Having an emergency fund to help pay for an unexpected car repair, hospital visit, or other financial emergency is a smart financial move, but finding money to sock away each month is easier said than done. However, it is possible if you have a sound strategy in place.
Here are a few simple ways to save some money:
Buy and sell used
For one month, make it a point to only buy used items. And for each item you buy, sell something you already own.
While this tactic won’t necessarily work for food (although you can shop at a cheaper grocery store and make meals at home), it can work for phones, clothes and even cars.
Any money you save should be stashed in your emergency fund.
Price adjustments on old purchases
If you happen to buy a brand-new item, hang onto the receipt. Many stores have price adjustment policies where they’ll give you the difference between the price you paid and a lower price that comes later on down the line. Timing is everything when it comes to price adjustments, as you typically only have a week or two from the date of purchase to ask for an adjustment.
Compare prices on big purchases
Comparing prices on small purchases may not be worth your time, but when it comes to monthly expenses (clothing, groceries, gas, etc.), taking the time to shop around and find the best price is critical if you’re looking to save some dough.
The same goes for large purchases that may only happen once every few years, such as a car or major appliance.
It’s also a good idea to shop around for the best insurance rates for any insurance policy you may have. Check with your insurance agent before it’s time to renew your policy to see if you qualify for any discounts. And always check with other insurers to see if they offer a better price for the same coverage.
Cut little expenses
Little expenses have a way of adding up quickly, so consider whether you can eliminate any of these smaller expenditures, such as gym memberships, daily coffees and lunches out. You can even stand to save big by ditching cable and opting to use any of the streaming services that are currently available.
While it’s not necessary to cut everything at once, choosing to eliminate one recurring expense a month is a simple way to see exactly how you’ll fare without it.