Consumer Credit Counseling Service News Articles
These are tough times. No doubt about it. So what if you’ve used up your emergency fund? Rebuilding happens slowly. Just like the first time. But there are plenty of things you can do to help you get back to where you were. It takes hard work, but it’s worth it for the security you’ll get in return.
- LAY OUT A NEW BUDGET
During any rough patch, laying out a new budget to make your money stretch is a great step. While things are probably still tight, a new budget is in order yet again.
Make saving a part of your budget. You’ve heard it before…PAY YOURSELF FIRST. Consider automating payments like a regular bill to keep the savings constant. Start small. Once you reach your goals, establish a new spending plan.
2. FIND A SIDE HUSTLE
Maybe your income still isn’t what it used to be? Consider adding another stream of money into your bank account. It doesn’t have to be permanent. Finding a side hustle can be a quick way to grow your savings, and it can give you a little extra pocket change when you reach those goals.
Some people choose to creat their own side venture based on a hobby or craft. Others take up babysitting, dog-walking or other services in their free time. There are seasonal jobs coming up with Fed-Ex and Amazon delivery. There are even many work-from-home options that may make you some extra cash. It’s worth looking into these options to see if they’re a viable way to boost your financial recovery.
3. CUT LITTLE LUXURIES – for NOW.
Giving up a weekly meal out or an entertainment subscription for a while might make you a little sad, but the reality is that a quick cleanse can help you reach your goals a bit faster. Remember you can adjust to what works for you. You can always cut back without cutting everything.
Most important: evaluate your priorities. Keep things that genuinely make you happy while reducing other expenses. Give yourself a few new coffee flavors for home rather than going out for your caffeine pick-me-up. It’s all about balance.
4. PUT OFF LARGER FINANCIAL GOALS
It may be tought to put a pause on saving for your down payment or reducing your school loans. BUT your safety net needs to come first – you’ve proven already that you need it, so you know its value.
This does not mean that your larger goals won’t happen. You need to remain patient and save. Once you reach your target goal for your emergency fund, you can refocus your efforts on other long-term goals.
5. REASSESS REGULARLY
Even if you haven’t quite bounced back from tough times, it can be a great idea to look at your budget at the end of each month to see how you could adjust and plan for the future. As you get closer to your savings goals, you can take a look at your budget and see where you may have room to save a little more or even relax a bit based on your needs and goals.
You may get your emergency fund back quicker than you realize! At worst, you can head off bad habits before they make planning harder over time.
REBUILD YOUR SAVINGS FOR PEACE OF MIND
Bottom line: Everyone’s budget is different. One thing is for sure, your emergency fund isn’t the place to skimp. When you’re responsible with your finances, your cushion can catch you so you can bounce back strong and build again in case you need it.
Excerpt from Holly Welles