A iggy bank in hand from an emergency savings.

Saving Money When You Are Broke

Without an emergency savings account, you are at the mercy of payday loan lenders when the worst happens. But how are you supposed to start a savings account if you are living check to check? Find out a few ways that just about anybody can start an emergency savings account when you are broke.

The emergency savings account is a necessary tool in financial stability. Saving is important and we all know that but few of us do it properly. About a quarter of the population has no savings whatsoever and most of the rest have inadequate savings accounts.

The ideal savings account should have enough money in it to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses. If you have no savings account at all, this can be an intimidating amount of money to save. So, how can you get to that level starting out from scratch, especially if you are broke. Well, you need to make some changes. Let’s take a look at some things that you can do if you need more money in your savings.

Get A Side Job

If you are simply working forty hours a week, you need a side job. You will never get ahead working just eight hours a day, that is just the way it is. Luckily, it is easier than ever to get side work. With a robust economy and the growth of app based employment opportunities like Uber, you can start making extra money almost immediately.

If you have a four door vehicle that is under ten years old, Uber or Lyft makes a good choice. Make around $25 an hour driving people around the city. The great thing is that you can work whenever you want so you can earn whenever you have free time. Work just ten hours a week and you can make an extra 1000 dollars a month. If you need 3000 dollars a month to live, you can have a well stocked emergency savings of 9000 dollars in less than a year. How much would that change your life?

Another great option is retail. Major retailers such as Walmart now pay over $13 an hour to start. Since Walmart is a 24 hour store in most locations, you can find a shift that works for you without a problem. Once again, working just ten hours a week would earn you around 500 dollars a month. In one year, you could have a savings account of over 6000 dollars with interest.

Make Some Cuts

If you are unable to add a few hours a week of extra work or if you just want to take the savings up to the next level, you need to make some budget cuts. You have a budget right?

If you do not have a budget, your first step should be making one. Don’t worry, you do not need anything complicated, just write down all of your bills including fixed amounts for expenses like entertainment, food and gas. Compare that to your take home pay and you will probably see the problem right away. Most people are spending too much money.

One of the biggest drags on a budget is food cost. Now, yes, you need to eat but most people waste a lot of money on food.

Take your lunch for example. If you eat fast food every day, you can save at least $5 a day by bringing your lunch to work. Not a lot of money? Well, that is $25 a week, $100 a month and over $1200 in a 50 week work year. Small things like this add up.

Also be sure to take a look at your at home eating budget. Hopefully you are eating at home to save money but you still might be wasting a lot of cash. Do you know how to cook and if so can you cook from scratch. If not, you need to learn. Processed and frozen food is not only unhealthy, it costs a fortune. Learn to cook from scratch and use cheap things like rice, potatoes and dry beans as a base of your menu. There are dozens of great meals that you can make with those ingredients for just pennies a serving.

Besides food, there are a lot of other ways to save money on your budget. Each budget is different so take a look at yours and see where you can make changes.

If you are still using cable, perhaps now is the time to cut the cord and move to a streaming service.

When was the last time that you audited your auto insurance to see if you can get a better deal with another company?

If all else fails, make some big changes and trade in your car for a cheaper model or move to find less expensive rent.

Big changes can be difficult but if you have no emergency savings, something has to give.

Increase Your Regular Income

For a lot of people, a side job is just not possible. Maybe your regular job is too time intensive or maybe you have small children to take care of. Your only option to increase your income is to make more money at your day job. Sound impossible, maybe not.

For a lot of people the problem is complacency and your employer probably depends on it.

It is tough changing jobs. Interviews, resumes and just the risk involved in making a switch. Your employer knows people do not like to change jobs. That is why they give you a cost of living increase every year and save the big money to attract new hires.

Look around and see what new hires in your field are making. If it is more than you earn, it is time to dust off the resume. The only way to get a big raise these days is to move on. Don’t be complacent, go get the money you deserve.

Finishing Up

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to get the money to save but they all take work on your part. If you have no savings and are dependent on payday loans when emergencies happen, it is time to make some changes. Do it for yourself and do it for your family.

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James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.