You don’t know how happy I am to introduce today’s guest writer. Sharonda Williams is one of us, Frugal Feministas! Sharonda has been a Frugal Feminista since February 2014 and has shared her financial journey with me behind the scenes and I am so happy that she has pulled her strength from within to gain confidence and control over her finances.
It’s women like Sharonda that keep me up late at night pushing and grinding; her success is my success and is our success. And I am happy that she is ready to share her nuggets of wisdom with all of us.
by Sharonda Williams
A knot grew in my throat while I watched Kara’s “Build Your $1K Emergency Fund In 3 Months Without Missing The Money Or Thinking” webinar. I became anxious. All I could think about after listening to Kara was, “I am in debt repayment and do not have money saved away today. What if an emergency happened tomorrow? What will I do?” The webinar left me wanting to create an emergency fund and to do it quickly!
Immediately, I began to plan how I would save $1K in 3 months. I wanted to take Kara’s advice and save $333 per month, but I questioned how I would do it with having my student loans in repayment. So, I did the best thing I knew how, I prayed about it and got creative. Here are the three steps I took to save my emergency fund in 5 weeks.
Step 1: I examined my budget closely to find extra money.
I looked closely at my budget to see where I could increase my savings. One tip Kara’s webinar shared was to use the extra money I was paying toward my student loans to increase my emergency fund. I learned, from another one of her webinars titled “How to Aggressively Demolish Your Student Loan Debt So You Can Get On with Your Juicy Life,” to pay an additional $100 a month toward your loans. This is helpful to demolish debt, but I needed to create a financial buffer against life. I temporarily put this on hold until I saved up my $1K fund.
Step 2: I got creative in the kitchen to save money.
Interestingly, while examining my budget, I found I was spending too much money eating out. From this, I recognized I needed to I change my eating/cooking habits. Who would have thought that getting creative in the kitchen would save me A LOT of money and help my waistline too!? I began to meal plan and prep my lunch and dinner for the week. By doing this, I no longer made the excuse to eat out and spend unnecessary money. Also, meal prepping helped me to monitor what I ate. Going to websites like Pinterest, budgetbytes.com and leannebrown.com helped me to find healthy, delicious and budget friendly meals. As a result, my food budget was cut nearly in HALF and I lost 10 pounds by getting creative in the kitchen. The extra money from my food budget was used to increase my emergency fund.
Step 3: I took all extra money I had and saved it.
Extra money can be anything like money received from a gift, coins in the bottom of your purse, or it could be a tax refund. I filed my taxes early this year and put the refund toward my emergency fund. This helped me to complete my goal of $1K emergency fund and quickly!
One can see from my example that there are different ways to creatively save money for an emergency fund. This was my method for saving it and I was able to do it in 5 weeks. You may find these steps to work for you or you may find other ways to do it. It doesn’t matter how you do it or how long it takes. PLEASE, just do it. You will thank yourself later when you realize you have $1K saved for life’s unplanned emergencies.
Frugal Feministas– Do you have an emergency fund success story that you want to share? Please share with the Frugal Feminista fam in the comments section below. Also, if you want to be a guest writer and share your success, hit me up at email@example.com
Sharonda Williams is a health administrator by day and debt-slayer at night. She is currently enjoying her “frugal and fabulous” life and is working toward becoming debt-free.