Advertising

No Debts! Eight Simple Ways to Save for an Emergency

Advertising
No Debts! Eight Simple Ways to Save for an Emergency

Most people amass huge amounts of debt during their youth, which they are unable to pay off for many years. There are some who manage to keep their debt in check, or even remain debt free, but once a disaster strikes and there are suddenly some hefty unexpected bills to pay, they too can find themselves in a deep financial hole that’s difficult to dig out of. This is why it is important to have some money squared away for rainy days.

An emergency fund can help you deal with things like your car breaking down, you or someone you love getting seriously ill and spending a lot of time in the hospital, or being invited to an out-of-the-bloom wedding. However, once you have paid the bills, made your credit card and other payments, and spent a large chunk of your salary on groceries, there is often not much left for your emergency fund. Well, fear not my friend, there are plenty of ways to get a bit of extra money and build up a decent emergency fund.

1. Sell your junk, and some of your valuables

Yard sale

    A quick rummage through your basement, attic and garage can reveal plenty of fairly useful stuff that just sits collecting dust. Just because you don’t have any use for it doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find someone who will. Take all the junk out and organize a yard sale. You can also look at some of your valuable items that don’t have a lot of emotional value for you–things like paintings, home décor, some jewelry, that relatively new tablet that you barely use, and so on. You can use websites, like Ebay or even some forums, to sell virtually anything that you have lying around.

    Advertising

    2. Make a big shopping run once a week

    The quickest way to burn through your salary is to use your credit card for small purchases throughout the day. It’s very difficult to keep track of how much you’ve spent–hint, it’s a lot more than you think–and you’ll constantly think of something else you need or want. If you only go on a big shopping spree once a week, with a carefully crafted list, and use cash for any minor purchases during the rest of the week you will be able to control your spending much more effectively. Buying things in bulk can often save you some extra money on different items as well.

    3. Avoid overpriced big-name brands

    Stone vs iPhone 3G

      While it’s worth investing in more expensive high-quality models when it comes to shoes, electronics and cars, for example, a lot of the products out there are very easy to manufacture and utilize cheap active ingredients and materials–that which makes them work. Such items include toothpaste, shampoo, soap, a variety of skin care products, simple t-shirts, most drugs and workout supplements.

      In order to find the best deals and the most cost-effective options, you just need to be patient and dedicated when shopping. Take your time and really look around. With a bit of trial and error, you will soon find out which items you can and can’t cut corners on. By sticking with the basics and going for functionality over marketing hype, you can cut your shopping costs in half.

      Advertising

      4. Look for another job

      An additional source of income can really help make things easier if you want to save for emergency, without sacrificing much in terms of comfort. You can make use of any skills you might have, or just go with a simple job that doesn’t require a lot of skill.

      Even if you don’t have any particular skills, you have plenty of opportunities to get some free training for a bunch of different professions, from web designer to teacher to nurse aid. These are all jobs that can help you earn a decent amount of money on the side. Be sure to contact your friends, family and acquaintances to see if there are any positions open where you would be a good fit–a bit of networking can yield some impressive results.

      5. Do freelance work

      Freelance work

        If you can’t find the time or energy to work two jobs, you can consider doing some freelance work from home. Even after a long day at work, you can find the energy to sit down at the computer and clock in another 3-4 hours at the computer. Most of us end up spending as much time on the computer playing games or updating our social media profiles anyway, so it’s easy to make a shift to doing something a bit more productive.

        Advertising

        Check out websites like Elance or Freelancer, and you will quickly find tons of available jobs for anything from writing, data entry, editing and translation, to website and app design. If you’ve got a bit of talent and skill, you can make a quick buck. You won’t get enough to support your family with a few work hours a day, but it will be more than enough to quickly build up a respectable emergency fund.

        6. Monetize your hobby

        Another great way to secure some extra income that you can save for an emergency is to find a way to earn money from your hobbies. You may be able to sell all manner of handcrafted décor and jewelry on Etsy, hold martial arts classes in your garage, teach people how to sing or play piano on Skype, sell some unique collector’s items and so on. You can even pick up a new hobby as a means of becoming proficient in a certain area, say woodcarving, with the ultimate goal of earning some extra money out of it. Almost any hobby can be monetized one way or another, particularly if you’ve acquired a good deal of skill over the years.

        7. Start obsessing about your carbon footprint

        Eco conscious

          Even if you aren’t much of a hippie and don’t care about the environment, which you should, there are plenty of hidden benefits to being an eco-warrior, namely cost reduction. You see, the way we get our energy isn’t all that clean or good for the environment. Even electricity is produced in power plants which are responsible for around a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

          Advertising

          Our cars pollute the environment, we use up a huge amount of natural resources and create incredible amounts of garbage that gets thrown out. You get the gist of it. Once we start being more eco-conscious we stop leaving the lights on in rooms when we leave, turn off the devices when not in use, never leave the water running longer than it is necessary and use our cars less often.

          A few simple changes around the home can help save a whole lot of money in the long run. Installing and programming a decent thermostat can shave about 25% off your heating bill, while improving your home’s insulation by caulking up windows and doors, using draft stoppers and window insulation film will bring the cost down even more. Invest a bit of time and effort into converting your home into an eco-friendly zone, and try to reduce your carbon footprint as much as you can. This can make a big difference in how much money you spend every month.

          8. Start making good use of piggy banks in your home

          When people say that every penny counts, they are being quite literal, and quite right. Loose change, one dollar bills and a few fives and 20s here and there–you can spend these without even realizing it, or you can put them into your little savings box each chance you get. It is not something that will reduce your quality of life–in fact, you probably won’t even notice it at all–but all this leftover change and a few larger bills will slowly add up.

          Get a big enough container and put a little something in there each day–even just the loose change in your pocket at the end of the day. After several months, when you open it and pour the money out on the table, you will be pleasantly surprised. It’s not uncommon to see people save up a few hundred dollars this way, without any special effort.

          Advertising

          Staying out of debt is a matter of being responsible with your money and being prepared for unforeseen circumstances. A good emergency fund will help you get through tough times. Anyone can save up a decent amount for money for their emergency fund as long as they heed some of this basic advice.

          More by this author

          Ivan Dimitrijevic

          Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

          6 Beautiful European Cities That You Should Visit World’s 15 Weirdest Museums You Must Visit 20 Online and App Resources to Help You Boost and Improve Productivity How to Travel Deep Into a Culture 10 Great Traveling Destination For Summer

          Trending in Money

          1 33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now 2 How To Achieve Financial Freedom With the Right Mindset 3 Financial Freedom is Not a Fantasy: 9 Secrets to Get You There 4 40 Healthy And Really Delicious Meals You Can Make Under $5 5 Life Insurance: A Secure Way To Protect Your Future.

          Read Next

          Advertising
          Advertising

          Last Updated on January 5, 2022

          33 Painless Ways to Save Money Now

          Advertising
          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:

          Advertising

          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.

            Advertising

            Featured photo credit: Damir Spanic via unsplash.com

            Advertising

            Advertising

            Read Next