How to Build a $1,000 Emergency Fund Quickly & Easily

A well-thought out and detailed budget can help you deal with most of the expenses life throws at you… paying routine bills, chipping away at debt, and hey, a little entertainment now and then. But something you never anticipate is an emergency expense. Hospital bills, repairs after an auto accident, recovery from a loss of employment are just a few examples about how life doesn’t much care for your plans. Hopefully, your well-thought out budget also includes contributing to an emergency fund, a safety net that will help you take care of some of those expenses. Sometimes, though, that fund doesn’t have enough in it. Perhaps you’ve already dipped into the fund before you had an opportunity to rebuild it. Maybe you didn’t contribute as much as you need it. Regardless, if an emergency hits and you don’t have the funding, there are ways to quickly build that foundation. Below are some ways to quickly make a $1,000 emergency fund.

Sell unneeded items, but to the right people. We all have items lying around our homes that we could do without. Anything from an extra TV to already read books and coffee mugs can all bring in some extra dollars when needed. But putting on a garage sale may not be the best way to get those dollars. There are plenty of sites online that will pay top dollar for a specific type of item, and by going through the correct channel, you can maximize how much you can make. Have movies you don’t want anymore? Put them up on SellDVDsOnline.com. Have gift cards for stores you never visit? GiftCards.com can take those off your hands. Board games you never play? BoardGameGeek.com will take them to a new home. Whatever your item, there’s likely a dedicated store online that will fit better than a general site.

Whether it’s one time, part time, or full time, get a second gig. Hey, we get it. 40 hours a week can already take a great deal out of you, physically and emotionally. But if there’s an emergency expense pending, the short-term pain of a getting a second source of income outweigh the long-term pain of falling behind and accumulating debt. Fortunately, you can find a gig that fits your timeline and availability. Avail yourself to additional hours at your current position. Get a shift at a retail store for the hours you can afford. Work as a virtual assistant on your own time from the comfort of your own home. Participate in focus groups or take care of someone’s home in their absence. If you have the wherewithal, you can find an opportunity that fits you.

Keep saving… and save a little more. It’s not just about making money. If you had a previous budget before your emergency, you should already have a certain amount of each check that gets deposited to your savings or emergency fund. With a few changes to your daily routine, you will have less items or bills you need to pay for, giving you more to give to your fund. Change your thermostat by 2-3 degrees to pay less on utilities. Clip some coupons to save on what you need to buy. Put some recurring payments on hold (streaming services, subscription boxes) until you have a safety net. Hitch a ride to work a few times a week to save on gas.

No one likes spending money on big items, especially those that were not planned for. If you need to quickly build some room to breathe, a few adjustments will help you get the funds you need or rebuild a safety net you previously had.