My emergency fund disappeared

emergency-fund1Beyond just common sense, I have had the need for an Emergency Fund pounded into my head over the past several years by Ryan over at TSLR. Although I had not built my Emergency Fund up to the level that I would have liked – it came in handy recently when I had several unexpected expenses come up. Without it those expenses would have been a much bigger deal.

Now it’s back to the drawing board and will start budgeting in putting back greenbacks like I do food and ammo. I know many in today’s economy scoff at the idea of an Emergency Fund – but it is doable even under some of the toughest conditions. Even the smallest amount money set aside adds up and is better than the pocket lint you may find when searching for some spare change.

A couple things that I plan to do to open up some funding for the Emergency Fund:

  • Bring my lunch to work rather than go out every day
  • Reduce the number of times I go to Crossfit during my lunch hour (less $$$ on gas). Rather – I will go on my way home from work.
  • Better budgeting out of each check. Get back to an “envelope system” dividing available funds with each check – including savings.
  • Get the wife to sell stuff we do not need anymore on Facebook and related sites.
  • Sell my kids. OK – maybe I skip that one.

With persistence and a few changes I will get my Emergency Fund back up and feel much better knowing it is there.

Rourke

 


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12 Comments

  1. LOL at the selling the kids comment! There are days I’d like to do the same! I struggle with the emergency fund too, have to raid it periodically, but always trying to build it back up…I’m thinking that I’m going to start just keeping minimum in bank, withdrawing my paycheck and paying bills with cash and setting some back might just be a start…I ‘have’ to do direct deposit, so…

  2. Although at the end of the month there is usually not a lot of money left in my checking account I started a new “trick” to build up my savings. I just zero out the account every month. Sometimes I have $5.00 and sometimes $100. But before I started doing this I’d just pretend it was found money and spend it on something extra, now it is saved. I have a pretty strict budget, which includes pizza and frozen yogurt for the grandkids, and I budget money for food storage and preps. I don’t need this extra for the preps (although I’d love to purchase more ammo). Try it, it may work for you.

  3. I keep a running total of what I spend daily on an Excel spread sheet. I track every dime from $1.87 at McDonalds to the money I spend at Lowes and Walmart. I find it difficult to save money if you don’t know where it goes.

  4. I have 10% go to savings every week, I don’t miss it and it has saved my butt several times. We put extra money from side jobs in the checking account and we don’t we don’t always add it to the ledger. We always have a little more than what the ledger says. Kind of like hiding it from our selves, sounds weird but it works.

  5. I hide money here and there. I don’t seem to be able to build up money for an emergency fund any other way. If I don’t know how much is in that pile of change (and a few bills) in the sock drawer I’m less likely to spend it…

  6. My problem is that when I put money in savings or in an envelope I dont have the disipline to not dip into it for “non-emergency” use. I need to either open an account that isnt linked to my main account or put it in a safe and give someone else the combo.

  7. I could also recommend to some to cut out Star Bucks… and soft drinks for a while. Make a gallon of tea or just drink water. This can save people more than they realize.

    Just for grins, write down every penny spent over the day for a month. All pocket change needs to be watched. Now a days, people use their debit card like cash. If so, start totaling up what you spend where. You will see where unexpected funds sneak away!

    Having a separate non-debit card account is where everyone should put their emergency funds. Some account that takes some extra effort to get access to.

    Food for thought

  8. Im right there with you I just had to have back surgery due to a ruptured disc and thank GOD I did have money put away. Now time to rebuild just glad to be back to work at this point. Keep your mind right and stay focused and you can be back to where you need to be in no time!

  9. When I take money from savings that isn’t for “scheduled” spending, 1/2 of that goes to the emergency fund.

    It makes you think twice before pulling money out, especially since it may be a big hit that you only get 1/2 of the benefit from.

    It is nice to know that it is there if we ever need it in the future, though.

  10. Yeah, our emergency funds have taken lots of big hits recently. That’s what it’s for, but not having that cushion is seriously not cool. It took too long to build up to begin with so there definitely needs to be a plan to speed up the savings. The envelope system works… when you have more than one envelope LOL!

  11. Try this when you write a check or use your debit card round up to the nearest dollar. If you write a check or buy something with your debit card for $10.23,ark your check register $11.00. The few cents add up quickly and makes a nice emergency fund.

  12. Glad to hear the savings helped out!

    As to (re) funding the emergency fund.

    What we do is (pretty) consistently save a given amount each payday. For the sake of simplicity lets say it’s $500. Say a hundred and fifty goes to retirement strait off the top which leaves us with $350. Say we save another $50 for some mid term goal leaving $300. We save up $300 a month till we reach whatever we consider comfortable for the emergency fund. After the emergency fund is topped off we start making extra payments on something, save for a car as one of them is perpetually getting old, etc all.

    Say the furnace goes out or there is a significant medical bill/ whatever. It comes out of the emergency fund. Then you go from saving that $300 for extra principal payments/ a car back into refunding the emergency fund.

    Well that’s my .02 cents on that.

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