10 Ways to Rebuild Finances After Draining Your Emergency Fund


Emergency funds are exactly what they sound like; funds for emergencies. I don’t know what emergencies you might face, but I know that in the past few months I’ve literally had an emergency at least twice a month that cost my husband and I roughly $600 each time. First it was a repair on his sports car that – naturally – wasn’t covered under his warranty. Then it was damage done to my car by someone else. Then it was our gorgeous double oven no longer heating and requiring a new motherboard or someone of that nature. Our cat was attacked by the dog we owned for three hours and it cost $720 to save his life. The point is that you just never know what is going to happen when you have a life and you live it. You should have an emergency fund with at least $1000 in it for instances such as this, but oftentimes more is completely necessary. And when you have an emergency and it drains your account, you have to find a way to put the money you used back into that account so that it’s there for the next emergency. It’s not always easy, but it is always necessary. Let us help you figure out how you can replenish your emergency account when you have to use it for the intended and unexpected emergencies.

Save Everything

If you find a $20 bill in the middle of the woods and no one is there who lost it, put it into your savings account. If you get a check in the mail for a slight overpayment of your taxes, save it. Anything you get that you didn’t expect and wasn’t part of your income, save. It is the best way.

Cancel that Vacation

Are you planning an upcoming trip but your emergency fund is empty? Consider cancelling that trip so that you don’t waste any more of your funds. While you are at it, put the money you get back from the trip into your fund and then plan the trip for a later date.

Put Off Another Purchase

Were you planning on remodeling your kitchen with new appliances? Why not take that money and make it your emergency account and put off that new kitchen for a few months until you can afford it? As long as you don’t need what you want, you can do this and be safe and financially secure.

Save in Other Places

Can you save on things like your childcare or your date nights? Then do it. If you can save anywhere else in your life, do it. The more you have in your emergency fund, the better. When you empty it, you’re relieved that you were able to pay for your emergency but you’re scared that another will occur. Put those fears at ease.

Be Frugal

Where can you be frugal while you put as much as you can away? Can you lower your cell phone plan? Can you make it a point to cancel your cable subscription and use NetFlix instead? What can you do to become frugal so that you can save some money to replenish your emergency fund?

Use Coupons

It might not sound like something that will save you a lot of money, but you might be surprised just how much money you can save using coupons. And we have a suggestion for you. You can use your savings from every receipt when you use coupons to put into your emergency fund. It’s a great way to save and still get what you need. You cannot lose in this situation.

Have a Garage Sale

Do you have stuff you no longer need or want? If you do, sell it. It’s a great way to make some more money when you have to replenish your emergency fund. By selling old baby items or by selling old furniture, you can make some money with which you can replenish your account and make it possible for you to be a little more comfortable for a little bit longer. You might not think that it’s worth it but even having $100 in sales can make a big difference to an empty or depleted emergency fund at the end of the day.

Don’t Ignore Your Safety Nets

Something that some people decide they can do when they have an emergency and have to rebuild their emergency fund is stop paying for some things. While it’s fine to stop paying for cable and that bottle of wine at the grocery store, it’s not okay to stop paying for things like your insurance or your retirement so that you can have a little more income to save for things. Do not ignore these things in an effort to replenish your emergency fund.

Update Your Resume

Here’s a thought; why not look for a job that pays more? It’s not going to work for everyone, of course, but it is going to work for some and it is a good idea to get you resume out, update it and make it a point to see how much you can further your career in the coming days. We like the idea of being able to do that when you feel you’re at rock bottom. It’s those people who feel they have nothing left to lose that make the biggest life-changing decisions of their lives.

Look for a Second Job

It doesn’t hurt to look for more income to save. We are not saying you have to go to McDonalds and flip burgers, but why not doing something on the side. You could mow lawns, babysit neighborhood kids, or even work on a hobby you love that could make you a little more on the side. If you have a hobby or craft you can sell, do it. Etsy shops are a great way to gain a little exposure and make a little money on the side while you continue to live your life the way you see fit.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images


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