Unexpected expenses are impossible to predict, but you can prepare for them by having an emergency fund.
These safety nets are especially important if you carry a lot of credit card debt, as a surprise cost could force you to fall short on your credit card payment.
To create an emergency fund, follow these five simple tips:
Tip No. 1: Use direct deposit
One of the biggest obstacles to an emergency fund is actually saving money. Many people simply can't bring themselves to put money away each month. That being said, you will need to seek out ways to make it easier, one being setting up direct deposit. Using this method allows you to set it and forget it, as you will never have to worry about putting money away because it will done automatically.
Tip No. 2: Avoid impulse purchases
Another major hindrance to saving is impulse purchases. To avoid these types of buys you may want to go to the mall or local retailer with a specific list of what you need to buy. If that doesn't work, try only bringing the amount of money you need to buy what you are looking for so you don't overspend. Any impulse purchases could be taking money away from your emergency fund so they should be avoided at all costs.
Tip No. 3: Find ways to cut back
A great way to find money to put into an emergency fund is to look for areas in your budget that you can cut back. For example, if you still have a home phone, it may be time to get rid of this service, as most people have cell phones these days. Another place to cut back is your cell service as your $50 data plan likely isn't essential.
Tip No. 4: Compete with a friend
To help save more you might want to turn it into a competition with a friend who also needs to create an emergency fund. When you are trying to beat someone there is a greater chance you will actually save.
Tip No. 5: Stop using your credit cards
Debt can be a major roadblock to saving as you likely want to eliminate these balances more than you want to save. That being said, you should avoid using your credit cards when attempting to create an emergency fund, as using them just adds to your debt load.&nbs