The economic crisis that ensued as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded many of the importance of having an emergency savings fund. But while having this kind of fund seems like a universally approved financial step, it can be difficult to know how to start. But don’t let that indecision about how to start saving stop you; not having an emergency savings plan could be incredibly frustrating if a disaster occurs.
Set Goals and Make Plans
According to Vermont Federal Credit Union, one of the best ways to start building an emergency savings fund is to start! It can be easy to think that you have to build an elaborate plan to invest significantly in your savings plan each week or each month. But setting goals that are too lofty may disincentivize you from starting on the journey in the first place.
Think about both short-term and long-term goals—you may envision yourself having a certain figure of money stored away in an emergency savings fund in a certain number of years. Keep that goal in mind and then break it down to your month-by-month. Think carefully about what you can afford now and work to build investing into your current budget.
Start Small and Build Up
It can be helpful to start by having a smaller savings account and building up a larger emergency savings fund. Think of it in terms of micro-goals that help you achieve your macro goals. According to Derek Moneyberg, short-term savings help you pay for unexpected expenses that pop up without getting off track from your long-term financial goals.
Save Your Tax Refund
With tax season around the corner, you are likely anticipating receiving a sizable sum in the mail from your tax return. While it is easy to start planning to use that money for a vacation or for a shopping spree, take this opportunity to set it aside.
You probably don’t need to use this money right now. And taking this opportunity to save a bit could add significantly to your emergency savings fund.
To protect your financial health, it’s extremely important to have money available for emergencies. The best way to help yourself is to commit to starting to build one now. Even if you can only start by saving a little each week, a little is better than nothing in the event of an emergency.
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