Too many American households are living paycheck to paycheck. According to a Federal Reserve report, nearly half of Americans couldn't cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing the money or selling something. What’s even more alarming is that many people have no savings at all. And, without adequate savings, a sudden drop in income can be disastrous.
Having a resource (emergency) fund is essential to your financial health. Why not call it an emergency fund? The definition of the word emergency means: a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The word emergency signals distress, haywire, and always in reaction to what happens in life. A resource fund means I am financially proactive with a plan to prosper.
Here are 3 things you can do to save before your lunch break ends with little to no effort.
1. Set up an automatic contribution to your savings account. A critical part of a successful savings strategy is actually putting your money into an account. Automation makes it easy to build your savings with no heavy lifting required. Having an automation strategy in place reduces the likelihood of human error and frees your from the guilt-- knowing that you have a savings acount to meet unexpected expenses.
Contact your financial institution to set up an automatic deposit so part of each paycheck you receive goes directly into a savings account. You probably won't miss the money and guess what -- you can't spend money you’ve never received, so it’s a win-win strategy. When you pay yourself first your future self will thank you.
Time to complete this task: 20 minutes, time can vary with each financial institution customer care line.
2. Use a saving app. I am a huge fan of Digit. I love their app so much I personal use it to help our family save more. Since October 2016, I have saved more than $900 without realizing it. Don’t believe me, I posted a screen shot on my Instgram page, click here to view it now.
This service takes the guesswork out of saving. Update as of April 2017, Digit has annouced it will start charging customers to use their service. You simply connect your bank account then Digit analyzes your income and spending habits to figure out how much you can afford to save without over drafting your account. Digit will even send you a text message that showing what your current account balance is along with other text features to check your savings process and the expenses coming out to help you keep tabs on your account.
Time to complete this task: 10 minutes, click here to start saving!
3. Find one expense to cut. Check your bank statement for one expense you can cut, reduce or negotiate. Every summer I reevaluate our yearly spending plan through some research and price comparison I was able to lower our homeowners insurance and home security service for a savings of $450 a year. Comb through your bank statement or spending plan to find ways to save.
Time to complete this task: 20 minutes