Emergency Fund Now!
I have never been as thankful for my emergency fund as I am now. In March, the world as we knew it changed. For some lucky people the pandemic just meant working from home. For me, it meant a complete shut down of my business. Overnight. And right now, we don’t know when that will change. I can weather this storm – could you? Bankrate found that in July 2019, only 18% of Americans had an emergency fund with 6 months of living expenses. 28% had no emergency savings – none, zero, zilch, zippo. I wonder how many of them have Netflix……..
Right now, you are either doing well or you’re struggling. Either way, I think it’s a great idea to save whatever you can. The one thing I can promise is that the future is going to be different and you need to be ready. So let me share some tips on money. And if you’re wondering what qualifies me to share these 1.) I’m a Certified Financial Educator and 2) I’m debt free and my emergency fund can last a long, long time.
Here are my top 5 tips:
- Fix your relationship with money. If you think money is evil, you probably aren’t going to get much of it. Money is neutral – it’s a tool. You can help the poor with it or you can hire a hit man with it. You can use it for good or evil. But money itself is neutral. Personally, I think money is great! And if you’d like to rid yourself of any of your filthy lucre, I’ll be glad to help.
- There are two ways to improve your financial situation – get more money or spend less money. I think you should always aim to get more.
- You do this by getting better (there is so much free education available right now, it’s unbelievable). Increase your value.
- If you haven’t asked for a raise in a while and you are more productive and better then ever, ask! You don’t ask, you won’t get.
- There might be a side gig you can start. My stepdaughter has a full-time job and a side gig as a photographer. She has no formal training and launched the business on Facebook.
- You can sell stuff. I’ve been listing things on Poshmark – it’s easier to resell things than ever! (Of course, I should have never bought this stuff in the first place.)
- Stop shopping for fun. If you’re like me, I have some bad (but fun!) habits that cost me money. Bath & Body Works and Marshalls top the list. And I love me some Amazon! When my business tanked, I unsubscribed to all shopping emails. I used to go to Marshalls for fun, now I only shop for groceries. We all buy a lot of stuff we don’t need.
- Review EVERY automatic payment. These are so easy to forget about, but they add up! I have a subscription to Audible (love audio books), but I have several I haven’t listened to, so I thought I could jettison that for a while. When I reviewed the payments, I discovered they had a new program that was a lot cheaper. If you pay ANY fees for banking, you need a different bank. And don’t get streaming creep. You might have added a service a while back to watch a certain show and you’re still paying for it. Dump it. I don’t care if it’s just $5 a month. Would you not pick up a $5 bill on the ground?
- Review your habits. Swing by Starbucks every day? Hit the drive-thru on a regular basis? Most people don’t think about where their money goes, they just spend it. If you waste just 14 dollars a day, that’s over $5,000 a year. We tell ourselves we deserve these things; they are just little treats. Then when the unexpected happens we are not ready. Use this as your wake-up call. Get some money put away – there is a 100% chance that things will be different in the fall. I want you to be ready.