Five Ways to Build Your Emergency Fund FAST!


If you don’t have an emergency fund yet, it’s a must have.  You need an emergency fund so that you don’t bust your budget or have to go into debt when those unexpected events come along

Last year, within a six month period, we had the following unexpected expenses come up:

  • Broken dryer – we got a replacement at a scratch and dent facility for $300 cash
  • Air conditioner went out – $750 to replace (we saved 50% by paying cash)
  • Battery on my car died – $125 to replace
  • Tire on my husband’s truck blew and we had to replace all 4 since they were worn anyway – $900
  • Dog got bitten by a snake – $600 vet bill

None of those expenses were expected or budgeted for (we knew that the tires were going to need to be replaced and were saving for them, but we thought we had a little more time).  Without our emergency fund, we would not have had the money to cover any of those events.  Three of them (the tire, battery, and dog) all happened on the same day!

A good starting place is $1,000, and you can come up with that pretty quickly using some of the ideas below.  Also check out my 52 Week Savings Plan.  We used this last year to save for Christmas, but you could also use it for emergency savings or to plan for an upcoming vacation–> 52 Week Savings Plan


Five Ways to Build your Emergency Fund FAST


Here are some of the strategies we have used to build and re-build our emergency fund quickly!  I realize all of these ideas may not work for every person, but it gives you some ideas for getting started!

Sell, Sell, Sell!


The easiest and quickest way to get some extra cash for your emergency fund is to sell some things.  If you’ve got kids, you’ve probably got books, toys, clothing, and even baby gear that your kids have outgrown.  Go through your children’s bedrooms and make a stack of items that you could sell quickly.  Even if you don’t have kids, this is a perfect opportunity to declutter and clean out closets!  Plan a yard sale or check out Craigslist.  I have also had great success selling items on local Beg, Barter, and Sell groups on Facebook.  Just search “online yard sale” or “Beg, Barter, and Sell” for your area.

If you’re planning a yard sale, check out this post with tips–> Eight Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

Have a No Spend Challenge


Have a no spend challenge and take the money that you would have used and add it to your emergency fund.  How you do your no spend challenge is up to you.  Some people give up going out to eat for a certain time period.  Some people give up going out to eat and grocery shopping (except for perishables and essentials).  If you have a stockpile that you’ve built, this is easier than you think!  It may be as easy as taking your lunch to work instead of buying for a week or two or giving up your morning Starbucks for a month.

Get a Part Time Job


Get a part time job and put all of the money you make from your part time job into your emergency fund.  Do you have a skill where you could do extra work on the side in the evenings or on the weekends?  Could you deliver pizzas or newspapers for a short time?

Donate Blood or Plasma


This takes me back to my college days!  I had several friends who would donate blood or plasma when they were short on cash.  If you are able to donate (there are some restrictions), it’s a quick and easy way to make some extra cash and you’re helping to improve or save lives in the process.

Find out more about plasma donation and find a location in your area here–> Donate Blood or Plasma

NOTE:  Compensation varies by location.

Open a Capital One 360 Checking Account

I’ve had my Capital One 360 checking account for a few years now. We actually keep our Christmas savings in a Capital One savings account and then we transfer it to our check card when it’s time for holiday shopping!  Right now, when you sign up for a Capital One 360 Checking account, they are offering a $50 bonus!  Every little bit helps and this would be a great way to save for Christmas or to even stash your emergency fund!

This is the second post in my 30 Days to a Better Budget series.  See them all here–> 30 Days to a Better Budget

NOTE:  This post may contain affiliate links.  Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.



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