Monday, January 14, 2013
$1000 Emergency Fund
Our first priority for getting out of debt isn't actually touching any of the debt at all. This may seem counterintuitive to some, but having this emergency fund in place will keep your debt from growing in that, when an emergency happens you won't have to put it on a credit card.
At the same time, you can continue using some of these ideas for building your fund to put extra money on your debt.
Stop using credit cards. We are now on a spending freeze. It's time to decide what is a want and what is a need. For needs, try to use cash and coupons whenever possible. Don't use the credit card.
Find all the cash in your home. This one might surprise you. Get all the change from your "bucket", pockets, seat cushions, coat pockets, old purses, ashtray in the car, etc. It all adds up really fast and you'll be surprised at how much you find. Once you have found it all, never leaving it laying around again, have a central spot to put all loose change.
Find other hidden money. Gift cards you haven't used...use them or sell them on websites like gift card granny. Or, if you haven't used any on them at all, regift them, and put the money you would have spent on a gift into your fund. What about any points you have on your credit cards or other reward programs? Figure out how they can be used for bill credits or again for gifts and then "save" the money you would have spent. What about your taxes? It's worth it to get a company like H&R Block to check your taxes to see if you could get more from last year.
Get some extra income from more hours at work or get a part time job. This may seem like a step backwards or something you just don't want to do, but keep in mind, it is only temporary until you are on your feet and have learned how to stay there.
I would love to hear from any of you about how much you find and/or save. I love hearing your stories. I, myself found $20 in a jacket pocket I don't ever remember putting there!