An Emergency Fund, as the name suggests, is an emergency money savings account.
Money is set aside to cover any unexpected emergencies, so you don’t need to borrow, or get into financial stress (developing unwanted financial anxiety). Anyone trying to become financially free or control their finances should have access to an Emergency Fund.
A recent study in America found that 61% of the adult population does not have $1,000 saved up in case of an emergency. Therefore, its encouraged to quickly develop an Immediate Emergency Fund (IEF). An IEF is generally equal to the higher of 2 weeks of pay, or €1,000.
Here, I have listed 3 quick methods to build an emergency fund up and running.
Quick methods to build an emergency fund fast
Sell or hire out your stuff
The quickest and easiest way to get any kind of money is to sell something. Do you have multiple old computer LCD screens, old golf clubs, or kids toys lying around the house? These are the things that can turn into some quick cash.
If you don’t really feel like selling any of your stuff, you could look at options for hiring out things. Some great things that people are always after:
- Marquees such as those seen at weddings and events
- Tools such as drills and saws, or lawnmowers and pressure cleaners
- Your driveway
Some great resources include sites such as (no affiliation):
- https://www.airbnb.com – where you can rent out some space in your house
- https://www.justpark.com/about/rent-your-space/ – where you can rent out your car space (works especially well if your close to a university or train station)
- https://turo.com/ – where you can rent out your car
- Other general marketplaces for tools and event equipment.
When I say work, I don’t just mean go to your daily job. I mean find some added income opportunities (cue all my articles on Earning). You could, just to name a few:
- Transcribe articles (through a company like TranscribeMe)
- Complete online surveys
- Find odd jobs on marketplace websites in your local area
- Complete freelancing work (even without experience).
You could also get a small second job just until you build up enough cash. It’s not so exciting to work more, but 4 weeks of extra work will really kickstart the saving process.
Small everyday things can add up to a significant amount of money over time. Looking back over your budget, do you notice any expenses that you could forego for a short amount of time?
I’m not talking about never drinking coffee again, or never driving to work, but something that you could do for a month of a few, just while you save up for your Immediate Emergency Fund?
If you were to implement a month of hard cost saving, you could find yourself with a spare emergency $500 or $1000 in the bank. It will surely make you feel a lot better when you return to your normal routines.
Here are some everyday example of ways of cutting costs (over the short term):
- Coffee. If you buy one coffee a day, for $4, then you are spending $20 on coffee each working week. Over the space of a month, that initial $4 is starting to look closer to $100. To ensure you still get your coffee fix, you could purchase a jar of instant coffee for $15, and still be $85 up.
- Transport. Is it cheap to purchase a month pass on public transport? Better yet, are you in riding distance to your job? If so, you could catch public transport to work for a month. Alternatively, you could ride once or twice a week. Suddenly you have a little bit more saved up.
- Food. Do you go out for food often? Either for lunch at work, or for dinners when your feeling a bit lazy? Let’s work out some savings. You would be lucky to find lunch much cheaper than $15. $15 x 5 working days = $75 a week. One loaf of bread, some cheese and some ham and tomato will set you back $25 at most, and that’s a week’s lunch. Suddenly there is $50.
Other budget cuts could include shopping for “in season” produce, shopping online, or finding cheaper supermarket alternatives to household items, turning the temperature down in the house, cooking with gas rather than electricity (depending on costs of both), etc.
To help you along the way, we have come up with a list of 65 of the best ways that you can save money.
Everyone should have some money set aside, or have quick access to money in case the unexpected was to happen. If you’re having some trouble saving up for your fund, we listed a few different methods to help you get started.
Don’t leave these things to chance! Be prepared and sleep easy.