5 Tips for Building a Rainy Day Fund

When4_Tips_for_Building_a_Rainy_Day_Fund it comes to saving, most people think about their retirement. Having a rainy day fund, however, is equally important. It can save you from serious financial trouble during unexpected situations while also enhancing your saving and spending habits.

A little bit of budgeting and planning will be needed to save some money for emergency situations. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Make a Reasonable Commitment

Believe it or not, everybody can save a bit of money on a monthly basis. Based on your income and your expenses, calculate a reasonable commitment that doesn’t affect your regular expenditures. It can be a small sum if it needs to be. What matters is setting this money aside every single month.
Get in the habit of dedicating this money to the rainy day fund as soon as you receive your income payment. This way, the temptation to spend will be trumped.

Cut Back on Select Types of Expenditures

If you want to dedicate an even larger sum of money to the emergency fund, you may want to think about a few lifestyle changes.
Reducing household bills, the amount of money that you spend on entertainment, dining out and clothing are all good possibilities. You don’t have to deprive yourself in order to cut on spending. You’ll simply have to discover alternatives that cost less than the products and services you’re used to.

Invest the Money

A rainy day fund doesn’t necessarily entail hiding money in a jar or underneath the mattress. Investing the money opens opportunities to leverage tax-free savings accounts and earn interest towards your contributions.
Easy-to-liquidate mutual funds are an investment tool of preference for individuals who have an emergency fund. A few other investment options include short-term bond funds, a bank deposit and even purchasing investment gold. To select which investment option is right for your situation, we recommend meeting with an adviser at your bank.

Adjust the Paycheck Withholding

As time goes by and your income changes, you may find out that you need to make an adjustment in the sum dedicated to the emergency fund.

Reevaluate Your Goals

It’s a good idea to reevaluate your goals every once in a while. For example, let’s assume that in 18 months your emergency fund reaches your target amount. At that point, it will be up to you to reevaluate and decide whether to continue saving more or to decrease the amount.

If you are interested in taking your savings to the next level, read our blog about how to organize your finances.

For many people, the weekly grocery bill is one area where it’s easy to go over budget. Keep these cheap staple foods on hand and you won’t need extra trips to the store or a stop at the local fast food restaurant. They’re all versatile, easy to find, easy to make and yes…cheap! Cheap Staple Food #1: Oats Great on their own at breakfast, oats are whole grain, so they’re filling. You can flavor them almost any way you want. They can also be used in smoothies, baked goods, and even to thicken chili.  Cheap Staple Food #2: Eggs They are one of the cheapest forms of protein you can get. Of course they are perfect for breakfast, but they make great lunches and dinners too. Egg salad sandwiches, frittatas, and quiche are popular main dishes. You can even put them in fried rice, soups, and salads. Cheap Staple Food #3: Beans They show up on every list of cheap staple foods for a reason. Canned beans are cheap enough, but if you have time to cook them and really need to squeeze your food budget, dried beans are the way to go. The basis of many vegan main dishes, they go with just about everything. Also try them in soups, stews, as a side dish or even in a salad. Cheap Staple Food #4: Sweet Potatoes They’re just as versatile as other kinds of potatoes but pack a bigger nutritional punch. You can even use them to make your…

Four Situations Small Personal Loans Can Help You Out Of   Not every financial situation requires taking out a long-term loan. In many cases, small personal loans will fill the need with ease. Here are some examples of situations in which one of these loan arrangements will do the trick.   Your Paycheck is Short   Somebody in the office goofed, and the commission that was supposed to be on this paycheck wasn’t there. The error has been detected, and payroll is cutting a check for you that will be ready on Monday. That’s fine, but you really need to pick up some groceries now. Since small personal loans can often be obtained in a matter of hours, you can soon have the money in hand to hit the supermarket.   A Bill Creeps Up on You   Remember that insurance policy that comes with the six-month premium payment? Unfortunately, you forgot that it is due this month. Since your funds for the month are already committed to other obligations, taking out a short term loan makes sense.   Car Troubles   On the way home from work, the engine started making an unusual sound. Your mechanic has found the problem and can have the car ready in a few days. Small personal loans are a great solution for this type of emergency. By the time that the car is ready, you’ll have the cash in hand to cover the repairs.   You’re Sick You’ve been putting off going to…

If you’re like most people, your credit is your lifeline in tough times. One wrong turn can ruin that in no time, so you have to be prepared and informed. One way of doing that is to keep track of your credit report and score over time. Not only will you know what’s going on, but you’ll be able to find and fix errors, get items removed, and more. There are a few different options for how to get things off your credit report. For starters, most of the credit bureaus have an online service for this. There is often a “dispute” or “correct information” button on the page where you are viewing your credit report, or somewhere on the website nearby. A click of this button, a little information, and you can be on your way to good repair. You could also call the creditor directly (if there is a negative or incorrect item) and see if they will review the account or item and take it off. The creditor may or may not remove the item, but you can then turn to the credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) and have them remove or investigate disputed items. That’s the best place to start when finding out how to get things off your credit report. If you are trying to figure out how to get things off your credit report that are valid, that’s another story. You can often work out payment arrangements with many of the companies that…

Money is one of the most contentious issues in a marriage, so much so that it is one of the most common reasons for divorce. If you are looking to make your marriage successful, it’s important to put some serious time and effort into learning how to talk about money with your partner. How to Talk About Money with Your Partner Our background exerts enormous influence over how we spend money. Unfortunately, how we spend money is such a fundamental part of our lives that it can be easy for us to assume that it is universal, which can be a problem when money spending habits come into conflict. To combat this effect, you and your partner need to learn more about each other’s background when it comes to personal finance, which will provide you with the understanding needed to communicate efficiently and effectively about money matters. Arguments about money often start when one partner confronts the other in a moment of anger, which is likely to provoke similar emotions on the other partner’s part. To avoid this, you should set aside some time with your partner on a weekly basis to talk about family finances. This way, you can communicate without anger or frustration getting in the way. Remain calm and constructive to make progress when talking to your partner about money matters. If you find that the discussion is getting heated, consider putting it on hold and then cooling off before getting back into it. With this as…

You never know when you will need cash to pay for something you didn’t see coming. Every now and then people are hit with traffic tickets, medical bills and car maintenance issues that weren’t expected. Such an effect can be incredibly disruptive to a person’s finances and livelihood. Sometimes it means spending less money on food and entertainment just to try to put an expensive bill behind you. Many times unexpected expenses lead to financial trouble that can last for years. One way to resolve this problem is with a small short term loan. Dealing with Surprises Everyone ultimately faces financial surprises at one time or another. Ideally, over the years you will build your own safety net with a savings account, a retirement account and other investments. But many people do not have that opportunity since they either work for a small that doesn’t offer benefits or they work for themselves and struggle to pay bills. Always be aware of the alternatives so that you can make the best financial decisions that fit your needs. Resolving unexpected expenses with short term loans works if you have a steady job and a solid repayment plan. Things You Can’t Control Sometimes events happen beyond our control, forcing us to make decisions we wouldn’t normally make. Unexpected expenses can happen to anyone, involving a family emergency or a natural disaster that can destroy your home and force you to move. Another example is if you get into an accident or develop medical…

These days many people have debt, which means that we are all trying to save money wherever and however we can. In many cases, this means finding multiple ways to make use of things we already have or adopting better consumption habits. By exercising a little frugality, you can save anywhere from a few dollars a day to hundreds every month. Consider these simple ways to save money at home:

The best way to grow your savings over the long-term is to properly invest it. With interest rates still extremely low, you won’t get much growth keeping your money in a traditional savings account and you won’t get the tax benefits that come with other investing options. So if you are wondering how to make your money grow, follow these basic steps below. Pick the right investment vehicle If you are unsure of how to make your money grow, picking the right investment vehicle is the perfect first step. There are a few different options like a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA), which allows for tax deductible contributions that can’t be touched until retirement, a traditional taxable account, or a Roth Individual Retirement Account, which has the tax benefits of an IRA but allows for some withdrawal before retirement. Consider an Exchange Traded Fund There are a lot of investing options to choose from. But if you are looking to minimize fees, reduce your risk and still get solid returns on your investment, an exchange traded fund is an excellent option. It is designed to track a broader stock market index like the NASDAQ or the S&P 500. Because they aren’t actively managed, fees are lower and the risk too than buying individual stocks. Be Patient This is an important final tip. Many people get spooked by fluctuations and sell too early. But since you are likely saving for long-term goals, you’ll have to time to recover and benefit from…

If you’re a parent, you want to pass on good values to your children. Few things in life are more important than the ability to put money away for a rainy day. So how can you teach kids why saving matters in a way they understand? With money games for kids! It’s a fun, simple way to help them understand what money is worth and why it is important. See our 3 money games for kids to help get them excited about saving. Sort and save Sorting things is an activity many little kids love and so we’ve turned into the perfect money game for kids. Grab your change jar and let your kids sort and pile them up in this simple and fun game. Teach them what each coin is worth, help them add up all the change and then let them keep a portion of it for their savings. Not only have they learned what money is worth, but also how quickly spare change can add up to big savings. The Game of Life This classic American board game offers a lot crucial life lessons on the value of saving. You need to save for college, a family, a house, a car and retirement while learning about the financial ups and downs life can throw your way. So if you think your kids are old enough for board games, this is a great option to teach why long-term savings matter. The Chore Store This is a great way…

Americans spend a lot of cash every year on insurance of all types, including health, home and auto insurance. However, it is possible to lower these premiums and save. If you’re looking for tips on how to spend less money on insurance, consider the following:

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