A piggy bank with $100 bills sticking out the top on a calendar.

Financial experts frequently advise people to set aside in an emergency fund enough money to pay for six to nine months of living expenses.

Set a Low Bar (at first):

A goal of saving at least six months of living expenses is very commendable, but it may not be realistic for your financial situation. Try for a smaller goal, say $200. If you save as little as $20 a week, you’ll have that $200 in 10 weeks. Once you reach that goal, set another incremental goal.

Finding the Money:

You might say: “I don’t have an extra $20 a week to save.” Find a way. It could be as simple as not going to your favorite coffee shop for a week or making a list when you go shopping (studies have shown people spend less when they go into a store with a list). You could look at your monthly bills and see where you can trim. Do you really need HBO?

Sock Away ‘Extra’ Money:

We all get unexpected revenue—a bonus, birthday money or even a tax refund. Resist the urge to splurge. Put that money (or some of it) away in your emergency fund.

Make it Automatic:

Having your credit union or financial institution automatically put money from your checking account or paycheck directly into a savings account, helps you to save better. You can’t spend what you don’t see.

Looking for other ways to take control of your personal finances? Download our Living Greater eBook for a year’s worth of helpful tips!

Living Greater eBook