The Get Back

How to get your emergency funds back on track

The pandemic was not kind to finances. Many people lost jobs, had work roles reduced and struggled to pay bills. If you found yourself in over your head because of the pandemic, you likely dipped into your emergency fund to make ends meet. And now, as the pandemic eases into an endemic, there’s probably a good chance that account is still not up to par.

If your savings was depleted during the pandemic and remains that way, you’re not alone. A recent study from the National Endowment for Financial Education found that 37 percent of Americans don’t feel like they have enough saved for emergencies. If you’re wondering how to get your emergency fund back up — you should have enough saved to cover six months of essential expenses — try some of these ideas:

  • Start Selling. As USA Today suggests, go through your house and find items that you no longer use and could possibly sell. That could be anything from kids toys to an old phone. Sell the items online and deposit that money into your account.
  • Automate It. If you don’t have your emergency fund set up with auto deposits, do that now.
  • Cut Back. Look over your budget and see where you can reduce spending. An easy spot to start is subscription services; there’s a good chance you’re paying for at least one that you barely use. You should also cut back on things like dining out. It’s not fun, but keep in mind it’s temporary — once you have your emergency fund stocked, things can go back to how you had them.
  • Chris O'Shea

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