Did you have a financial emergency that you were able to cover without using a credit card or taking out a loan or line of credit? If so, congratulations! That’s the peace of mind that comes with having an emergency fund or rainy-day fund.
Setting an amount of money aside when you’re financially able can help diminish stress during a financial crisis or when unplanned expenses strike. But, if you had to drain most or all of your emergency savings from your bank account, this can equally leave you feeling financially vulnerable and needing to reexamine your financial situation. The good news is you already have experience on your side. You learned how to build an emergency fund once, and you can do it again! Here are 5 emergency savings tips to help you with your financial goals:
- Revisit your monthly savings strategy. If you’ve already been contributing extra money to your savings account each month, keep up that great habit. Then, take it a step further by setting up automatic transfers through mobile or online banking whenever payday occurs. If you already have a portion of your checking account funds transferred automatically to savings, consider upping the amount if you have enough money. If you aren’t currently taking advantage of automatic transfers, now is a great time to start.
As a general rule, aim to contribute 5% of your monthly salary into your emergency fund. You never know when you could be hit with unexpected expenses, such as home repairs or car repairs or unexpected events like job loss. With your safety net, you’ll be well on your way to your savings goals.
- Cut living expenses. Can you reduce your cable package or eliminate a streaming service to save money each month? Are you eligible for home or auto insurance discounts? Check with your providers about less expensive options to help build your emergency fund faster. Our Monthly Spending Calculator can help you see where you can make adjustments to your regular spending habits.
- Sell items you no longer need. Consider selling any belongings you no longer use but may still have value, including clothing, books, DVDs, video games and furniture. Not only can you earn extra for your emergency fund, but you also reap the rewards of reducing clutter.
- Work a side job to earn extra cash. A tried-and-true way to save more is to earn more. Whether a regular part-time job, seasonal work or a freelance gig, extra income can quickly give your emergency fund a boost. Ask your employer about direct deposit so your earnings are automatically deposited into your account quickly and securely.
- Deposit a windfall. If you’re expecting a large sum of money, such as a year-end bonus from your employer or a tax refund, put it in your emergency savings fund, a money market account or a high-yield savings account rather than spend it.
We Can Help You Stay in Control
If you experience a financial setback while you’re rebuilding your emergency fund, rest assured the financial experts at Navy Federal Credit Union can help. Our personal finance counselors can help you explore your savings plan options together.
This content is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.