Having an emergency fund is more important than ever during these uncertain days. Most financial experts recommend each household should have at least three to six months worth of savings to cover any job losses. But what if you can’t realistically afford that right now?
Having an emergency fund of at least £1000 is a good start, even for the most novice of savers. You can even start to build this fund right now! So here’s how to realistically build an emergency pot quickly when cash is already tight.
1. Sell unwanted items
This is by sure means the fastest way to make money for that emergency fund. Start looking around your house for things you could sell online, we all have plenty of items we don’t use, plus its a good way to spring clean the home of clutter too! From used perfume bottles, jewelry, bags, clothes, bikes, furniture and old laptops or iPads. Facebook marketplace is a free way to sell items online, you can sell absolutely anything from used kid’s toys to old laptops. Unlike eBay, there is no fees to pay, plus buyers can collect locally or you can opt to post or deliver items. Put all of the money you make from selling those things straight into a savings account you have specifically for your emergency fund.
2. Find a temporary or one off job to earn extra cash
Temporary or one off jobs can be anything from odd jobs around the home for the elderly, cutting the grass or general gardening chores and taking dog’s walking or house sitting for pets. Ask your local Facebook group if they have any tasks they need to be completed or if anyone needs their dog walked or lawn cut. You might just get lucky plus it could lead to more permanent work.
3. Cancel Subscriptions
Nows the time to consider cancelling that gym membership you don’t use, if you are an active gym bunny. Consider temporarily freezing your monthly membership for a couple of months to save for your emergency fund. Exercising outdoors is a great way to get fit and enjoy your surroundings and if you enjoy workouts, why not try Pop Sugar on You Tube for free workouts class videos to enjoy at home.
No cancellation contract streaming services is another ways to save money quickly, considering cancelling Netflix or Amazon Prime for a few months. If you own Sky TV, consider ringing up to cancel you subscription and subscribe to Now TV. You never know, Sky often reduce monthly package deals to keep you as a customer, saving you extra money!
4. Sign up to paid online surveys or get free stuff to trial
Although not always a quick win but start today by signing up to online paid surveys or sites which you can register to test for free household items from cleaning products, pet food through to hair dye. To find out more, check out my post on how to get free stuff.
5. Cut back on spending
It sounds difficult to do and it’s the one that everyone hates to hear but really, its the easiest thing to do. There are so many non essentials we purchase, sometimes we buy items for the sake of it or because its a bargain that is hard to resist in the sale. Even if a purchase seems to good to be true to miss out on buying, ask yourself firstly, “do I really need this?”. If its essential than yes buy, but if you could live without, save money by resisting. Remember the motto, its only a bargain if you really need it!
Other ways to cut back on spending are things such as bringing a packed lunch to work instead of spending money at Subway or Pret A Manger. Limit yourself to one trip to Starbucks a week and put all that money you save into your emergency fund. You’ll be surprised how much you could save in just a week on avoiding takeaway lunches and coffees, for example if you spend £5 per lunch over 5 days thats a saving of £25 (£100 in a month).
Remember, all of these things are temporary while you build up your emergency fund. Also, call up your utility providers. Tell them you’re thinking about switching to another provider. In almost every case they are able to renegotiate your rates. If they aren’t, then shop around for a better deal!
Remember when shopping in the sales. Its only a bargain if you really need it!
When you do a combination of all of these things you’ll be able to get your £1,000 emergency fund in no time at all. But don’t stop there! Keep going until you have 6 months of your living expenses covered. Yes, I know its a big ask, but it will be worth it if ever you need it.