Disaster doesn’t announce its arrival. It can strike anyone and at anytime. It arrives and then creates turbulence in your emotional and financial world. An emergency fund or savings can help you a lot during this time.
How an emergency fund can help you in crisis
Suppose you lose your job suddenly. You have a family to look after. You have other expenses too. But, you don’t have any monthly income? And, unless you’re too lucky, you won’t get a job within a few days. So, how will you cover your expected and unexpected expenses during this time?
If you have saved a significant amount in your bank account, then you can cover all your expenses easily. You won’t have to swipe your credit cards for covering your basic expenses. Neither do you need to think about taking out a high-interest payday loan for paying your bills. And, remember you would have to pay off credit cards and payday loans eventually. If you don’t, then your debt load will become heavier with each passing day.
3 Steps you need to take now
The present scenario is, you have no savings. If you’re sensible, you would make efforts to change this scenario. But, how would you do that? Well, don’t panic. Here are a few steps you can take now:
1. Watch out for ways to save dollars
There are plenty of ways to save money everyday; Let me tell you a few of them.
(i) Plan your meal before driving to the grocery store: Plan your meal for the entire week. Buy only those ingredients that you need for preparing the dishes. Cook at home so as to save money and calories.
(ii) Drink coffee at home before driving to office: There is absolutely no logic in spending $4-$5 on coffee everyday. You can make and sip coffee in your home. Stop having coffees at cafes.
(iii) Wait 24 hours before clicking ‘proceed to pay’: We can buy anything at any moment. But we end up spending a fortune in this process. Isn’t it? Find a system to stop making impulse purchases. Wait for 24 hours before buying a product. Once the period is over, you might see that the item falls into your “want” category than a “need”.This will help you stop useless spending.
2. Create a budget to find out the saving areas: A budget can help you know why you're not being able to save a penny every month. You earn a lot but still can’t save money every month. A cleverly planned budget will show you the areas where you need to reduce your expenses. Once you locate the category where you’re spending more than what you ought to, you can come up with strategies to cut down your expenditures.
Remember, the most important thing isn’t about creating a budget. It’s more about sticking to that budget on a regular basis. Here are a few tips you can follow to stick to a budget.
Tip #2 Avoid keeping credit cards in front of wallet, laptop or smartphone
Tip #3 Set small goals for a short period of time
Tip #4 Review your budget every week
Tip #5 Negotiate prices when buying a product
Tip #6 Payoff your debts as soon as possible
3. Leap out of debt in whatever way you can: This doesn't mean that you should try to get out of debt illegally. Revise your budget so that you can save more every month. Use the extra money you’re saving to pay off debts.
Here’s how you can get rid of debt quickly:
(i) Enroll in a good debt relief program: Research on the available debt relief programs and find out which one is the best for you. The best debt relief option will help you to pay off debts and save a substantial amount simultaneously.
(ii) Negotiate with your creditors: Negotiate with your creditors and come up with a fantastic repayment plan so that you can pay back your creditors and save a significant amount as well.
(iii) Use your tax refund: If you have received a tax refund, then use it to pay off your debts. You can enjoy a lovely vacation with your family next year too.
Develop a habit of saving money since this will help you avoid big financial troubles. It will open new doors for you and help you reach your financial goals. Just think, if you have enough savings in your bank account, you can pay a bigger amount for the down payment and avoid buying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).