A lot of us try at times to save, but never end up being truly successful. We will save a little bit here, and a little bit there, but before we can even blink…its gone! Why is saving so hard, and why are so many people struggling with it?
The key to answering this is to realize that life is very unpredictable. Sure, we can predict when our cell-phone bill will be due, but it is hard to predict a car breaking down, a leak in the house, unexpected dental work, or even just a flat tire. These unpredictable events can often leave us with nothing, completely depleting our bank accounts, and forcing us to turn to financing alternatives.
Is there a better way to go through life without worrying about these unpredictable events?
There is, and I just want to encourage you that no matter what your situation might be, there is still hope for you to have an emergency fund set aside where you can rest worry-free about tomorrow.
In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul advises the Corinthian church on what steps need to be taken for the collection of the saints. This is what he advises them to do:
“On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
Although this context does not talk specifically about building an emergency fund, the principles here still apply.
So what specifically can we take out of this verse?
1. When you save, take a certain amount out of your paycheck right when you receive it
2. Save according to your earnings (i.e. don’t be unrealistic)
3. Creating an emergency fund will take away future worry
At this point you might be asking, well how do I create an emergency fund? It is a very simple concept, but it starts with you taking some serious action…
Go to your bank’s website, and find the automatic savings plans they might have. Sometimes they will allow you to set a “goal” for your emergency fund, which helps you track your progress along the way.
Once you find a way to have automatic savings, make sure to take out a specific amount of money from your paycheck, right when you get it.
How much should you take out? This depends on you and your situation. If you find yourself barely having enough money to cover the basics (such as food, gas clothing, rent) every month, then you should aim to take out from each paycheck anywhere from $10-$50.
However, if you are always at a positive cash flow (meaning you always have some money left over at the end of the month) you should challenge yourself to put away $50-$100 or more when you receive your paycheck.
Although many will advise an emergency fund to only cover 3-4 months of your expenses (all expenses), I usually tell people it is safer to have about 6 months.
This means, if you spend close to $2,000 per month on all of your expenses, you should have about $6,000 to $12,000 in immediate savings. Beyond that…you should seek the advice of a financial advisor who can help you with the extra cash you may have lying around. Check out our post on Make Your Dollar Grow, and see the importance of how an investment now could earn HUGE returns in the future.
Got any tips for us on how you save for an emergency fund?? Leave a comment!