Building your rainy day fund

The famous saying; money can’t buy happiness is only slightly true. Financial security can massively reduce anxiety and, in turn, enable happiness. Building a rainy day fund is a process of making sure you’re financially able to handle life’s worst scenarios. An emergency fund will take away the fear of not making ends meet because you can always pay your bills. Most people find it challenging to gather the initial funds for the pot; here are some valuable tips for saving up and graduating to financial freedom.

Automate savings

Automating your savings is an excellent way of taking the effort out of saving. You can set up direct debits from your current account into your savings account. This way, it’s done automatically, and you don’t have to think about it. You can’t mess up as the sum is already sitting in the account. The main benefit of this approach is that it’s easy. You don’t have to think about saving as the money is just going into one pot and then onto the next.

Roundups

If you’re already using apps to automate, the chances are they can round up your purchases. For example, if you spend £3.40 on a cup of coffee, you’ll be charged £4.00, but £0.60 of that purchase will go into a separate pot that will gradually grow with each transaction. It could be a beneficial way of boosting your savings as it’s easy to set some money aside every time you go out to eat and drink. Monzo, Starling and Plum are good examples of finance apps that allow you to enable roundups. 

See where you’re spending money

Reviewing your budget and your current expenses is probably one of the easiest and best ways to save money with minimal effort. If you have a smartphone, then some finance apps already do this for you. For example, myfinance is a great app for reviewing your current spending and seeing where your money is going.

  • Subscriptions – recurring expenses don’t mean you’re committed to them forever. Subscriptions like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Magazines, and Spotify can be cancelled or reduced with no notice period. Netflix has different price points for each of its services. The highest level allows 4k streaming on multiple screens at once. If you’re paying for the family plan, ask others to contribute to the payment plan. Alternatively, you can pay for the solo plan, which is considerably cheaper.
  • Utilities – Comparing your monthly bills is essential for saving. Utilities such as gas, electric, and broadband should be compared with new policies to find better prices. It would help if you made a note of when your contract ends so you can switch policies. Be on the lookout for new offers from broadband providers that will pay your breakage fee for leaving contracts early. Broadband providers sometimes offer ‘Broadband only’ packages that don’t include anything extra like a phone line or freebies. Broadband only packages can be a great way to save money if you can do without the bells and whistles. 
  • Transport – If you’re commuting to work, consider taking public transportation as it may be cheaper and can often be faster. Often, driving to work isn’t the quickest and can take more time than you think. There’s also the benefit of getting a little bit of work done on the way into work. If public transport isn’t for you, cycling or walking are great ways of cutting back on fuel and insurance expenses.
  • Food – Meal prepping is another way of reducing the amount of money you’re spending each month. Preparing your food provides you with a meal on the go at a minimal cost. It’s also a great way of saving money if you’re a frugal eater. Eating out less when you work in an office may give you more freedom to cook your meals at home. It’s also going to be cheaper as well as generally better quality.

Boost your income

If you’re struggling to save for your emergency fund, it might be a good idea to look into working overtime to make as much money as possible. You could even look into switching jobs if you can make a lateral move with a pay rise. After all, your income is your biggest wealth-building tool.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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