Thursday, February 24, 2011

How To Start an Emergency Fund

At one time a cash-strapped work friend asked for my help in how to find ways to get her emergency fund going. The company we work for at the time still payed overtime but based on the economy that was not to be counted on. There are plenty of ways to get it started. Some say you should have at least 3 months expenses set aside. I have also seen others who say 9 months. Each person will have to decide for themselves what the amount should be. It will take some time to reach the goal but the following ideas should help to get it kick started. Please note: You are trying to make money not spend it. Any idea involving the starting of a side business or craft should only be used if there is little to no money required to get it going - or you are defeating the purpose of the exercise. No one idea will necessarily bring in enough cash but used together a couple of these ideas should work for most people.

25 ways to Start an Emergency Fund
1. Sell old belongings on Ebay/Kijiji/Craigslist
2. Take a temporary part-time job (census taker/work at fair)
3. Work overtime if your company offers to pay it
4. Deposit your tax refund
5. Deposit Birthday Cash/Anniversary Cash/Christmas Cash
6. Save change, roll it and deposit
7. Have a garage sale (for best results organize a street or group garage sale)
8. Have a spend no money month (deposit what you would have spent)
9. Increase the deductibles on your home/auto insurance - deposit the savings
10. If you use coupons deposit the amount of coupons saved into emergency fund
11. Take the bus versus driving to work for a month=deposit the insurance/gas savings (park car)
12. If you live in an area that has deposits for cans and bottles take those in for refund
13. If you enjoy garage sales stock up on high quality low priced items, resale at flea-market
14. Make crafts or baking to sell (works best at Christmas)
15. Use an existing skill and set up a part-time side business (clean houses/mow lawns/cut hair)
16. If there is an extra bedroom in your home consider taking in student on short term basis
17. If you receive any dividends deposit those straight into the emergency fund
18. Have a free entertainment only month - deposit savings into emergency fund (research free concerts, free museum days, outdoor free city festivals, have a potluck)
19. Teach a class at local resource centre or school
20. Plant an extra garden row and sell extra garden produce
21. Join a car pool and bank the savings
22. Have a no latte and bag lunch month
23. Clean out closet and take unused items to a consignment store
24. Sell old unused gold and jewellery items to a pawn shop or gold purchaser
25. Part with part of a collection (stamps, antiques, comic books, hockey cards)

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, it's so hard to put up your own emergency fund, right? You have to have the right amount of discipline to be consistent with your contributions, and your reasons for building the fund should be enough to keep you motivated. Is it advisable to start small when putting up an emergency fund? And by small, I mean saving up your loose change and stuff like that. Well, that's what I'm gonna do for now.