If you want my honest opinion, an emergency fund should be an amount that has a comma in it, meaning you should have at least $1,000 dollars in your emergency fund for you to take care of life’s uncertain trips, dips, and falls.
But, I know for some of us, that $1,000 seems unattainable, makes us feel discouraged, and ironically, may encourage to spend what we don’t have.
So, a nice financial compromise is the $500 Cushion Fund. Consider it an important baby step toward building your emergency fund. You can quickly save $500 and this amount can give you enough of a cushion to handle some (not many) of life’s financial challenges. The secret to the $500 Dollar Cushion is that you don’t touch that money unless it is an emergency and then you do everything in your power to replenish the funds.
Here are some tips to help you find $500 in your budget over the next five months so you can stabilize your finances and begin to grow your savings.
Set concrete monthly goals. If you are looking to save $500 in five months, that means you are looking to save $100 a month or $25 a week, or $5 Monday through Friday.
Make temporary sacrifices. Saving $100 a month is very easy if you find costly, non-essential items on your budget to temporarily eliminate each month. What is great about this strategy is that what you eliminate can vary every month. For example, in one month, you can eliminate your hair appointment, in another, you can reduce your grocery bill by $100, or you can decide to eliminate a combination of costs for each month to ensure you reach your goal.
Automate your savings. One of the easiest ways to save is take the human factor out of saving is to let a computer do it! Check to see if your current accounts have an online option. If not, go to bankrates.com to research which banks offer online services.
Don’t forget your why. If a financial cushion is your goal, then you are going to have stay focused on why you. You want to safeguard your $500 Cushion because you want financial peace, financial control, or financial power. This will help you navigate temptations to dip into your $500 Dollar Cushion Fund when an impulse arises.
Decide where you will keep the $500 Cushion: Will you keep all of the money in your savings account, in your checking account, or will you divide the money between the two?
Frugal Feministas- So what do you think? Do you think you could build you’re the beginnings of your financial empire using the $500 Cushion Fund.
If you’re waiting for a sign that it’s time to make a change, consider this it. Money Therapy may be just what you need to break through your financial blocks and release your money guilt and shame.