Over 31 million injuries that require medical attention occur each year in the United States. If you’re injured and don’t have an emergency fund, you’ll have to cover the insurance co-payment — or sometimes even the total payment — on your own. Unless you qualify for Medicare, the federal program that provides healthcare to individuals age 65 and older, as well as people with qualifying disabilities regardless of age, you will likely be responsible for at least the co-pay for medical services. Having an emergency fund can help you cover these expenses, as well as help with bills that arise in any other unexpected situation.
While it will take some time to save up your emergency fund, we’ve got some great tips to help make things move along a little faster.
Pay Your Account First
It’s vitally important that you make yourself a priority throughout the process. Determine how much money you’ll need to set aside each month, and then make sure that you move that into your savings account before you make any extraneous purchases. This will help ensure that your savings continue to build, even if it’s at a slow, gradual rate.
Set Up Automatic Transfers
Automatic transfers are a great way to build up your savings account. Set a savings rule that you will move a certain amount out of each paycheck into your savings account, for example, and then plan an automatic transfer with your bank. Over time, these transfers will add up and you’ll be able to see your savings grow. Over time, you will have the money you need if there’s an emergency. This is especially important if you do manual or factory labor, as injuries in these environments are more frequent; it’s even more crucial if you’re around forklifts. Injuries caused by forklifts make up 10% of the total injuries that occur in these environments and can often result in emergency medical fees that could derail your regular budget in an instant.
Reduce Other Expenses
You may be able to reduce your expenses to find some money for savings, as well. If you’re spending a specific amount of money on fast food each month, for example, you may be able to half that amount and then put that money into your savings account. Even small amounts can add up over time, providing you with the emergency fund that you’ll need. Take a closer look at your typical monthly expenditures, figure out where you can cut back, and transfer at least some of those savings into an emergency account instead.
Pick Up a Side Hustle
If you’re struggling to find the money that you need to make an emergency fund work, you may be able to pick up a side hustle to make it happen. Consider something like freelance writing, redeeming rebates through an online program, or driving for a ride-share program. Many of these options allow you to earn a bit of extra cash that you can then utilize to build your emergency fund.
Save Money from a Windfall
It may be possible to set aside part of a windfall that you receive throughout the year and use that to build your emergency fund. If you’ll be getting a tax refund or a stimulus payment, it may be wise to set aside a bit of this money in case you have an issue in the future. While it may be tempting to spend it on something frivolous, do yourself a favor and look out for your health first.
Your emergency fund can be used for any type of negative event that occurs and costs you money. Car accidents, workplace injuries, and unexpected illnesses are all great reasons to set aside money. This way, when you experience an event like this, you won’t be caught unprepared, and you’ll have the funds on hand to handle the crisis effectively. The amount that you’ll need to save will depend on your living situation, your income, and the size of your family. To start with, it’s wise to save between $500 and $1000. Then, as you build a bit of stability, you can add to the account until you’ve saved up several months’ worth of expenses.
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