Increase my emergency fund..

Believe it or not, many people do not have a savings plan in place. When I say savings here I am being a little general and referring to people in the US and including college, emergency, retirement, etc. Basically, any kind of savings. I was a little curious what that number might be like so I asked Google.. Apparently 1/3 of people do not have a savings! That is a lot of people y’all. I am ashamed to be in that fraction. Another startling statistic that I pulled from Google is that 75% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. I am in that percentage as well. *cue the pity party*

Increase Emergency Savings Fund by LifeAsAConvert

When I listed out my 30 before 30 goals I made sure that one of them was to increase my emergency savings fund. To some people this means having $1,000. To others it means having enough to live for 1-6 months if income were to be stopped. For me, it is a mixture of the two. I am aiming at the $1,000, but ultimately planning on having enough for 6 months starting 1 month at a time in addition to the $1,000. I am here to tell you that I have made no considerable addition to that non-existent savings of mine. Why? I was overwhelmed with where to start. Being a single mother, I do not have a lot of income. I spend a lot of it shuffling kids to and from therapy and doctor appointments, paying bills, fixing broken down vehicles, and sipping lattes. This leaves little left over. But, how much is leftover? Good question! I have spent the last month figuring this out.

I have always had a budget in my head, but never really took the time to write it out. This has lead to me having “extra money” in certain areas that I should have been putting elsewhere *ahem savings* but instead used it as disposable income. Bad idea!! I thought that since I kept to the budget in my head and that my basic needs were met that I was on track. Boy was I wrong!

The good news is that I am on the right track now thanks to Dave Ramsey. Y’all just excuse me for a minute while I turn into one of those people. I had heard of Dave Ramsey’s financial advice before and saw some of his success stories in close friends of mine, but the common factor in all of these people was that they were married. What does marriage have to do with Dave Ramsey? Well, nothing, but I always assumed that in order to have a savings that you had to have a lot of money or two incomes.

I don’t consider myself to be living above my means. I don’t live off of credit cards. I don’t even have credit cards. I have my bank accounts and debit cards. I don’t buy extravagant things. I buy used, and tend not to spend money unless I can afford it. Stepping back, I can see where I have been kidding myself and spending money that I should have been saving. It isn’t a lot of money at once, but those little purchases add up. Two lattes a week is $40 per month. That might not seem like much to some of you, but to this single mama $40 is almost a phone bill or internet bill. It is an extra gift for my children for Christmas. When I think of that money being “wasted” instead of saved it breaks my heart.

My plan: Continue to write my budget down every month. Scrutinize my budget every month. Look at what I can get rid of. Start saving, even if it is $5 per week! I would hate to have to report back here that more time has passed and I have saved nothing!

Dear Readers, what are some of your savings tips?

*This post has nothing to do with my previous post about the AR529 plan.. It just happened to be on my mind.

43 thoughts on “Increase my emergency fund..

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    I don’t know if I have any tips, but my husband and I have enough in the bank to cover about a years worth of bills, so I feel pretty secure.

  2. Rena McDaniel

    I was always the type to keep plenty in my savings until I got sick and it was used up. We are now trying to build that back up again and it is hard and I don’t even have kids at home anymore. THe most important thing I think is the 401K plan at my husbands job we add to that every paycheck. I am just starting over with my savings and can imagine it will take lots of time to get it back up to where it was.

    1. LifeAsAConvert Post author

      It seems like every time I start saving, something happens (car breaks down, children get sick, etc) and it just depletes it. I am hoping to build it up enough so when those things do happen, it doesn’t completely ruin it.

  3. Jennifer Williams

    I admit I did not have one when I was younger and was a single mom. Luckily now we are able to put a little back for emergencies.

  4. Liz Mays

    I have a specific amount pulled from my checking out and transferred automatically to savings each month. That helps even if I forget to add money myself.

  5. Chrystal @ YUM eating

    I have a little bit of a savings plan set aside from before I met hubs. We have tried together to have a savings plan but with both of us in college and plenty of things breaking around the house, we cleared it out a few times. Now that we are done, we are hoping to get back to saving.

  6. Pam

    Star small even if you think you can’t afford it. You can. $5 is perfect and you really won’t miss it.

    Don’t ever dip into it.

  7. Amanda Ripsam

    A small amount each month is a great start to build up a savings. We have had to dip into our savings and there isn’t any do to medical bills or this bill or that bill. At least the bills are paid we are in a month to month income type of situation but once the income starts to improve we plan on going back to saving up small bits at a time again.

  8. Stefany

    I participated in the Dave Ramsey class at a local church a few years ago. I really, really need to get back to those ideas. It was helpful!

  9. Pam

    We learned quick about the importance of an emergency fund once we started taking ours kid to the doctor! Even if you don’t think you will need such a fund, life may have different plans!

  10. Annie

    Putting away a few dollars a week will definitely add up. Also when shopping, I tend to think needs versus wants & that usually helps with saving money :P

  11. Rosey

    Noting where you could save and taking the steps to do it, is awesome! Love that you don’t have credit cards. I’m working on paying mine off.

  12. Lisa Rios

    Really a useful post. I have to start my savings. We can’t say that when emergency will arise and we have to be prepared. Hopefully savings helps to avoid unwanted stress during some critical situations.

  13. Angela

    I need to decrease my spending and increase the amount that I save. I think writing down every penny I spend for a month will help.

  14. Jessica (Savory Experiments)

    At one point in my life, I was one of those people. I was living pay check to pay check trying to pay back student loans for masters degree and working three jobs to make ends meet. Luckily, I met a wonderful banker and got married- he has taught me the importance of saving for the future, but I totally understand those who can’t. There is a big difference between don’t and can’t.

  15. Ann Bacciaglia

    I have the round up account with my bank so all my purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the change is put into a savings account. It adds up really quickly.

  16. Veronica

    One big saving tip is find a RICH boyfriend. Lol. Just kidding….kinda :-) One that has really helped me is to cut out the small items that I buy everyday outside of my budget…like smoothie and magazines.

    1. LifeAsAConvert Post author

      Yes! For me it is those small purchases that are adding up. I can say to myself “I don’t buy expensive things” Sure – one cup of coffee isn’t expensive, 20 cups a month IS (That is just an example)

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