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10 Things You Should Be Saving For Just In Case

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10 Things You Should Be Saving For Just In Case

You know you should be saving your money, but do you know why? Here are ten things you should be saving for, just in case. Don’t be caught off guard! Knowing what you need money for will make it easier for you to save.

1. Paying off debt.

No one wants to be in debt their entire life! Sure, that credit card was supposed to just be for emergencies, but you started using it here and there, and then you realized you couldn’t pay the monthly bill. That’s ok — after all, that’s what credit cards are for. But don’t let your debt accumulate. Interest rates will make your fees skyrocket, and before you know it, the amount you owe will seem impossible to pay off. Instead, pay off a little per month. Try to meet more than the minimum due, if you can fit it into your budget.

2. Medical emergencies.

You’re healthy as a horse, right? Still, you never know when the flu is going to knock you out, or when you’ll get in a car wreck and have hospital bills to pay. You don’t want an unexpected illness or hospital stay to wipe out your savings, and you don’t want to be in debt or struggle to make ends meet just because of a medical problem.

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3. Periods of unemployment.

Financial advisors recommend having enough money saved to live for three to six months without any additional income. Go ahead and figure up your monthly expenses, multiply them times six, and see how much of a cushion you need to have. Are you close? If not, go ahead and add a bit into your current monthly savings that will allow you to save up this money. If you can, save even more — the more money you have in savings, the longer you’ll be able to live without a job. This means you won’t have extra financial stress when you’re unemployed, and can take your time to find the job that fits you best. It’ll be worth it so you won’t find yourself struggling if you unexpectedly lose your job!

4. Retirement.

When you’re in your twenties and even early thirties, retirement seems far away. In reality, it’s never too early to start saving for retirement. Think about it – this is money you’re putting aside so you can live more comfortably later! You won’t have to depend on Social Security income because you’ll have your own money put aside.

5. Buying a car.

It’s not too expensive to buy a car because you don’t have to pay for it all at once (but wouldn’t it be cool to buy a car in cash?), but the down payment and monthly bills can add up. If you don’t have it figured into your budget, then buying a car might set you off course. You should have money in savings that could be used for a downpayment and monthly payments on a car, just in case something happens to your current ride.

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6. Purchasing a home.

Or an apartment, or a condo, or a farm! Sooner or later, you’ll probably find yourself ready to settle down and have a stable living situation, instead of renting and moving every few years. You don’t have to pay for a home flat out, of course, but you’ll need a considerable amount for a downpayment. Also think about how you’ll need to have good credit and savings in order to get a loan.

7. Home and car insurance and repairs.

Once you’ve saved up for that car and that home, you’ll have a lot of additional expenses! You’ll need car insurance, home insurance, you’ll have to pay property taxes depending on where you live. Your car will need tune-ups and your house will need repairs and maintenance. You’ll need money in your savings account so your water heater busting or your muffler falling off won’t leave you frantically searching for a cheap, easy solution.

8. Education.

There may come a time in your life when you’ll want to go back to school and get a master’s degree or a special certificate. As a working adult, it’s possible to get tuition assistance, but not guaranteed. Instead of having to decide between going back to school or staying in the same dead-end job, wouldn’t it be great to know you have the ability to pay for your education? And if you never go back to school, this money can go to your children’s college funds!

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9. Investment properties.

Whether you already have your own house or not, having an investment property is never a bad idea. It could be a rental house for students near the university, or a beach house you rent out in Florida – these properties will provide income with minimal effort. Sure, you’ll be responsible for repairs and will have to screen your tenants to ensure they won’t damage the property and leave, but if you charge a bit more than what you have to pay each month for the mortgage and upkeep, you’ll make a nice profit!

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    10. Caring for elderly family members.

    You don’t want to think about it, but there may come a time in your life where you’ll have to take care of elderly family members. Grandparents, aging parents, aunts, uncles — who knows who will need help as they get older? You don’t want to be in the helpless position of turning down those who need you, so make sure you have savings to help them out. This could include groceries, living expenses, medical bills, in-home nurses or even helping move them to an assisted living home. These transitions are going to be difficult enough emotionally; you might as well try to lighten the load financially.

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    Featured photo credit: 401 (K) 2013 via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on January 5, 2022

    33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

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    33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

    In a difficult economy, most of us are looking for ways to put more money in our pockets, but we don’t want to feel like misers. We don’t want to drastically alter our lifestyles either. We want it fast and we want it easy. Small savings can add up and big savings can feel like winning the lottery, just without all of the taxes.

    Some easy ways to save money:

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    1. Online rebate sites. Many online sites offer cash back rebates and online coupons as well. MrRebates and Ebates are two I like, but there are many others.
    2. Sign up for customer rewards. Many of your favorite stores offer customer rewards on products you already buy. Take advantage.
    3. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. The extra cost up front is worth the energy savings later on.
    4. Turn off power strips and electronic devices when not in use.
    5. Buy a programmable thermostat. Set it to lower the heat or raise the AC when you’re not home.
    6. Make coffee at home. Those lattes and caramel macchiatos add up to quite a bit of dough over the year.
    7. Switch banks. Shop around for better interest rates, lower fees and better customer perks. Don’t forget to look for free online banking and ease of depositing and withdrawing money.
    8. Clip coupons: Saving a couple dollars here and there can start to add up. As long as you’re going to buy the products anyway, why not save money?
    9. Pack your lunch. Bring your lunch to work with you a few days a week, rather than buy it.
    10. Eat at home. We’re busier than ever, but cooking meals at home is healthier and much cheaper than take-out or going out. Plus, with all of the freezer and pre-made options, it’s almost as fast as drive-thru.
    11. Have leftovers night. Save your leftovers from a few meals and have a “leftover dinner.” It’s a free meal!
    12. Buy store brands: Many generic or store brands are actually just as good as name brands and considerably cheaper.
    13. Ditch bottled water. Drink tap water if it’s good quality, buy a filter if it’s not. Get 
        a reusable water bottle and refill it.
      • Avoid vending machines: The items are usually over-priced.
      • Take in a matinee. Afternoon movie showings are cheaper than evening times.
      • Re-examine your cable bill. Cancel extra cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. Watch the “on demand” movie purchases too.
      • Use online bill pay. Most banks offer free online bill paying. Save on stamps and checks, and avoid late fees by automating bill payment.
      • Buy frequently used items in bulk. You get a lower per item price and eliminate extra trips to the store later on.
      • Fully utilize the library. Borrowing books is much cheaper than buying them, but in addition to books, most local libraries now lend movies and games.
      • Cancel magazine/newspaper subscriptions: Re-evaluate your subscriptions. Cancel those you don’t read and consider reading some of the other publications online.
      • Get rid of your land-line. Do you really need a land-line anymore if everyone in the family has a cell phone? Alternatively, look into using VOIP or getting a cheaper plan.
      • Better fuel efficiency. Check the air pressure in your tires, keep up with proper auto maintenance, and slow down. Driving even 5MPH slower will result in better fuel mileage.
      • Increase your deductibles. Increasing the insurance deductibles on your homeowners and auto insurance policies lowers premiums significantly. Just make sure you choose a deductible that you can afford should an emergency happen.
      • Choose lunch over dinner. If you do want to dine out occasionally, go at lunchtime rather than dinnertime. Lunch prices are usually cheaper.
      • Buy used:  Whether it’s something small like a vintage dress or a video game or something big like a car or furniture, consider buying it used. You can often get “nearly new” for a fraction of the cost.
      • Stick to the list. Make a list before you go shopping and don’t buy anything that’s not on the list unless it’s a once in a lifetime, killer deal.
      • Tame the impulse. Use a self-enforced waiting period whenever you’re tempted to make an unplanned purchase. Wait for a week and see if you still want the item.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask. Ask to have fees waived, ask for a discount, ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card.
      • Repair rather than replace. You can find directions on how to fix almost anything on the internet. Do your homework, and then bring out your inner handyman.
      • Trade with your neighbors. Borrow tools or equipment that you use infrequently and swap things like babysitting with your neighbors.
      • Swap online. Use sites like PaperBack Swap to trade books, music, and movies with others online. Also, look for local community sites like Freecycle where people give away items they no longer need.
      • Cut back on the meat. Try eating a one or two meatless meals every week or cut back on the meat portions. Meat is usually the most expensive part of the meal.
      • Comparison shop: Get in the habit of checking prices before you buy. See if you can get a better price at another store or look online.

      Remember that saving money is not about being cheap or stingy; it’s about putting money into your bank account rather than giving it to someone else. There are many ways to save money, some you’ve never thought of, and some that won’t appeal or apply to you. Just pick a few of the ideas that sound doable and watch the savings add up. Save big, save small, but save wherever you can.

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      Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

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