Only 41% of American’s say they could handle a $1,000 emergency with savings. An additional 37% say they would cover it with a credit card, take out a personal loan or ask friends/family. If you fall in the remaining 22% that say they don’t know, or even if you belong to the 37% that say they could borrow to cover the expense desperately need to learn how to set aside some cash for a rainy day.
When we boil it down to its barest components, the answer is to just start doing it. If you need to set money away so you could cover the cost of a $1,000 expense because you couldn’t afford it then it’s time to start, by any means necessary. If you have, or even if you don’t have children it’s not hard to imagine that you would do anything to put food on the table so they could eat right? Why not take your savings that seriously, because if you don’t and your car decides to take a shit and die on you, and you are no longer able to get to work what will you do to feed your children then?
Alright, enough drama. How do we start saving? Well, simply enough, if you have a single dollar in your checking account, your wallet, quarters in the couch or even a bag full of crushed cans to recycle then go take that dollar and put it in savings. Congratulations! You’ve set a dollar aside for a rainy day!
Obviously that single dollar will not protect you from your transmission doing it’s best kamikaze plane impression. What you have to do is put a second dollar, and a third. Keep putting those dollars into the saving account until you have more money in savings than problems in reality. It’s that simple, but simple dosn’t mean easy, nor does it mean fast.
If you think I was kidding about putting just a single dollar away if that’s all you can manage then think again. If that is all you can manage then you do your damnedest to put that dollar away. Perhaps you think it doesn’t seem worth it to put away just a single dollar. Let me ask you this, do you have a a better method that doesn’t have the possibility of exploding in your face, and even if you only put away a single dollar a week that’s still $4 a month, and $52 dollars a year. It’s not a lot of money, but if struggling to put away a single dollar describes your situation then having $52 set aside will seem like a mountain of cash.
If a dollar a week seems too small you can always do two, three, ten, or more. I guarantee that if I followed you around for a week I could find a couple of small changes that would add up to $10 per week to save. At that point you would have $40 per month and $520 by the end of the year. $520 isn’t anything to sneeze at. It’s a healthy start! Especially if you have never saved up that much money before.
So, lets say you’ve decided you might be able to spare $5 a week, or $20 per month. Perhaps you are not quite there, but that is your goal. So how do we make your dollars stretch so that you can reach your $5 weekly goal, or perhaps even higher? Start looking for things to cut or reduce expenditure on.
If you smoke, this might be something like reducing the amount you smoke to equal about $5 in savings. It could be something like making one meal per week at home instead of getting fast food or gas station food.
Another simple way to save $10+ per month is to cancel unused subscriptions. If you have cable, cut the cord and go full internet. I would never suggest pirating movies or shows, but you could always figure out who among you and your friends have all the different streaming services and share the login so each person only pays one service while having access to the others.
There are plenty of other ways to save money if you really wanted to. It helps to have a goal in mind so that once you start saving you can project how much you will be saving in the long run!