Article | 2:00 min read

5 Steps to Starting Your Emergency Fund

Budget and Save

One of the unforeseen expenses of adulthood is emergency costs.

A person typing on a laptop

Whether it be a broken-down car or a flooded basement, surprise expenses can and will show up out of nowhere. Although emotionally you may never be prepared for these added stresses, financially you can set yourself up to better handle what may come your way.

  1. Figure out your monthly revenue and costs
    In order to start saving, you need to know what money you have available to save. First, figure out the amount of money you have coming in. Then, look at all of your expenses such as monthly rent or mortgage, car payment, insurance payments, groceries, etc. and see what money you have left over. Be realistic when you go over your monthly expenses and be fair to yourself; this is meant to help you and requires the most accurate information.
  2. Set a goal
    Once you have an idea of what you can afford to save each month, set a goal for how much money you want to save monthly. Financial advisors say you should have at least three months expenses saved, but if you can afford to put more into savings each month, go for it. Use a personal financial management tool, such as Money Manager, to track your savings progress.
  3. Make a plan
    Based on your monthly expenditures and the amount you hope to save, figure out a plan to reach your goal. Determine how much money you can put aside every month and from there, think over a plan that you can reasonably follow. Also, consider where you are going to save your money. Money Crashers suggests that you save your money in a low risk, accessible location that can easily be liquidated when necessary [1].
  4. Follow your plan
    Now that you have a plan, the hardest and most important part is to stick to it. Stay resistant to temptation because emergencies come without warning and you want to be prepared. If you're having trouble saving, here are a few ideas on how to add more money to your emergency fund.
  5. Reward yourself
    Although it is important to save some of your money, it's equally important to enjoy your accomplishments. When you reach a milestone in your emergency savings, treat yourself to a nice dinner or a massage. Use your rewards as a motivator to save more-this will give you a tangible reward for all of your hard work.


[1] How to Start & Build Up Your Emergency Fund in Savings


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