I’m not sure where the term emergency fund came from, but suddenly it’s everywhere. Experts disagree on the amount one should keep in an easily accessed savings account. (I’ve read everything from $1000 to an entire year’s salary). Either way, it’s a hefty chunk of change.
So how does one put money aside when the everyday bills are already a challenge?
First of all, I need to fess up. I don’t have an emergency fund. My house is a freaking money pit! It seems like whenever we start to have a bit of a cushion, there’s suddenly another unpleasant expense to meet. (New sewer line, decommissioning an old oil tank, etc.) However, I’m in a unique profession as an on-call nurse, and I can work as little or as much as I want. So when the expenses creep up, I work more. But the past six months have been an exception, as my husband’s career took an abrupt change of direction. It’s a good change, but it involves a big pay cut for the first year. This has also meant I couldn’t work as much as I have in the past.
Even with my husband’s decreased income and my decreased work availability, I still want to be putting money into savings.
I am a firm believer that small amounts of money savings are worth the effort. Conversely, I also believe that even small amounts put into savings can add up to significant amounts. My sons’ savings accounts hold this to be true, as each holds a couple hundred dollars, yet the deposits are never more than a few dollars at a time.
Here’s my plan. Any unforeseen money that comes into my life will go directly into a savings account.
Do not pass go, yes please collect $200.
I often come across small amounts of unexpected money — money from clothes taken to the consignment shop, things sold on craigslist, found money, gifts, and so forth. It’s rarely more than$10-$20, but that can add up quickly. I do have a number of things I’ve been meaning to put on craigslist, so this might be the inspiration I’ve been looking for. (Declutter and make money? Be still my beating heart!)
A friend of mine has a goal to save $100,000 this year. (Yes, you read that right.) She’s blogging about it here. She’s a smart and funny writer, and I’m looking forward to following her progress as the year progresses.
There’s no possible way I could save $100,000 in a year, (it’s mathematically impossible.) But maybe I could save $300 per month. Maybe.
Are you putting money into savings? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”