5 Ways I Plan to Rebuild My Emergency Fund
Confession: I used part of my emergency fund. Yes, for an emergency!
When I quit my unhealthy job earlier this year (all about that here) I knew I enough emergency savings to cover my expenses for at least 6 months (this is why we save an emergency fund, people!) I finally found a job I’m absolutely obsessed with — but that took almost 4 months to secure. AND during my tumultuous time of unemployment, my very-inexpensive lease ran up and I moved to a place that was almost double in rent (which is still cheap for Seattle) So although I didn’t completely drain my emergency fund (luckily, didn’t come close), I have a financial hill to climb to rebuild my savings and recoup the money I lost. Here’s how I plan on making it happen.
1. Limit eating out
This will be my biggest key to contributing more to savings. I’ve been extremely bad about eating out these last few months. And although I don’t necessarily regret it (I had some incredible food with some incredible people), it’s taken a pretty big toll on my budget. Could I afford all of these dinners out and still save some money? Yes. Is it seriously limiting me from saving more? Hell yeah. In the next few months, I’m going to limit my eating out to 3 or so times a month to make them more significant (and to avoid those regular $25 charges a few times a week.)
2. Do some short-term freelance projects on the side
While job hunting, I took some larger freelance projects that I unfortunately had to transition away from (a busy new job will do that to you!) Instead of larger, more intense projects, I’m currently taking on smaller, short-term projects that require just a few hours of time a week. From career coaching to social media management, I’m loving this client work so far!
3. Live on a percentage of my income
As I get back into my work routine, I’m figuring out just how much money I need for my regular expenses (rent, utilities, car, cell phone, public transit, etc.) and how much I have left over for savings and fun stuff. I’ve become more and more obsessed with FI/RE blogs (financial independence, retire early) — the key to an early retirement is only living on a small percentage of your income. I’ll keep you updated on where I end up landing (not sure if this percentage will look like 40% or maaaaybe more like 70%) but I know this is the key to my long-term savings goals.
4. Increase my affiliate marketing on my blog
If you’re looking to get into blogging, you’ve heard of affiliate marketing. Many bloggers contribute to their blog’s profit by showcasing products they believe in — to compensate them for their content and advertising, bloggers are awarded a small (and I mean, teeny) cut of sales or projected sign-ups. I want to do more content around products I love (good bloggers NEVER endorse something they don’t believe in, and you as a reader can tell if something is fishy!) If you’re curious about some of the brands I like and want to get in on the action (#shamelessplug):
Lucky Brand: half of my closet is from Lucky — their jeans are perfect y’all (get $20 off a purchase!)
ClassPass: my go-to fitness app so that I’ll actually go to that barre class (get 5 classes for the price of 1 your first month!)
Airbnb: I’ve traveled through Europe, Costa Rica, and many U.S. states, aided by Airbnb ($40 off your first booking!)
OpenCare: when you haven’t booked a dentist appointment in years… (get $50 just for scheduling your appointment)
Trim: my favorite financial website that will negotiate your cable and phone bills for you! (it’s a free app!)
Imperfect Produce: misshapen (but still perfectly good!) produce delivered right to your door, saving it from the landfill ($10 off your first box!)
5. Use cash-back credit cards
I love my Alaska Airlines card. But I’ve already accumulated a mountain of airlines miles (90k, to be exact.) When I quit my job, I started using my cashback cards as my everyday choice, and will continue while I build my savings back up. I got over $30 back last month just on everyday purchases, and with rotating categories, I can get 5% cashback on things like groceries or gas. I personally love my Discover and Capital One cash back cards, and have built credit through both.