If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we need an emergency fund more than we ever thought. Check out these 13 creative ways to save money for the next emergency that comes up.

Financial health is a really important part of the wellness wheel. It’s Kent’s wife, Christina here, to talk about ways to save money for the future so we’ll be more ready for the next crisis that arises.

Why saving money is important

There are so many things that can come up in our lives. With recent events, we can see that income is not guaranteed, supplies aren’t always available, and we can’t count on everything always being the same. So it’s good to have a small stockpile of things you can’t live without as well as money set back for these times. There are so many reasons to be prepared.

Saving for the future

It’s much more fun to spend the money you earn on something fun than to save for the future. Saving for the future is not just saving for retirement, but it could be saving for today. Do you need a new roof? Do you want a new car? These are all reasons to save up money. Saving up for what you want and need and borrowing money from yourself to buy them can be really fun too.

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People putting money in their piggy bank and smiling

Long term vs short term savings

Short-term savings is considered saving for something within the next three years. Something like a wedding, vacation, or other goals you have. Short-term savings should be easily accessible.

Long-term savings is money that will stay put for at least 5 years. Things such as the stock market and real estate can be examples of long-term savings.

Emergency fund examples

Having an emergency fund for unexpected expenses is a must. Things come up that we have no control over and we need to be able to recover from them. Some emergency expenses could be:

  • Car repairs
  • Home repairs
  • Medical expenses
  • Emergency travel
  • Job loss
smiling piggy bank

Emergency fund calculator

How much of an emergency fund do you need? Having $1000 in an emergency fund is a great start. You can save that first $1000 by saving change, getting rebates, taking a few dollars from each paycheck before you do anything else, saving any surprise money you get such as bonuses and any other way you can think of.

Keep this $1000 emergency fund in a place that you can get to easily if there is an emergency, but not easy enough that you will be tempted to spend it for a non-emergency reason.

Once you have saved that, you can make your next goal to save enough money to live 3-6 months on. So you will calculate what your basic living expenses are.

Not to live high on the hog, but what your basic needs are to make it for a month, and multiply that by whatever you want your goal to be, somewhere from 3-6 months, and that’s how much you need to save for unexpected emergencies.

Once you have your emergency fund fully funded, you can concentrate on building wealth for the future. Check out more ideas from Dave Ramsey here.

Jar full of coins

There are so many ways you can save money. Here are 13 of my favorites that we have used over the years.

  • Buy at thrift stores.
  • Cook at home instead of eating out.
  • Buy generic. Many times they are as good as the name brand.
  • Get an automatic savings account.
  • Get rid of cable tv.
  • Check insurance rates with other companies.
  • Sell what you don’t need.
  • Barter instead of buying.

Ways to save money on a tight budget

  • Check books out of the library instead of buying them.
  • Get cheaper cell service. Cricut has great service for far less than most plans.
  • Give up soda and coffee drinks. Drink water, it’s free. If you must have coffee, make those fancy coffee drinks at home. You can make stuff that’s even better than Starbucks anyway.
  • Have a no-spend day, week, or month.
  • Seal up the leaks in your house and turn your thermostat down.

Once you get used to cutting corners, you find even more creative ways to save even more. It can be fun like a game. But your future will thank you for it.