An emergency fund serves as a financial “safety net” so you aren’t forced to borrow money when unexpected expenses pop up.
Ways to Save and Maintain Your Emergency Fund
Small changes can pay off big. Use these tips to get your emergency fund going:
- Pay yourself first. Establish an allotment or bank transfer to set aside money each paycheck.
- Consider selling unused household items online or through a garage sale.
- Explore adding another source of income either with a second job (with command approval) or spouse employment.
- Visit the IRS Withholding Estimator to see if you should adjust your withholding to get more money per paycheck.
- Save a portion of your tax refund or bonus.
- Explore the possibility of a one-month deferral on your auto loan payment. Ask your lender about fees or additional interest charges associated with a deferral.
- Save $3 a day! Do this for a year and you will save over $1,000 in your emergency fund.
- Go on a spending fast. Eliminate all impulse and nonessential purchases for a week, month, or until you hit your savings goal.
- Immediately work to replenish your emergency fund if you need to draw from it to cover an unplanned expense.
- Take advantage of military-specific savings opportunities like the Savings Deposit Program.