How to Build Your Emergency Fund on a Budget

Do you need to build your emergency fund, but you're just not sure where to find the extra money?  Check out these 4 ideas for how to build your emergency fund on a budget.

You hear it all the time, you need to have an emergency fund for those mishaps that occur in life.  But the question is: How do you build an emergency fund on a budget?

What is an Emergency Fund?

It’s a sum of money that is set aside for an unexpected expense, a financial shortfall, or other unexpected situation. Most consumers prefer to have an emergency fund setup in the form of a savings account, but how you set aside this sum of money is completely based on what works for your household.

Here are some simple ways to build up money without stressing out or sacrificing the necessities in life:

  • Sell Things You Don’t Need – With online garage sale groups on Facebook and online platforms that make it free to sell your stuff, there is no reason why you can’t pick up a little extra cash for your emergency fund by selling things you don’t need. Do a little cleaning and organizing of your home to make a pile of items you could sell to build up some fast cash and then put that money into your emergency fund account.
  • Find Ways to Make Money from Home – Anyone can make a little extra cash from home without any major skill sets: find legit online paid survey sites, pick up a part time marketing gig, surf Craigslist to find people who need you to run an errand. There are so many ways to earn a little extra money from home, and all that extra cash needs to be immediately placed into your emergency fund account.

No matter how tedious, time consuming or overwhelming it may seem to build your emergency fund; one thing is for certain, when you see the cash getting higher and higher as you implement the strategies listed above, you will start to feel more self-confident and successful as you reach your emergency fund goals.


  1. Great list! We do these things too. One other thing we do is saving the bulk of any extra money we receive. So if my husband earns a bonus as work or something like that. Some of it has to go to things like new work boots, the car repair fund, or other non-emergency but larger than normal expenses but we try to be a large chunk in the emergency fund. (visiting from Thrifty Thursday)

  2. We don’t currently have an emergency fund, and I hate that! I know it is so important and we need to start building one ASAP before an emergency strikes! Thanks for the tips!

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