When it comes to saving money for an emergency, a lot of people struggle. Saving a few hundred bucks for a new TV or for a trip seems easy because the end result is a fun reward, but saving for an emergency can seem less tangible.
After you’ve already built up that emergency savings and had to spend it on a car repair or other emergency, finding the motivation to start over can be tough, but having an emergency fund is important. Cutting expenses or holding off on doing something fun in order to save may seem unappealing, but it will be worth it in the long run.
If you’re struggling to stick to your budget so you can save again after spending your emergency savings, here are 4 ways to stay motivated to keep saving.
Focus on the ‘Why’
The main reason you are saving money is to replenish your savings after having to tap into it for an emergency. Think about how inconvenient it would have been if that money hadn’t been there. If your car breaks down or you are facing unexpected medical bills, you don’t want to be stuck without any backup funds.
Additionally, think about how not having an emergency would impact you and your household financially. What if you wouldn’t be able to have your vehicle repaired immediately or cover the cost of a doctor’s visit? This is great motivation to continue working on your savings account.
Make a Reasonable Budget
Having money on hand in case of an emergency is definitely important, but you should still be realistic. Take a look at all of your expenses and see where you can cut things out. There are some expenses you can’t cut of course, such as rent and student loan payments. A debt payoff calculator can help you determine how much debt you need to pay, and what’s available to stash away in your savings account.
Keep in mind that if your income is low, your bills are high, or both, it may take a bit longer than you expect to reach your savings goals, but that’s okay. Taking baby steps and adding a little bit to your emergency fund here and there is better than adding nothing at all. Remember that you are on your own timeline, so it’s okay if you take a little bit longer to reach your goal.
Reevaluate Once in a While
Each month, it’s important to take a look at your budget and your savings to see how things are going. You may discover that there are more expenses you can cut, or if you are getting close to reaching your goal, you may be able to loosen up a little bit. Keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to have an emergency fund to cover expenses when things go wrong i.e. you lose your job or have to cut hours to care for a family member. These situations happen all of the time, so it’s important to be prepared. Staying motivated can be hard, but if you stick to your plan, you’ll reach your goal in no time and feel more secure because of it.