10 Tips for Building an Emergency Fund

TheMamaZone.com: 10 Tips for Building an Emergency Fund

One year ago, this week, we said goodbye to a steady income. My husband was laid off from a job he’d had for years and since that layoff, we’ve heard no after frustrating no following every interview.

And, while this has not been a fun way to live, it’s definitely been easier because of a little foresight. We’ve only been able to survive because of our emergency fund and, although your focus might be on the holidays right now, I’d like to help you give yourself the gift of financial peace.

10 Tips for Starting an Emergency Fund

  1. Imagine life without an income and let that feeling motivate you to start saving!
  2. Decide what you can afford to put away and how often.
  3. Set a measurable goal–will you attempt to save a specific amount or enough to cover expenses for a certain time period?
  4. Commit to saving that amount and stick to it. (Keep reminding yourself of what you imagined in step 1.)
  5. Determine what an “emergency” is and don’t touch the money if it doesn’t qualify.
  6. Give your savings a boost with a work bonus or gift money you receive.
  7. Have a garage sale or sell things online to jump-start your emergency fund.
  8. Give up a small luxury like eating out or coffeehouse runs and use that money to start your fund.
  9. Get rid of unnecessary expenses and use that money to start your fund.
  10. Set up your account with a bank that offers low or no fees, interest and rewards (see below).

Bonus Tip: When an emergency occurs, eliminate any expenses you can and make an effort to stretch those emergency dollars.

Grab a printable version of this list.

TheMamaZone.com: 10 Tips for Building an Emergency Fund

Give the Gift of Financial Peace with Capital One 360

TheMamaZone.com: Capital One 360 Black Friday Sale

Now that I’ve got you thinking about your finances, I have to tell you about Capital One 360’s Black Friday Sale. I know it’s counter intuitive to think about financial security during the holidays, but they’re making it very easy to do with some wonderful new customer deals. I’ve been a Capital One 360 customer for a while and I wish I’d started with them sooner! Here’s what you can grab now through December 1st:

For new customers:

  • Open a new 360 Checking account and receive a $100 bonus
  • Open a new 360 Savings account and receive a $100 bonus
  • Receive up to $1,250 when you open and fund a new ShareBuilder account
  • Save $1,250 on closing costs with a new Home Loan

For current customers:

  • Refer a Friend and receive a $40 bonus per successful referral (I’d love to be your referral!)

Visit their special Black Friday Sale site for all of the details and requirements.

[Tweet “.@CapitalOne360 is decking the halls w/ deals including bonuses and closing cost credits”]

Capital One 360 products are designed to save consumers time and money. Their CheckMate tool make it easy to deposit funds and their automatic savings plan is a great addition to your efforts to build an emergency fund. I was drawn to them because their checking and savings accounts are fee-free and earn interest. Take advantage of these great Black Friday deals before they’re gone and if you do, be sure to let me know in the comments!

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


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  • Bethany Floyd

    My husband and I started with an emergency fund shortly after we got married and it has been so helpful to us.

    • zonemom

      That’s great. I wish more couples had the foresight to do that early on.

  • Alsì Atelier

    thank you so much it is very helpful!

  • Having an emergency fund has been one of the best financial decisions we’ve made. My job ended this past year and while it has been hard, it would have been devastating if we had been without an emergency fund. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • zonemom

      It really does help. I don’t know what would have happened to us if we didn’t have one.

  • S’ambrosia Wasike

    My husband and I just had this discussion tonight. We started a business and part of our priority is to set aside a certain percentage towards an emergency fund. Thanks for the reinforcement. It’s got me more jazzed about the decision we made.

    • zonemom

      So happy it helped! Best…

  • Jojams

    Very helpful tips! Thank you very much!

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