As much as I’d like for life to be easy, it’s not. The truth is, life can be tough. It’s not always rainbows and unicorns. Unexpected expenses are a part of life. Luckily, having money in savings can make life a little easier. Read on to find out how to save money for unexpected expenses.
Not everyone has money in savings, which is why I’m writing this post. I hope this post will help you figure out how to spend less and put more in savings for a rainy day. But first, a little background info:
I recently had a talk with my mom about finances. She was feeling really bad about all that life was throwing at her. I had to remind her that life is shitty. It’s not easy. Not having money in savings makes it even harder. My mom, like millions of other Americans, mostly lives paycheck to paycheck. For her, and everyone else living paycheck to paycheck, the little bumps in the road of life can be disastrous. If you live paycheck to paycheck you will never be able to deal with small financial issues. An unexpected expense like buying new tires can seem like a really tough problem.
I’ve also been bothering my sister about this lately because she just bought a new car. While her car payment is very affordable, her insurance is not. I want to make sure everyone, not just my family, knows these little tricks for putting money in the bank.
Finally, these tips aren’t just for “poor” people. I personally know plenty of people who make way more than my husband and I do, but still live paycheck to paycheck. I’ve heard stories from financial planners about people with million dollar houses that go to retire, but can’t afford their mortgage or even property taxes. If you don’t have money in the bank for emergencies, aren’t planning for retirement, or run out of money each month then you need this advice!
Here are some ways to be prepared for life by saving money:
Keep in mind that these are realistic, sometimes hard ways to save money. Little things like using coupons, and taking paid surveys can help, but there is no quick way to save money for emergencies. These are the tried and true methods.
Get a degree or certification
Don’t have a degree or professional license/ certification and find that you have a hard time saving money? Maybe it is time to go back to school. Consider evening classes or online classes so you can keep working while you are in school.
Work an extra job
If you have the time to work an extra job, do it. There is no reason why you shouldn’t. You can always take on a extra job for a few months to get money in savings and then quit. Many people work as bartenders or waitresses after their day jobs. I worked as a bartender when I was teaching and it was one of the ways we paid cash for our wedding and helped pay off loans.
Live beneath your means
This is my favorite advice, but probably the hardest for most people. Here are a few ways to cut out expenses and live beneath your means:
Stop hiring a house cleaner. Think it through. Would you rather put $200 in savings for retirement/ emergencies/ kids’ college, or would you rather your house be clean?
Stop buying new things. If you feel the need to shop, take a walk around Goodwill or another thrift store. Buying used is trendy and good for the environment.
Move to a cheaper place. Mortgage or rent too high? Move! Plenty of people in the world live in small living spaces. It can be done and should be done if you can’t afford to put money in savings.
Stop dining out
This goes hand in hand with living beneath your means. Instead of dining out for lunch and dinner several times a week, try brownbagging your lunch and then reward yourself by buying premium groceries for a fancy homemade meal at the end of the week. Cooking at home can be fun and saves you a ton of money. Once you learn to cook delicious meals at home, you will probably even be disappointed by the quality of most restaurant meals!
Set up a savings account with direct deposit from your paycheck
I love this trick! Go to your bank and set up a savings account. Ask them to take out a certain amount from each paycheck and add it to your savings account. If you never see it in your main account, you won’t even miss it!
Think of it as “paying yourself first”.
Make sure to be smart about this one though. Don’t be overly ambitious by taking out too much money. Start small and take out more each month if you can. The idea is to NOT touch that money except for big emergencies.
Side hustle even if you don’t need it
Just like working another job, side hustling is a great way to bring in extra money. There are a ton of ways to make money online: blogging, freelance writing, selling on Etsy, working as a virtual assistant, selling on Amazon, etc. You can also try working in direct sales, babysitting, driving for Uber, etc. The possibilities are endless with side hustles!
I want to make sure you all realize that I recognize that doing these things won’t fix all your financial woes. However, I do truly believe that if you are careful with your money, work extra jobs to make money, and save your money carefully, then you can live a happier life.
I also want to tell you that things do get better with money. Take my mom for example. She now has two good jobs and just recently had enough money to pay for new tires without feeling super stressed about finances. It can be done! It won’t be easy, but the benefits are worth it!
Do you have enough money in savings for emergencies, unexpected unemployment, retirements, and college for your kids?