Our emergency fund is DONE!!!!
We officially saved an $1000 emergency fund in 6 weeks. Yeah, that’s right. I said 6 weeks.
How in the world did we save $800 in 6 weeks??
Well let me just tell you how. *Note: not all of our ways are typical for everyone
Don’t pay extra payments on debt until emergency fund is done
The debt snowball is baby step 2. When you’re still building your emergency fund, you’re in step 1. It’s not wise to move ahead so while you’re building an emergency fund. You’ll be in an endless cycle of trying to save, having an emergency and then you can’t make a debt payment at all. While you’re building your emergency fund it’s best that you make the minimum payments on your debts. That way, all extra money you have goes towards savings and you get it done faster.
Once your emergency fund is finished, you can then put that extra money towards your debt snowball. But until then it’s focus on baby step 1 time.
Make a budget
The most important part of saving money for your emergency fund is to make a budget. This means that you plan to spend your money in a certain way based off of your expected income. Now you may think that is difficult if your paychecks are different every time. Neither one of us have a full salary yet, so that’s what we deal with.
But it’s not! Actually, it may mean you can save money even faster!
First, make your zero based budget planning out every single penny that is to be spent in the month. You then put the planned cash for your variable expenses in your cash envelopes and stick to your budget. Sticking to your budget is the most important part here.
When you get unexpected money, save don’t spend
Let’s get on to when your paychecks are not the same. So you budget your income to be about what it normally is. I like to budget for it to be less by a $100 at least than the highest it usually is. That way, when I have $100 extra a paycheck that I didn’t budget for it goes into savings. I try not to spend the extra money on things that I don’t
While using that method can give you extra money every single month, it also helps when you get refunds that may be larger. Robert is going to school right now, and ended up with a large refund at the end of the semester because he didn’t use all of the grant money he received.
Did we spend it? Heck no! We saved it in our emergency fund! We actually do the same thing with our tax refund every year. Before we even get it, we have a plan for what it’s going to.
Save money with deals, put your savings in the emergency fund
We are always making sure that we get the best deal on things that we buy. Check out how we saved $200 on groceries without using coupons! My favorite thing to do is shop around.
The most important thing to do when trying to save money on deals is to not waste those savings on buying other things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally ok to treat yourself, but what feels better in the long run? A fully funded emergency fund or that scoop of ice cream?
I know, that’s a hard one. Especially after I just finished some double chocolate ice cream at home. But let’s move on.
The small savings that you put in your emergency fund really add up over time. It may mean that at the end of the month, you are $100 away from $1000 rather than $400.
Put tips and bonuses in savings
Robert makes tips while working at Starbucks. I get a monthly bonus at my job and I also get extra cash from designing party invitations at my Etsy store, GingersnapInvites. All of that extra money is not put in our budget because I can never even guess how much it’s going to be. It all fluctuates from month to month.
Because that money is not in our budget, I consider it extra money and therefore goes into savings. Even once our emergency fund is done, all of this money will be split up between our other five savings accounts (yes, I said five. See why here).
Well, that is how we saved our emergency fund in 6 weeks. If you have any other tips or questions with any of these tips above, let me know in the comments below!