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How to Start an Emergency Fund, part 2

Last weeks article was about saving money by finding things to eliminate or cut back on. Expendable expenses include television, food, and cell phones.

If you are really in a bind and need to save money, you might try to eliminate some of these altogether, at least for a time. If your cell phone bill is high because you are paying for much more than you are using, see if you can get a lower cost plan. Do you need a cell phone and a home phone? Some people do without home phones and use only a cell phone. His is not something that is right for everyone, but many people do without home phones because they feel that they aren’t necessary.

Television costs can be reduced by going with a lesser plan as well. If you want to save money for a short period of time without giving up what you have, many companies will allow you to suspend your account. That means that they will turn off service to that account and will not charge you for a specified period of time. When that time is over, your service is resumed.

To reduce food expenses, make a food budget for each month. Cut out or reduce money spent on eating out. Another way to save money on food is to go grocery shopping with a list and shop sales. Using coupons is a way to save money that many people may not be willing to try thinking that they can’t save much money. Coupons do add up, however. When you match coupons with sales, you can save even more money. To start out with you might only be able to save 10% or so but within a few weeks you can realistically expect to be able to boost those savings up to 30-40%. Some people can save more, some save less. Savings really depend on the amount of time you wish to spend matching up deals with coupons.

Another way to save money is to have your check direct deposited into your account. Employers may split up the funds, and if this is the case, you can get the money split into two accounts. You can go ahead and take a small portion of your check and send it directly to your savings account. Even $20 a month put into a savings account adds up to $240 per year. Often when you don’t see the money, you don’t miss it. This combined with other methods of savings is a good way to bulk up your savings.

And of course, you can save money by getting out of debt. You save money from making payments that go to interest. Instead, your money would be added to your savings account and accruing interest for yourself. If you can pay off your debt, you will have more money to contribute to your savings so if at all possible, make that a priority.

These savings can start to add up over time. An important thing to remember, however, is that you have to actually take the money that you don’t spend and put it into some type of savings account. After saving for a year, you may find yourself with several hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

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