Maybe your toddler thinks it’s funny to flush a toy down the toilet, and you have to hire a plumber to yank it out. Maybe your air conditioning unit breaks down in the middle of a sweltering heat wave, and you need to call a professional repairperson to get it up and running again. Maybe your precious dog ate something it really shouldn’t have and needs to be rushed to the vet. These are just some examples of when a rainy-day fund will come in handy.
What Is a Rainy-Day Fund?
A rainy-day fund is a collection of personal savings you can rely on in small emergencies like urgent home repairs, appliance breakdowns and vet appointments. Essentially, if something goes wrong and you don’t have enough in your budget for the resulting expense, you can use your rainy-day fund.
Without a rainy-day fund, you’re putting yourself into a tricky spot. You might not have enough to cover the expenses out of pocket, and you won’t have the luxury of ignoring the problem until you have more funds available.
In that case, you’ll have limited options for covering the expense right away. You could put the charge onto one of your credit cards and then pay down the balance later. Or you could apply for an emergency loan online. You should only turn to this solution when you need money for an urgent expense in a short amount of time. Personal loans shouldn’t be used for everyday expenses.
What Are Simple Ways to Fill Up a Rainy-Day Fund?
You want to make a reliable rainy-day fund, and you want to do it fast. What can you do to quickly collect those savings?
Re-Investigate Your Budget
Take a close look at your household budget. You just might find that you can trim down your spending on variable expenses like your groceries, transportation and entertainment. Even if you can squeeze out $50 in savings per month, you’ll have $600 in your rainy-day fund by the end of the year.
Collect Your Change
Your pocket change may not seem like much, but it will add up. Collect your loose change from pockets, tabletops, desk drawers and couch cushions and put it in a jar. Once the jar looks full, bring it to a coin-cashing machine. You might be surprised to see just how much you get out of these “small” savings.
You can do the same with your digital “change.” Round-up apps will take the “change” from your transactions and move it into a savings account, letting your balance grow bit by bit.
Make sure that you never miss a contribution to your rainy-day fund. Regular contributions will help that collection of savings grow and grow fast. So, use online banking to set up automatic transfers between your checking account and the savings account where you’re storing your rainy-day fund.
Sell Household Items
Do you have a basement that’s filled with old junk? Do you have a garage that’s packed to the brim with items that you don’t even use anymore? Use your rainy-day fund as motivation to clean out these spaces. You can sell household items that are still in good condition and then put the profits into your rainy-day fund.
Do Some Overtime
Can you make some extra funds by doing overtime at work? Or by working on a holiday? Try these solutions to pack some more savings into your fund.
Don’t go without a rainy-day fund. Start one now and fill it up as fast as you can.