Emergency Fund

How to Save for an Emergency

Had to dip into your savings? Here's a few ways to help you start replenishing it.

The last year has been tough on everyone. Many have been forced to use savings to make ends meet. If you've used up your emergency funds to survive prolonged unemployment, an unexpected large expense or a medical emergency, or you're just starting to build savings from scratch, we have some tips for you.

Here’s how to start building your plan to save:

Set a goal

Before saving money, it’s a smart idea to establish a realistic goal. It is safest to first try to replenish the money that was spent during your time of emergency. Remember that experts recommend having funds to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses set aside in an emergency fund or savings account.

Review your budget and trim spending

A good place to start finding extra money for savings is by carefully reviewing your spending for ways to cut back. Look for expenses that could make a difference in a monthly budget without dramatically affecting your quality of life. Think about subscriptions or services that are rarely used, a dining-out budget that could be scaled back, and expensive recreational activities that can be swapped with free experiences. There’s no need to live like you’re broke, but stripping your budget of some extras can give you the boost of cash you need each month to build up your savings again.

Make a plan

Once you have a goal in place for building your savings, and you’ve maximized the possible monthly contributions toward savings each month, it’s time to create a plan. Map out a timeline of how long it’ll take to reach your goal when putting away as much as possible each month. Remember: the more aggressively you save now, the sooner you’ll reach your goal.

Sell your old treasures

If you’ve spent part of the COVID-19 lockdown giving your house a deep cleaning, you may have unearthed some forgotten treasures that can turn into easy moneymakers. You can sell old clothing on ThredUp, unwanted jewelry on Worthy.com, sell furniture through Chairish, sell or trade unused sports equipment on Swap Me Sports, and sell kids clothing and toys on Kid to Kid. Use the cash you earn from these sales to jumpstart your new nest egg!

Start saving

It’s time to put the plan into action!

The best way to ensure regular savings happens each month is to make it automatic. You can set up an automatic monthly transfer from your Listerhill Checking Account to your Listerhill Savings Account on a designated day of the month. You may want to have the transfer go through several days after you receive your monthly salary, or it might work out better to put a smaller amount of money into savings each week. Find your local branch for more information!

Put unexpected money into savings

To speed up the process of rebuilding depleted savings, you may want to resolve to put unexpected windfalls into an emergency fund or savings account. This can include tax refunds, a work bonus and gift money. Earmarking future windfalls for savings can shorten the amount of time spent cutting corners in a budget and taking on extra jobs to build up a savings account.

Rebuilding an emergency fund and savings account from the bottom up isn’t easy. It takes commitment, hard work and the ability to keep a long-term goal in mind; however, the security that comes from knowing you have a safety cushion to fall back on in case of a financial setback will make this goal worth the effort many times over.

Need some help building your budget? Get free assistance with financial planning by clicking here.

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