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Building Your Emergency Fund: Part II

Everywhere and Nowhere

Before you decide where to invest your emergency fund, discover ways to build it. The most lucrative options require a minimum deposit to return the highest yield on your money. Start by saving the minimum deposit.

Ye Olde Penny Jar

Start with a dollar. If you only spend bills from your wallet, your savings will add up quickly.

It all adds up.

At the end of everyday, remove the coins from your pocket or change purse to place in a jar, piggy bank or decorative bottle. This money becomes off limits once it goes in the “bank”. Think about this:

Morning coffee: $3.26…Savings: 74 cents
Newspaper: $0.50…Savings: 50 cents
Lunch: $8.09…Savings: 91 cents
Snack and drink on the ride home: $2.84…Savings: 16 cents

Before dinner, you have saved $2.31. If you do this everyday, the year end jar total will be $565.95. And that is if you don’t save on the weekends!

Weekend Tax

What do you do on weekends? Accelerate your savings by rounding to the nearest $5. Just like weekday spending of singles, do not hand a clerk a bill smaller than $5.

Dinner with spouse: $46.78…Savings: $3.22
Movies for two: $16.00…Savings: $4.00
Popcorn, JuJu Bees & drinks: $12.00…Savings $3.00

In one outing, you have saved $10.22. One outing per week translates to more than $520 per year.

Drop the change in the weekday penny jar. Whether you put the bills in a firebox, an old wallet, your Bible or an empty check box, your emergency fund is growing. In these two examples, you have already saved more than $1,000.

Next, we will look at debit and credit cards and monthly bills.

See all posts in the Emergency Funds Series.

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2011
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  1. We keep all our lose change, anything under 50 pence, in an large Bell’s whisky bottle. Once a year we cash it in and get back about £450 to £500 which helps for holidays or something else we may be doing. We only ever empty it once it’s full though.
    When we were younger we used to put a £1 each away every time we were ‘friendly!’, it was suprising how much we saved over a month; now of course we would be lucky to buy 2 coffee’s per month. Have you seen the price of coffee these days 😉

    • As it is my largest vice, yes, I am intimately aware of the price of coffee. I have mine delivered so I have the coffee of my youth. It is not available where I live except by mail. 😉

  1. Building Your Emergency Fund: Part I | Momma's Money Matters
  2. Building Your Emergency Fund: Part III | Momma's Money Matters

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