If you’re like me and many others, as winter drags on you may be experiencing a little cabin fever. It’s easy to want to go into hibernation mode when it’s cold and dreary outside. You get lazy and want to binge-watch This Is Us. Hey, I’m not throwing stones, I have my vices as well, we all do!
If you’re reading this though, you likely have some work to do on your finances. I believe that the winter months are a great time to tackle the first goal I give our Roots of Personal Finance members. Build an emergency fund savings! Did you know that 82% of people have less than $1,000 in a bank account? Don’t let this be you! Here are four tips to save your first emergency fund FAST!
Did you know that in 2015 there were more storage spaces than McDonald’s and Starbucks restaurants combined? Yeah you read that right! I was shocked too! This means we have LOTS of stuff.
When it’s too cold to venture outdoors, take a look at what you have going on inside. Start with your closet. Spring is coming soon. Can you still wear the clothes you wore last year? Go through them and whatever doesn’t work, sell it! Buy/Sell apps such as Poshmark and Let It Go are good places to start. Look at other things in your house that you can sell—electronics, kids’ toys, furniture, video games, antiques and more. If you can’t sell it online or don’t want to, place price tags on everything and have everything ready for a flash yard sale this spring! You can declutter, while making some extra coins.
Are you crafty? Sell your crafts! Check to see if there are vendor fairs in your area where you can sell. You could also set up an online store for a small fee. Or just sell to friends and family. My wife and I did this several years ago and we made a little more than $2,000 making things from old wood pallets! A little hard work can go a long way.
If making stuff isn’t your thing, have you ever thought about working from home or picking up a part-time job? Work-from-home jobs are very popular and are a great way to make extra money part time. You can work in data entry, customer service, graphic design, virtual administration, and more. And as far as part-time jobs, the list is endless! Remember, I’m not saying you’ve got to work two or more jobs the rest of your life, however saving for that emergency fund is critical in getting your finances turned around.
Are you getting the best price on cable? Are you getting the best insurance rates? Are you getting the best rates on your cell phone plan and using all the features you’re paying for? Are you using every subscription you signed up for? This is a great time of year to go through your expenses and cut extra spending that isn’t bringing value to your life.
Now that you have some ways to make some extra cash, what are your plans for it? Don't start spending it. Save it! Approximately 57 million Americans don't have have an emergency fund. Cabin fever doesn't have to get the best of you. Use it to your advantage and better your financial situation!