With more people than ever finding themselves laid off, everyone is worried about money. Well, almost everyone. There are always those few people who sit from their lofty rooftops shaming people for not being in the same financial situation as them. One of the biggest things right now is them shaming people for not having an emergency fund.
Don’t feel bad!
I want to make it clear that you don’t have to feel bad for not having an emergency fund. You are most definitely not alone. Those who are doing the shaming are the ones who won’t even help; they don’t see it as their problem and believe everyone should be in the same financial position as them.
There are a lot of reasons for people not to have an emergency savings fund. However, you want to stop making excuses. As soon as you’re out of the current financial situation (and there is a light at the end of this dark, twisty, scary tunnel) you can take the following steps to start saving for this happening in the future.
Save a little at a time
Let’s start by looking at your finances. You’re not going to build up an emergency account within weeks. Now, I do have an emergency fund just in case, but it’s taken time to build it up to this point. And I still don’t feel like it’s enough.
I’ve been where you may be now. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck, feeling like it would be impossible to save just a little in case of emergencies. It turned out that wasn’t the case.
My family and I started saving $10 per month. That was it. That was all we could afford. That slowly grew as both my husband and I got better jobs/gained better clients.
Just start small. Every little really does help.
52 Week Money Challenge: How to Save an Extra $5,000 Every Year on Autopilot, Build Your First Emergency Fund & Pay Off Debt Fast
Consider cutting back for your emergency fund
To help us start saving, we made some cut backs. Because we were only saving $10 per month at first, we looked at where that money could come from. It meant cutting back on a couple of coffees each month each. That was doable.
As we started to increase the amount we were saving, we looked at other places to make cut backs. It meant just one takeout per fortnight instead of one a week.
Don’t think you have anywhere that you can cut back? Something I’d recommend is tracking all your subscription services. This is where we found a lot of our money was going. We had geeky subscription boxes that we didn’t really enjoy anymore so canceled them. Or we had music subscriptions that we could combine instead of having two separate ones.
Look at areas in your life that you can make some cut backs to see if you can build your emergency fund.
Make a budget
One of the best things that you can do is to make a budget. This is something that I’ve done multiple times. I’ve had many that have failed. But the most recent one is one that we have stuck to for the last three years.
I use Mint to help with my budgeting plans. I love having the targets, the alerts when we get close to going over, and the monthly updates to see where the money went.
Budgets give you the chance to see how much money you have coming in and where that money is going. It makes it possible to see where you can make your cut backs or where you need to start making some cut backs. This was how we realized just how much we were spending on takeout!
Do make some sacrifices
You’ll need to consider sacrifices here and there. Getting yourself into a good financial position doesn’t come easy. I’m sorry to admit that.
We cut down on the amount that we ate out. We cut out subscription services that we’d really have liked. There were times that I’d look at the bank balance to just see if it was possible to buy those pair of shoes or buy the new book that had just been released. My husband went without his daily coffees and had to make his lunch to take to work.
The sacrifices are worth it. I can tell you right now that they were hard and I wondered at the time, but they are worth it.
But one thing you should never do is feel bad because someone on Instagram has an emergency fund and is comfortable during this crisis. These are the people you should be listening to. Pay attention to the ones who are going to help you both through the crisis and afterward.
Stop spending like there’s no tomorrow and focus on building for a future. Get your emergency fund in order You got this!