Hows your Emergency Fund coming along?

If you have been hit severely in this economic crunch like we have, you are struggling to put a little away regularly to build up your Emergency Fund. I can no longer just automatically have a certain percentage deducted from my paycheck to go towards my emergency fund. There is NO paycheck anymore. Makes it real hard to figure out a percentage! LOL

Since I know how important it is to have some sort of an emergency fund in place, due to past experiences, I have to get VERY creative just to save a buck or two here and there to add to the fund. Granted, building my fund back up is a very slow process these days, but it is growing. And that is the most important part.

When household income declines dramatically, it is even more important to keep yourself in the rhythm of putting some amount into your emergency fund. First, because it is so hard to get into the habit of putting away a little, that when you slip of that bandwagon, it is 100 times harder to get back on. And Second, when you are struggling to make ends meet it takes a huge toll on your emotions and mental well being. Just putting a few coins into a jar can help ease that helpless feeling.

Believe me, I completely understand that whole downward spiral of trying to figure out who needs to be paid immediately and who can slide a little until I can come up with just $20.00 more to make that payment. It is such a heavy weight to carry. And it is always there in the back of your mind. Everyday.

So, when you can do any little thing that makes you feel like you are slowly regaining your life back, you need to do it. And working on rebuilding an Emergency Fund is something that you can do right now.

I know the goal is to have a decent chunk of change in an Emergency fund. but, reality is, you have to actually start the fund in order to get a chunk of change.

So, where to start? Right where you are. Are you at home? First grab some kind of container to hold change. Now go through your stored coats, purses and do a little "couch diving" under the cushions. Find some change. I don't care if it is a nickle and 2 pennies, put them in the container. There ya go! You just started your emergency fund.

Start looking around the parking lot as you walk into a store. You will be surprised at the change your will find. We have a jar in our kitchen just for change that we found on the ground. Troy and I thought it would be interesting to see how much "found" money we could come up with. We started it 2 months ago and right now there is $3.62 in the jar. Doesn't sound like a lot? With less than .50 more cents added to that jar, look what I can purchase HERE!

This week I got: 2 individual size Honey Nut Cherrios, 2 Milkyway Bars, a Chapstick, a box of Baglefuls, a single serve bottle of Ensure, a bottle of Cascade Rinse Agent and a box of Kashi Waffles for a grand total of .17 cents!

With just .17 cents, I purchased between 3-4 breakfasts for my family. Plus other goodies. I did this by searching out special coupons for free items, signing up at sites to get good coupons. In other words, I followed my own advice here on my blog. And yes, sometimes I forget to follow my own advice! I get so wrapped up on finding them for you and posting them that I forget to take advantage of them! LOL

Just a quick little sidetrack here. I have heard for years people saying "When you use coupons, you are saving money so you should tuck away the amount of money you saved on those coupons into your savings account". My opinion? People who say that have never really, and I mean REALLY, hit on hard times. Because the reality of it is, I would never have gotten the baglefuls or the Kashi waffles if I didn't get them free. It would be much too expensive on our tight budget. Okay that is my 2 cents worth. LOL

So, those are just a couple of examples of what a tiny amount of money can do and provide for your family. I just don't want you to think that those measly little pennies and nickles don't add up, because they do. The key is to learn how to stretch those pennies and make them even more valuable.

Once my emergency fund change jar gets $5.00 in it, I take that change to my bank that I have connected to my ING account and deposit it. I then turn around and immediately transfer the $5.00 to my ING account. I do this regularly.

I am going to try to post a couple of "How to build up your emergency fund" post a month. But, for right now, I want you to do the first steps:

**find a container
**scour your home for loose change and put it into that container.
** start paying attention at your surroundings when you are out and about for loose change to add to the jar.
** take advantaged of the freebies/deals I post!

This post is linked to ....

Tightwad Tuesday at Being Frugal

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