack the effort. But it is much easier to save money these days, mostly using technology for things you do every day. Once again, put that money into your savings account!
First, be sure to use a cashback website or app when shopping. You can literally save (or even get paid free money) of 5, 10, even 20% of what you spend. There are tons of free coupons out there as well. You can have them appear on your cell phone or computer as you shop. Or use a coupon to pay for clothes, dinner out, or countless other items. The websites are free, and find the leading coupon websites or apps.
Save money for your emergency savings by comparison shopping too. There are websites that will direct you to the lowest price for all your shopping, such as food, travel, electronics, and more.
One tactic is to use coupon apps, and every single dollar saved can be put into a savings account. There are some smartphone apps that will in fact automatically do this. There are free coupons for medications, to pay for groceries, travel, and countless other items. Or transfer the money yourself. There should also be no “stigma” with using coupons, as studies show a majority of middle to upper income households use them. Find details on how to find free coupons, where to get them, and how they can help build an emergency rainy day savings account.
We have a comprehensive listing of money saving tactics. Use the money for your emergency savings account. Save on food, housing, home repairs, medications, utilities, and more. The tips are all across the site, and every dollar saved is a dollar earned (and it can be saved!).
Charities can help low income families build emergency savings
Low income families can use all of the agencies that are out there to help them through a difficult time. They can provide guidance, free stuff (thereby helping you save money for a savings account), counseling and more. Never hesitate to use these charitable or non-profit resources, as that is why they exist.
Then of course there are all the financial aid programs as well as free resources out there. Non-profit as well as charities can help you save money for your savings account. Examples include food pantries, free clothing or furniture banks, thrift stores, and more. Charities often provide free stuff for low income families or those facing a hardship. These are even more effective for very low income or broke people who want to get ahead. Find a list of national and local charities.
Everyone should have some form of emergency savings. While it can be more challenging for a low income family to start on this path, it is possible. The list of tips, resources, and suggestions below will help you start to save or add to an emergency savings account.
Monthly steps to take to help build emergency savings
Budgeting on a low income requires tracking your expenses. This is a must do in order to find how you can free up money. It will help you so you can then learn how to invest the money you already have more wisely, and setting savings milestones for yourself. Here are some essential budgeting strategies to assist you with properly managing your expenses.
Track Spending - Keep track of everything you purchase to maintain leverage of your expenses. Keeping track of any penny, from auto insurance premiums to sales at the corner store, will help you identify areas where you can save money into an emergency funds..
Then Utilize Monthly Totals. Rather than focusing on one-time expenses, think about how much money you spend per month on items such as alcohol, new clothing, subscription services, and dining out. You may be surprised by the number. Is it time to scale down on these expenses? At first it will seem to be a compromise, but you'll feel much happier once you know how much money you're saving.
Have A Clear Justification For Building Emergency Savings. Savings goals will assist you in saving money more effectively. If you have a low income but are saving for an emergency fund or raising money for home renovations, saving milestones will definitely support you in setting and achieving weekly and monthly goals and accelerating the accumulation of savings.
Review and Reduce Regular Monthly Costs - To efficiently minimize your expenses and free up money to build emergency savings, you must consider your monthly payments on a line by line approach. This is a key step for how to reduce everyday spending, and places you can get items for free. Since you're looking to save money quickly, switching telephone or cable providers could save you hundreds of dollars each year and significantly reduce your monthly bills. Look into change auto insurance or other service providers you use. Go through every monthly recurring expenses and tried to find a way to cut back.
Request a quote from different companies in your area; they might give a better price. Call a different national provider, such as car insurance company. And if you're not ready to move, contact your existing carrier to see if they can give you a lower price or switch you to a more affordable package. Ensure that you have a recent bill handy so that you are aware of the overall expenses and can choose the bundle that is better for you. All the money saved each month - poor those funds into emergency savings.
Schedule a No Spend Day - Use Savings to Start an Emergency Fund. If you're stumped for ways to save money, a no-spend day might be the answer. Let your children play in your yard rather than taking them out. Do not buy a coffee or any treats. Do not shop at all. Spend ZERO money. A day without spending any money is an excellent way to determine what you can live without or cut back on.
If you live on a low income, you can still indulge your activities and passions - and even pursue new ones - by doing them in less costly ways. For instance, go for a run outdoors rather than paying for a gym card, brew your own coffee rather than purchasing one on the way to work, and avoid paying for a cinema ticket while you can watch a movie at home.
Get A Sinking Fund In Place - People, including lower income families, should have a sinking fund for any unexpected or ongoing expenses that they know will inevitably come. There are funds put aside for insurance, home renovations, holiday decorations, vehicle maintenance, and other unanticipated expenditures. Those “known future bills” should be paid out of emergency savings.
These savings will be helpful because you will not have to dip into the emergency fund. Saving money this way allows you to take calculated chances without fear of financial repercussions. It will provide you with peace of mind, increase your resources, and improve the quality of life.
The bottom line on why you need emergency savings
While living within your means on a low income can seem difficult or even futile at first, you'll likely be glad you did when the rainy day comes but the net effect on your financial well-being is small. Try to focus on shifting your attitude. The only person on whom you can really depend to pull you out of trouble is yourself. Resist the need to rely on family, friends, governmental support systems, insurance plans, or just good fortune. Having an emergency fund in place allows you the freedom to focus on other financial and non-financial matters in life.
The significance of saving money and having emergency savings while on a low income is straightforward: it makes your life more stable. People invest for a variety of purposes. Since we cannot forecast the future, often people want to save and become financially stable in case of unforeseen events or emergencies. To make saving money simpler, you must have a simple aim or objective in mind. No matter your income level, if you haven't started saving some money yet, now may be a good time.