These are great tips to get extra cash for an emergency fund. Especially the part about stealing! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?
You are no stranger to the I-gotta-get-my-financial-stuff-together movement. You are here because you are ready to get on the debt-free train. You want to get out of debt and do it fast!
The first step is to wean yourself from using more debt. How? By building your emergency fund. The suggested amount is $1,000. If you have unusually high overhead, like owning income property or have higher fixed monthly expenses, then $2,000 or $3,000 might be better. If that seems daunting, at the very least, start with $1,000. The name of the game is starting your debt snow ball as soon as possible. But you can’t skip steps, so you will have to build your emergency fund before starting to payoff debt.
Here are 5 ways to get going quickly.
1) Sell stuff
If you’ve got debt, more thank likely, you’ve got crap. Crap you don’t need. Take this opportunity to declutter your home while making money at the same time. (You can also flip items for a profit if you have time.) Get the kids involved and give them a cut of the sales. Make use of sites like Craigslist, Ebay and Etsy. A good rule of thumb: if you haven’t used it in the last 90 days, you don’t need it! You can always get more stuff back, but you can’t get back the time you spend working long hours to pay for crap. Proceeds from whatever you sell goes into the emergency fund pot, no splurging allowed!
2) Sell yourself
Not like that. If you can do anything that you think is marketable: fix things, music, edit, write, teach, etc. There are many market places out there where you can monetize your skills or free time. Check out my post on a good list of these places.
3) Expense Slashing Party
Take a look at all your auto-deduct expenses on your bank statement. Get rid of what you don’t need. Call your cell phone providers, utilities and other subscription services. Ask to be transferred to “Customer Loyalty” or whatever their company equivalent is and tell them you need a better rate on a service or you are leaving. We called our alarm company threatening to leave. They cut our monthly bill by 100% ! Take your monthly savings and put it in your emergency fund.
4) Share and share alike
5) Steal from yourself
That’s right. I said steal. It’s from yourself with your own permission, so it’s ok. You can’t spend money you don’t see, right? Use auto-deduct to your advantage and put more money into your savings directly from your paycheck. We have a goal to up our auto-savings each year and it works! You can also take spare change and get it going in a piggy bank or a Mason jar, then cash in when you see it overflowing.
If you don’t use cash that much, use one of my favorite apps, Digit, to steal from your checking account each week. Digit is real money, not points or credits that is yours to spend once you call for it. I used it and accumulated about $93 over two months pretty painlessly. It will sneak the money out of the account you designate and give you text updates about your activity and balance everyday. To transfer it back to your account for spending, simply text it and tell it to do so. If you are a swiper for this and that, Digit will be just another small swipe but for a good reason: saving.
Any other ideas on building up that emergency fund quicker to get going on debt repayment?