Could You Weather a Financial Emergency? 5 Ways to Save $2,000 This Year
Life hits. It’s an emergency. You need $2,000.
Can you tap into your savings?
Emergency funds, also known as rainy day funds, are essential. You never know when you’ll face an unexpected medical procedure, hefty car repairs or a vet bill.
When it comes down to it, only 15% of Americans could come up with that $2,000 right now, according to a Penny Hoarder analysis of Federal Reserve survey data.
This, my friends, will get you into trouble.
But don’t worry. Although $2,000 might seem like a hefty chunk of money, we’ve brainstormed some simple strategies to help you beef up your savings this year.
1. Build Your Savings Goals Into Your Budget
Yes, we hear your groaning from here, but budgeting will play an integral role in helping you save money. Plus, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.
We suggest using the 50/20/30 budgeting method. It’s easy and offers a lot of flexibility. Here’s what it looks like:
- 50% of your monthly income goes toward living expenses. These include rent, mortgage, utilities, groceries, car payments, gas and loan payments.
- 20% of your monthly income goes toward money goals, which can include your emergency savings, investments and debt-reduction payments above the minimum amount.
- 30% of your monthly income goes toward personal spending. That’s everything else.
Feel free to adjust the ratios to fit your needs, but stay focused on that 20% category. You’ll want to build in at least $167 a month to hit your $2,000 goal.
2. This Research Company Will Pay You up to $225/Month to Watch Videos Online
If we told you that you could get paid to watch videos on your computer, you’d probably laugh.
It’s too good to be true, right?
But we’re serious. A website called InboxDollars will pay you to watch short video clips online. One minute you might watch someone bake brownies and the next you might get the latest updates on Kardashian drama.
All you have to do is choose which videos you want to watch and answer a few quick questions about them afterward.
No, InboxDollars won’t replace your full-time job, but it’s something easy you can do to add some money to your emergency savings while you’re already on the couch tonight. And, hey, if you make $225 a month, you’re well ahead of your $2,000 goal this year.
Unlike other sites, InboxDollars pays you in cash — no points or gift cards. It’s already paid its users more than $56 million.
It takes about one minute to sign up, and you’ll immediately get a $5 bonus to get you started.
3. Get Your Cell Phone Bill as Low as $4/Month
You’ve probably had the same cell phone company for a while. And you’re probably paying way too much for your service. Why not free up hundreds of dollars a year by switching?
With discount prepaid phone carrier US Mobile, you could get a plan starting at as little as $4 a month.
With US Mobile, you get to build your custom plan. Pick the amount of minutes, texts and data you need. Don’t worry about perfecting your plan; you can adjust it at any time.
You can bring your own phone — 99% of phones are compatible with US Mobile — or buy a new one through its site, then order a SIM card (a $3.99 one-time purchase). It’ll mail you the SIM card for free to put in your phone.
This simple switch could save you hundreds of dollars a year. That’s money you can stash away for an emergency. See how much you could save here.
Next, take a look at your car insurance and home insurance. See how much money you can knock off those bills just by shopping around. Chances are, you can get close to pocketing $2,000 in savings this year.
4. Leave Your Family $1 Million For Just $25/Month
If we’re going to talk about saving for an emergency, we have to talk about the inevitable… Death.
Chances are, you’ve thought about what would happen to your how your family would manage without your income after you’re gone. How they’ll pay the bills? Send the kids through school? Now’s a good time to start planning for the future by securing a life insurance policy.
Through a company called Policygenius, you can find $1 million life insurance policies starting at just $25 a month. Yup — that means you pay $25 a month now, so you can leave your family $1 million when they’ll need it most. Totally affordable and totally worth it.
With Policygenius, it takes about two minutes to enter some basic information, and then the company will provide you a quote. If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, it’ll guide you.
Once you find a policy that fits your needs, you’ll apply online and finish up the process with a quick phone call from a representative who’ll be able to answer any questions you have.
So even if you don’t have your emergency fund as stacked as you’d like, you can still make sure your family is taken care of financially during a worst case scenario.
5. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
Truth be told, your credit card company just might be ripping you off with high interest rates — yup, it’s getting rich off you and preventing you from contributing any real money to your emergency savings.
But a company called Fiona could help you pay off your credit card bills by tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $100,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 3.84% and terms from 24 to 84 months.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.