Whether you are looking for immediate financial security or plan to build a retirement nest egg, anytime is an excellent time to focus on savings.
Here are 10 ways you can get started building your emergency fund.
- Find money to save. Devote any windfalls to savings, including raises, bonuses, birthday checks and tax rebate checks issued by the government.
- "Walk the Talk." Commit to putting 10 percent of your take-home pay into an interest-bearing account each month and forget it's there.
- Treat it like a bill. Give yourself a due date and a minimum payment and include this critical payment to yourself in your monthly budget.
- Pretend it was never yours. Set up an automatic deposit to your emergency fund from your weekly paycheck. If you don't see it, you won't spend it!
- Pay yourself for dinner. Skip lunch or dinner out and save what you would have spent instead.
- Leave yourself a tip. Every time you tip a server, pay yourself the same amount. It may seem small, but it adds up quickly!
- Get cash back. Round up to the nearest ten when you cash out at a grocery, pharmacy or retail register and slip the small amount into your savings jar when you get home.
- Keep paying it off. If you recently paid off a big loan, like a student or auto loan, keep paying it, but to yourself. You've lived without it this long; you won't even miss it.
- Invest in CDs. You'll earn higher interest and keep your emergency savings just beyond reach, in case you are tempted.
- Start today. It doesn't have to be a large sum, as long as it's something. Small amounts really do add up fast.