How to start a rainy day fund
Now that you have control over your money, it is time to better prepare yourself for emergencies that can derail your plan towards financial freedom.
Have you ever said: “Every time I take one step forward it feels like I take two steps back. Something is always going wrong. I am not prepared for this.” My grandmother always said, “It is going to rain.” She was right; it does rain. That’s why it is imperative to create an emergency fund.
You can complete the journey to financial freedom through consistency and simplicity.
Let’s celebrate. You have been consistent, and you have already taken three simple steps towards financial independence:
Envision a financial future of freedom by formulating a financial vision and identifying specific financial goals.
Assess your current financial situation through tracking your income (what you earn) and expenses (what you spend) each month.
Design a financial plan in which you take control of your money and tell every cent where to go each month.
An emergency fund is available cash set aside for unexpected expenses such as unplanned medical expenses, car repairs, house maintenance, job loss, etc. According to Bankrate.com, 21% of Americans said they “had no emergency savings whatsoever.”
Lack of preparation for emergencies can cause stress, increase debt and ultimately quell hopes of financial freedom. Establishing a rainy-day fund will help you prepare for unanticipated expenses.
Here are some things to consider when creating an emergency fund:
Set simple financial savings goals
1st Saving Goal: $500
2nd Saving Goal: $1000
3rd Saving Goal: One month of living expenses
4th Saving Goal: Two months of living expenses
5th Saving Goal: Three months of living expenses
6th Saving Goal: Six months of living expense
- Review your monthly financial plan to identify the extra monies that can go towards your emergency saving goal.
- Open an account that is designed only for this emergency fund.
- Be intentional and contribute something to this fund every month (any amount no matter how small).
- Consider redistributing money from certain line items in your financial plan to your emergency fund so you can meet your goals faster. For example, instead of eating out, put that money towards your emergency fund.
- Go through your house and sell things you no longer need.
- Identify ways you can make extra income to put towards your emergency fund.
- Determine what constitutes an emergency in your household.
- Make up your mind to use this fund for emergencies only not the latest gadget.
This is getting serious. You cannot afford to not have an emergency fund. This step in your journey should be prioritized. You will be surprised at how much excess you have for this fund if you are intentional and make it a priority. Initially, you will make some sacrifices, but you will find out that your peace of mind will be worth it in the future. Remember to give yourself some grace because this step will take months to master.
Establishing an emergency fund is wise, and it prepares you for the unexpected trials on life’s journey. The Bible reminds us of the wisdom in preparing for the unexpected in Proverbs 27:12 (New Living Translation) – “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”
A strong financial plan anticipates the future and helps position you to ultimately achieve financial freedom! Let us continue our journey.
Celebrate! We are on our way to attaining financial freedom one step at a time!!
Do this for next time:
Reflect on these questions:
Do you have any debts?
Who do you owe?
How much do you owe?