3 ways to rebuild your emergency fund

A woman looks at her budget
August 04, 2020 | Katie Levene

The AC went out and you needed to dip into your emergency savings to pay the pricey bill. Not a problem! That’s why you have the fund. (Aren’t you glad you had it?) Now, for the next few months, you’ll need to rebuild it. Here are some tips to get you started.

Adjust or make a budget

Sitting down to create a budget can feel like a daunting task. However, if you’ve never made a budget before there are simple ways to get started. A very popular budget is the 50/30/20 budget where necessities make up 50 percent of your take-home pay, fun spending makes up 30 percent, and saving and debt repayment make up 20 percent.

It’s pretty simple to take a look at last month’s spending and put each transaction into one of the three categories. Then, look at areas where you can cut unnecessary expenses so you can put more toward your savings.

As with many tasks, the hardest part is getting started. So, schedule time one morning this weekend and just get started. The sooner you have a budget, the sooner you can rebuild your emergency fund.

Pick a few specific things to cut for a few months

It’s great to have goals, but it’s even better to have SMART goals. Many of us have seen this acronym and it can be applied to any personal goal: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realist and Timely (SMART).

When you create a goal to cut expenses, make the goal SMART. It’s easier to accomplish the spending goal when you know exactly what you are cutting, that it’s achievable and that it’s for a specific amount of time.

Therefore, write down what you will be reasonably cutting and give yourself a deadline. That way you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel. You only need to cut these items for a few months to get your emergency savings back on track.

Sell a couple of things

Sometimes a quick win can get us fired up to keep going. A very easy way to build your emergency savings is to sell some big items and contribute that cash to your fund.

We all have things that we’re not using around the house and there are many apps and online forums that can help you list and sell your items. Start with a manageable amount of items instead of listing your entire closet. Soon you’ll see your emergency fund grow and your old items getting a new life.


A combination of all of these steps will help you get back on track with your emergency savings.

More information about emergency savings:

Katie Levene is a marketer fascinated with finance. Whether the topic is about the psychology of money, investment strategies or simply how to spend better, Katie enjoys diving in and sharing all the details with family, friends and Money Mentor readers. Money management needs to be simplified and Katie hopes she accomplishes that for our readers. The saying goes, "Knowledge is Power", and she hopes you feel empowered after reading Money Mentor.

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