Having a fully-funded emergency account is essential, but many people fall short of the money they need. If you want to beat the odds, you may need to get creative, and the sooner you get started, the sooner you can reach your goal.
Jason Kulpa, net worth expert and experienced serial entrepreneur, takes a look at ten steps you can take to boost your emergency savings fast.
1. Start Small
The first step to take is to start putting money aside. It doesn’t have to be a lot in the beginning. Specify a goal, whether it’s $1 a day or $25 a month. Most institutions have a way to set up an auto-transfer to meet your goal, so you don’t even have to think about it.
2. Open or Designate a Separate Account
If you keep the money in your checking account or operating account, you are more likely to spend it. Specify a separate savings account and direct your savings contributions to it.
3. Cut Out the Coffee (Or Other Daily Splurge)
Most of us have a treat we indulge ourselves with on a weekly–if not daily–basis. If you pick up that Starbucks latte on your way to work every morning, try brewing a cup at home. It’s incredible how quickly that $5 a day can add up.
4. Bring Your Lunch to Work
The average cost of eating lunch out is around $10. Even if you cut back to eating out a couple of times a week, those savings will add up fast. Instead, try making a little extra at dinner to take with you the next day.
5. Take a Look at Your Grocery Habits
When you pick up groceries from the store, do you pick up enough to last a week or only a day or two? If you find yourself throwing food out every week, maybe try cutting back and only buy what you need for a day or two.
6. Review Your Spending Habits
Take a minute to write down everything you spend money on in a given month. Most online banks will already categorize this for you.
7. Review Your Subscriptions
Are you spending $50 a month on that gym membership you went to once? Or did you download HBO for that free trial and never cancel it? Reevaluate what services you use on a routine basis and eliminate the rest.
8. Check with Your Cell Phone Provider
Are you taking advantage of all the discounts available to you? Most employers now offer some discount plan. Or if you have been with one provider for an extended period, they may have a loyalty discount.
9. Set Aside Extra Funds
Make a plan for extra income streams that aren’t part of your normal paycheck. Whether that be a bonus or tax refund, put some or all of it toward your emergency savings.
10. Sell Something
If it is spring cleaning time around the house, take a second look at some of your items before throwing them in the trash. With resell apps and websites galore, it isn’t hard these days to sell that old dinner set or tv that is just laying around.
About Jason Kulpa
Jason Kulpa is the Founder and former CEO of UE.co, San Diego’s Fastest Growing Business multi-year award winner, and a Certified Great Place to Work multi-year winner. Under Mr. Kulpa’s leadership, in 2018, his teams volunteered at over 24 events and worked side-by-side to improve the San Diego community. They hosted a gala dinner benefiting individuals with autism, cheered on Special Olympic athletes as they broke their records on the track, and brought school supplies and cold-weather gear to students impacted by homelessness.