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4 Ways to Start an Emergency Fund and Eliminate Financial Worry

According to the Federal Reserve, nearly 40% of Americans are unable to cash fund a $400 emergency. Think about that for a minute. A minor car repair, a routine medical procedure, or a even a simple home maintenance issue, and you are taking on more debt just to get through it.

Now think about that 25-year-old furnace, or that car that’s barely hanging on. What about something completely unexpected that catches you unprepared. It’s no wonder you are stressed about money. You might even lie awake at night worrying about it.

You need an emergency fund and you know it. Research conducted by Nerd Wallet suggests that building an emergency fund is a top financial priority for Americans. Unfortunately, you are likely living paycheck to paycheck wondering if that is even possible.

I am here to tell you that it is!

How Much Do I Need to Save?

The most common question regarding building an emergency fund is how much do I need? Well, that depends. An ideal amount would be 3-6 months of living expenses. However, if you are carrying any consumer debt other than a mortgage, you need to start small. That is because paying off your debt is going to take priority.

In this case start with $1000. That may not seem like much, but it will go a long way to keep you out of trouble when something pops up. It will not cover every emergency, and it’s not supposed to. It will however help to ease the worry of having nothing at all.

How do I save $1000 living paycheck to paycheck?

1.Get on a Budget

If you are not living on a budget, you have no idea where all that hard earned money is going. It’s time to start keeping track. This will give a clear picture of how you spend your money. It will provide you the chance to see where you can cut expenses and start putting money away.

At Flory Financial, the only kind of budget we use is a zero-based budget. If you are not sure what that is, or need help getting started, go check out my free budgeting guide. This will put you on the right track.

2. Sell Your Stuff

There is a good chance you have some items in your house that are worth something. Old electronics that you no longer use, gently used clothing, decorative items, even that air fryer you had to have but is still in the box.

You do not need to sell items you use, although you can if you think you can live without it. Certainly, I wouldn’t recommend selling anything that has sentimental value. The point is, you have something you can sell. You may even be able to sell enough to fully fund that $1000 emergency fund.

There are a lot of ways you can sell your stuff online. Ebay and Facebook Marketplace are easy to use and get a lot of web traffic. If you have a lot of stuff you want to sell, you can even host a good old fashioned yard sale.

3. Cut Expenses

If you’ve put your budget together, you will certainly find some areas that you can save some money.

How often are you eating out? Eating at home more often is a common way people save money.

What about your entertainment? When was the last time you took a look at all the subscription services you are paying for? Theres a chance you’ll find your paying for something you don’t even use. You probably don’t need Netflix, Hulu, Max, and Disney+, so cut that back to one service. Try shopping around for a better price on your cable, or negotiate a better price with your current provider. If you are feeling extra brave cancel cable all together.

Are you paying for a gym membership you don’t use? Are you buying books when you could be using the library? Do you need to stop buying so many new clothes?

There are so many ways in which you can change your lifestyle and put more money into your budget. Time to get it done.

4. Start a Side Hustle

After all that, if you still can’t put together a $1000 emergency fund, maybe it’s time to consider an additional source of income. No one wants to work more hours, but even just a little extra income can go a long way.

There are lots of opportunities to make extra money. Try delivering meals through DoorDash or Uber Eats. Or use your vehicle to give rides through Uber or Lyft.

If you're creative, start selling your creations on Etsy? Or try Fiverr to use your skills for freelance work.

The opportunities are there if you are willing to put in the effort. A side hustle is great way to get the emergency fund going.


At this point, there should be nothing standing in your way. Get that emergency fund started today! You could have $1000 saved by the end of the week to help you cover those unexpected expenses. Imagine the weight that will be lifted off of your shoulders.

You can do it!





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