Building an Emergency Fund in 10 Smart Ways
Summer is drawing to a close and Autumn is settling in for most of us across Australia. Summer can sometimes bring its additional costs and we all know there is nothing worse than a mechanical breakdown to eat away at our savings pot.
Numerous money saving experts across the globe recommend different remedies for such instances, yet putting those stop losses into place can be difficult. Sound advice from numerous reputable saving experts suggests that an emergency fund of $1,000 should be there just in case, entirely separate from your savings pot. Yes, that number may seem large for some, but here are 10 really simple ways to achieve that level of saving with little to no impact to your existing saving contributions.
We all have a habit of buying something when we don’t necessarily need it. Start cutting your losses by selling everything that you don’t need or don’t use, e.g. a car boot sale. Don’t hang onto something because you don’t think you will get what you paid for it. Fact is you wont. In todays society there are numerous ways to begin shifting your old unwanted items, consider Facebook, eBay, garage sales and local markets.
Get a Second Job
If money is really tight then you wont be looking for your dream second job, the honest truth will be, no job is “too good” for you. It may only be for a short time, but get whatever you can, work at fast food chains, stack shelves or make deliveries. All you need to remember is that if its for a greater cause, then nobody should ever be able to judge you if you work hard - regardless of the type of work.
Working at Home
Working away from home can be difficult for some, whether it be due to kids or any other reason, its time to apply yourself and find work that can be done at home. You need to be asking yourself can you do babysitting, childcare, computer based work, be a virtual assistant, can you bake? There are numerous things that can be done from home to earn money; you just need to find something that suits your situation. Google is very helpful for this (check out sites like oDesk, Elance, Freelancer to begin with).
Reduce your Grocery Bill
Groceries are something we all have to buy so associated costs are inevitable. Finding ways to reduce that bill, however, can make all the difference. I have written numerous posts on how to reduce your grocery bills so use these to your advantage. Some of the most important points worth mentioning are; use unit measurements to check value for money, eat less meat and buy items from reduced sections and use recipe websites to use those price dropped items.
If that’s still not enough feel free to use our Vouchers page to get discounts at companies like Woolworths.
Spend Less on Utilities
Electricity, water and phone bills eat away at a substantial amount of our incomes, as we're dependent on them daily. Start saving today by finding ways in which you can reduce your consumption at home. To improve your knowledge on how to do so, check out my numerous articles on saving electricity in the household.
Don’t Eat Out
Eating out is very easy to do, less hassle, less planning and certainly less work but it’s guaranteed to be more expensive. Restaurant/take away meals come at a substantially higher cost compared to the outlay required if you were to make them yourself. Even buying morning coffee every day adds up over a year, just do the sums yourself now quickly and I'm sure you'll be surprised. One effective suggestion is to try spending just one weekend preparing a variety of meals to go into your freezer to cover you over the coming weeks. This way you get the convenience of "ready meals" but with the cost savings of eating at home.
Everybody Loves a Freebie
Every week Buckscoop posts an article on our top Australian freebies which you can get your hands on (and you’d be surprised at what you can get sometimes). Some of these can be used to your advantage by either replacing things you would normally have to buy, trying to sell them or even swapping them for something else you might like. The possibilities are endless, so don’t knock free stuff,. Check out our Freebies page to find out more.
Earn Online Money
There are numerous websites out there, which highly value your information on products, websites, videos and surveys. A way you can make extra cash whilst lying in bed can be to complete surveys and questionnaires on these websites. Plenty have point systems whereas others have actual cash rewards you can bank. One popular website which offers you a well known branded products for free in return for you feedback about them is Toluna, which I'd recommend having a look at.
Avoid a Vacation this Year
Saving for a holiday is always a nice aim, but the truth is, if you don’t have the money saved then you cant go on vacation. If going away next years means you cant this year that’s not such a bad thing, it gives you time to plan how to save the money in the mean time. Spend the time planning your garage sale, working extra hours or managing your expenses to ensure next year is twice as good.
Spend Mode On/Off
If you are committed to building an emergency fund then changing years of spending habits can be difficult. A good way to approach the topic can be to do it with a friend or spouse. By teaming up to consciously save, you can make the experience more fun and less of a burden. Try thinking of a different thing to do each day for a month that prevents you from going out or spending unnecessary money.