Thrifty Thursday: Saving for an Emergency Fund

Step 1: Saving for your emergency fund:

An emergency fund is so important not because it helps with emergency costs, but because it covers the costs that would otherwise cause a financial emergency! It’s much easier to concentrate on paying bills if you don’t have to worry about using your grocery money for the unplanned root canal.
The struggle most people have, though, is that they spend all they make.  There is never “extra”, or so it seems, to save. Most of the American population live paycheck to paycheck, with little to no savings. If that’s the case, the idea of saving any money seems out of reach. But when we get desperate enough, we can do it. (I know from experience!) Don’t underestimate the adage, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Get mad enough about your situation to plow through it!

This first step of the emergency fund is sticking back $1000 as fast as you can. There are several places to look for “extra” money to save. The Following is a list of practical ideas we implemented in our financial journey:

Think of it like an “emergency mission”. Make it top priority. If you knew you were about to die and the only lifesaving medicine available cost $1000, how fast could you save it? You’d be pretty serious, I suppose.Get serious.

Cut back your monthly bills.

Most families have several places in their budget that could be trimmed. Consider this list of regular expenses, and then think through others that could be trimmed:
1. Cell phones—could you get a cheaper plan? Do without it? Pre-paid minutes?
2. Cable? (You may be surprised to know how much life you are losing to the tube!)
3. Phone service—would a calling card be cheaper? Are there extras you don’t even know you’re being charged for?
4. Electric service. Utilize your clothesline. If you are able, even if it is just on Saturdays, drying clothes on the line versus the dryer is a substantial savings.
5. Conserve water. A shower uses less hot water than a bath, provided you take a quick one!
6. Car Payment. Purchasing a new car is one of the biggest financial mistakes people make.“Impossible”, you say? Not at all! Most people in the world live in much smaller and less comfortable situations with no hope for change. Couldn’t we sacrifice temporarily for HUGE dividends later? Let’s get some perspective!

They are the highest depreciating item. Can you sell your car and purchase a cheaper one with the cash?

What if that’s not enough? Sometimes a couple may truly have cut back every variable expense they can and still come up short. Being financially free often requires doing HARD things…

Mike and Debbie were one of those couples who had made some bad financial decisions early in their marriage, later realizing the bondage they were in. Since they had two small children and were resolved that Debbie didn’t need to leave them to enter the work force, they sought some Christian, financial counseling. After examining their income and expenses, the counselor recommended something hard for them to swallow.

He suggested they look at their housing expense. They lived in a comfortable two-story home but in a higher-priced neighborhood. Resolved to do whatever they needed to do to get out of this bondage, they made the temporary sacrifice of selling their home, downsizing, and moving to a less expensive location. That move saved them $850 a month.
We are creatures of comfort, aren’t we? Often we will hold on to our debt and bondage in exchange for temporary physical comfort. Don’t be afraid to do the hard thing…you won’t regret it when you are FREE!!!
Another couple put their house up for rent, and opted to move their family of 10 into a 4-bedroom, double-wide mobile home, and wait to sell their house and then build.
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Extra Jobs

The turning point in our despairing situation was when my husband decided to take a part-time job in addition to his regular job in retail. As I mentioned in the beginning, he had previously run a landscaping business, doing well in the summer, but poorly in the winter. He still had a commercial mower we were paying for, so he continued to do lawn service as it became available. In addition to that, he got a job at night delivering pizza. It saved us. I am still in awe of his determination and stamina. He worked 3 to 4 nights a week, averaging around $50 a night. Little by little, we could feel the desperation vanish. And while it was a difficult season to be apart so much, the release of tension made up for the loss of time together. The sheer joy of knowing we would be able to pay all our bills for the month sustained us through the long working hours.

A home business that we still continue was a result of our financial drought. One Christmas we were forced to resort to almost strictly homemade presents. As I began searching on the Internet for ideas, I started collecting recipes for homemade skin products. The more I found, the more I discovered it was cheaper to buy in larger quantities. I also kept thinking “people would buy these”, so I decided to buy what little we could afford to make some extra, and try to sell them. It didn’t provide an avalanche of cash, but it definitely filled in some gaps. We now outsource the work for Nurtured by Nature to another family and sell the products from our website.
I have since discovered the wealth of opportunities to make money on-line. This very ebook is part of our income which goes toward paying off the remaining debt. If you are even slightly Internet savvy, starting a blog or website creates an instant “world-wide” market for whatever products you want to sell.

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11 Responses to “Thrifty Thursday: Saving for an Emergency Fund”

  1. I didn’t see any rules about not posting twice. ;o)

  2. Lucy T says:

    Kelly,my husband is a crew leader at a factory and like your husband spent a couple nights working for some friends of ours at thier pizza place.$50.00 a night free food and drinks for are family of 7 may not sound like much to some but it made a huge diffrence in our monthly savings and kept me home.I tried babysitting and cleaning houses my children and husband hated my time being spent away from them.I also had a really hard time keeping up with the kids school work when I cleaned.But the funny thing is even though I made the same or a little more than my husbands pizza job we never seemed to be getting ahead that way.We believe we where working out of Gods will for our lives as soon as we switched things around our home life became more scheduled again and blessings begain to pour in.Gifts we never expected,money from security deposits on places we hadn’t lived in 5 years,good deals on thing we needed,and God really started blessing our thought life as well.Suddently ideas would come to us that had never accured to us before.Basically I am saying if your struggling financialy you may want to consider if you are living in Gods will or not.I am not saying that we will not have hardships either way but being inline with Gods plan for family blessed us greatly.

  3. Word Warrior says:

    Lucy T.,

    I think that is a very good point; often when we’re doing what we think “makes sense”, we don’t get the same reward if that wisdom is contrary to God’s. I’ve heard the same said of tithing…

  4. I’m going to finally get your e-book! FYI- when I click to add it to my cart it adds the homeschool book instead…so I clicked on that link and it added the financial freedom book…

  5. Dana says:

    We use a calling card that we got at Sam’s almost seven years ago. We recharge it online and pay just over $.03/minute. We have the number memorized so we don’t even have to have the card to make a long distance call. It’s great to not have a shockingly high phone bill because of long distance charges. It’s saved us a TON of money over the years!

  6. Word Warrior says:

    Stephanie…

    Oh dear! Guess I need to fix that…I’m still trying to work through these WordPress kinks 😉

  7. Joyce says:

    Thanks!

  8. J Klassen says:

    Wow, fantastic blog structure! How lengthy have you been running a blog for? you make blogging look easy. The full look of your web site is magnificent, let alone the content!

  9. […] For more Thrifty ideas, hop on over to Generation Cedar. […]

  10. Star says:

    Not having power was a big drawback on account of
    the fact that it’s 20 degrees cold out here and
    never having electricity to run the warmers is admittedly a difficulty.
    It’s one of the crucial finest kept secrets and techniques for a long time, for reasons the electrical companies will not tell us about.

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