How We Saved Our First Emergency Funds

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Originally published at: https://www.ohmydollar.com/2019/06/26/how-we-saved-our-first-emergency-funds/

Saving up that first emergency fund can be hard – especially if you don’t make a lot of money, if murphy keeps knocking on your door and stealing from your savings, or if you have variable income. So we asked listeners to share their stories of how they saved their first emergency funds.
Here are different methods:

-The automatic sneaky savings method – including using an app

– The shoebox under the bed method

– The side hustle method

– The tax refund method

– Ramping down debt repayment while saving method

Sneaky savings apps (no affliate links or recommendation implied)
Qapital – rounds up purchases
Digit – sneakily saves money for you via text message, but now charges a fee
– Bank of America Keep the Change – rounds up purchases into a savings account (many others banks like Simple and Chase do this as well with different branding)
Tip Yourself – lets you transfer money from checking to savings for various things with a cute interface

Ask us a question!

We love hearing from you! Email us your financial worries or your emergency fund stories or cat pictures at questions@ohmydollar.com or tweet us at @anomalily or @ohmydollar

All the numbers and stories on this show came from the Oh My Dollar! forums, a friendly, nonjudgemental online community about money. Don’t be afraid, come join us on the forums!

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Transcript (provided by our listener supporters on Patreon)

How to Save Your First Emergency Fund.mp3 | Convert audio-to-text with Sonix

Will Romey:
Xray [jingle]

Lillian Karabaic:
This show is supported by generous listeners like you through our patreon. This episode was underwritten by the Tamsen G. Association, Warrior Queen, and Chris Giddings. To learn more about ways to support Oh My Dollar! and get cool perks like cat stickers and a fancy special icon on our forums you can visit, ohmydollar.com/support/

Will Romey:
And welcome to our newest patron, Jennifer.

Lillian Karabaic:
Thanks for joining Jennifer!

Lillian Karabaic:
Welcome to Oh My dollar!, a Personal finance show with a dash of glitter dealing with money can be scary and stressful, but here we give practical, friendly advice about money that helps you tackle the financial overwhelm. I’m your co-host and here’s your real host, Lillian Karabaic.

Lillian Karabaic:
I’m the real host? You’re the fake host.

Will Romey:
Yes.

Will Romey:
Oh, yeah. Here’s here’s the host that knows about the things we’re talking about, Lillian Karabaic.

Lillian Karabaic:
And Will is the one that I always talk over.

Will Romey:
Brings coffee.

Lillian Karabaic:
This is very important today because we’re very tired. But I feel like that’s kind of relevant to today’s discussion. Being tired, saving emergency funds, they’re related, right?

Will Romey:
Good segue, yes!

Lillian Karabaic:
That was a tired segue.

Will Romey:
We’ve talked about how they’re important before.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah, but I think one of the things about emergency funds is like a six month emergency fund. Once you add up how much that is, if you don’t have any savings. That sounds like an immense amount of money for a lot of people. Right?

Lillian Karabaic:
Especially if you have kind of high expenses, you’re like you’re looking at the number and you’re like that. So that’s a lot. How am I possibly going to get to saving that? But even just getting to like that first mini baby emergency fund, that one month of expenses or that first a thousand dollars, like there’s different strategies for doing that.

Lillian Karabaic:
But I think it is challenging to figure out how to how to get started with that, especially if you’re not making a lot of money or you have like variable income, like how do you – how do you do it? So, I asked people on the on oh my dollar forums, shout out to the forums once again.

Lillian Karabaic:
And I just asked people like, how did you do it? There’s a bunch of different tactics, but they kind of fell into some main categories.

Will Romey:
So the tactics Lillian identified, we’ve got the automatic sneaky savings method, including using an app, the shoe box under the bed method. (This is probably what I did.)

Will Romey:
The side hustle method. The tax refund method and ramping down debt repayment while saving method.

Lillian Karabaic:
Which I think all of those are kind of combinable.

Will Romey:
Yeah. Yeah.

Lillian Karabaic:
You know, like I think a lot of people used kind of variations on that theme.

Will Romey:
Not necessarily Mutually exclusive.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah.

Lillian Karabaic:
The the big thing that I noticed was that very few people said that they did it by accident. Like a lot of folks said, oh you know, it kind of snuck up on me that I got to the point where I had it. But I I at some point sat down and made the decision to start saving.

Will Romey:
But you’re kind of in the camp where you’re like, oh, I think it was a little accidental that I got some savings, right, Will?

Will Romey:
Yeah, I mean, not not accidental by any means, but I was so already kind kinda square squirreling away dollars here and there for for a while. And I guess I had some savings like as a kid, like, you know, grandma would give me 100 bucks in a bank account.

Lillian Karabaic:
Ohhh! Bank accounts when you’re a kid and like back if you’re a 90s kid, like and you got a savings account when you were a kid, they actually had really good interest rates. That was exciting.

Will Romey:
Yeah. I mean, it’s not like I had access to like a debit card at that age. So it sort of just vanished and then later was there, which is cool. I’ll – I’ll take hundreds and kind of do that under the shoe box or under the bed shoe box method. Any anytime someone pays me, you know, like rent and a couple hundred dollar bills just like put one of them there.

Will Romey:
I don’t know.

Lillian Karabaic:
I like how roommates paying rent in cash has come up multiple times on this show. I feel like we’ve both had to live through that like fun experience of people handing you rent in cash.

Lillian Karabaic:
So my first emergency fund, I so I won some money from a like entrepreneurship competition when I was in fifth grade.

Will Romey:
Of course you did.

Lillian Karabaic:
Later I’ve thought back and been like, oh, that was my origin story. And for a long time that was I was I was very lucky. My parents took me and we like set up a savings account for me. And then like, I, you know, from running like lemonade stands and stuff like that, I would put money in when I was a kid.

Lillian Karabaic:
But it wasn’t really until I was working full time and living with my parents after I dropped out of high school, that I was like, oh, I really need to save as a matter of priority. And I moved out shortly after I was 18 – when my parents threatened to start making me pay rent. But at that point, I had about two thousand dollars saved and that was from a $5.15/hour job. And the entire way I did that was by saving my entire paycheck and only going to the ATM to withdraw cash every two weeks.

Will Romey:
So essentially, you sort of reassigning what your paycheck was.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. Yeah. So the paycheck was was savings. And then there was a small percentage I pulled out for like spending money for food and stuff like that.

Will Romey:
I guess that’s sort of the side hustle method like you’re talking about.

Lillian Karabaic:
Kinda of, yea. This side hustle but it’s like the main hustle. And the big thing for me was that I didn’t have access to those two that money unless I physically went to the A.T.M..

Lillian Karabaic:
So like my debit card couldn’t be swiped and run as like a regular credit card, you know, in a coffee shop or something like that.

Will Romey:
Don’t give yourself those options.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. Yeah. And that was because it was a savings account. So it was it just didn’t didn’t have that like exchange fee ability and it worked really well. And then when I changed jobs and started making seven dollars an hour shortly before I moved out, I got a ton of overtime. And I also got what’s called Sunday pay, which doesn’t exist anymore. But I made an extra dollar fifty an hour for working on Sunday.

Will Romey:
On the Sabbath.

Lillian Karabaic:
And to be fair, it was grocery. And Sunday is like the most hectic day of the week in grocery – by a lot. But yeah, if you were old school, you got paid time and a half for Sunday, which was like I would just want to work all the hours.

Will Romey:
Skipped church.

Lillian Karabaic:
Sure. Yeah, exactly. But so a chunk of that savings got wiped out by my first last and deposit on my first apartment. But also, I think I paid like total like eight hundred dollars for all of that because it was 2005 in Cincinnati. And also, I didn’t live in a great neighborhood.

Will Romey:
Things are cheaper there.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah, but I kept up that don’t take out more money than you need for groceries this week method. For almost the full year that I lived in Cincinnati before I moved to Oregon. And that worked really well because by the time I moved to Oregon, I was moving to Oregon to live in an intentional community in the middle of the woods, and I was going to have no income for six months. But I also didn’t have any real living expenses since room and board was covered. So the only things I had to pay for were like toothpaste, fun snacks, stamps and my P.O. box.

Will Romey:
Yeah, actually, now that you mention it. efinitely. I definitely added to my savings a lot in situations of room and board we covered.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah.

Will Romey:
No. Just like remote cooking jobs and stuff where, you know, I was going to spend money on?

Lillian Karabaic:
Right. Exactly. It turns out when you’re like working all the time and living where you work, you can save a lot of money because any money that comes in just can go towards savings. I also didn’t have a lot of expenses. I did have to pay down a small medical bill from breaking my elbow.

Lillian Karabaic:
And I also did buy a bicycle after I got in a bike crash, not the one where I broke my elbow. I still have that bike, though, but that. So that kind of ate into the buffer. And I didn’t have a way to, like, fill it back up again when I wasn’t earning income. But once I got a well-paying job, it was really easy to start saving because I had built that habit of prioritizing savings first. I think one of the.

Will Romey:
Habit building, that’s the thing!

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. And I also think the other thing that kind of came out on this is that like realizing that no one else is going to save for you. So like everybody, you’re an adult now. Everybody else wants your money. Right?

Lillian Karabaic:
But like, nobody is gonna sit there and save for you unless you have a pension or a trust fund or something like that. So the only way that you are going to build up savings is by prioritizing yourself. And often, that means saving for yourself first before you pay bills. So, yeah, I think that was one of the big, big takeaways here, was that people just made it the decision to prioritize rather than like wonder if it would magically happen.

Will Romey:
I mean, that’s a good point, that pointing out that it won’t – it’s something you have to actively do.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. And it doesn’t even have to be that active.

Lillian Karabaic:
So one of the things that came out in a lot of people’s responses was that they did sort of the automatic account method. And the automatic account method is something I’ve used before, which is essentially like hiding the savings money from yourself, but making it an automatic part of it.

Lillian Karabaic:
So you only have to make that choice once of setting up the automatic withdrawal from your like checking to your savings or, you know, if you want to go real hardcore, putting your putting your main income in your savings and then pulling the only the amount you need to live out.

Will Romey:
Mhmm.

Lillian Karabaic:
Out. And that was a big. That was a big deal that came came up a lot. But also some people said that that just didn’t work for them. Like Greywald said after I got a full time job at age 23. “I tried to start saving 20 dollars a month and I kept failing. I kept withdrawing it to keep up with my going out to eat habit.”.

Will Romey:
And it was really it was really when Greywald said, “I finally started saving money when my husband moved from self employment to traditional employment. So we had more income and he was interested in where the money was going. So we actually had to put a limit on things like eating out. So I guess my answer is accountability.”

Will Romey:
Accountability is important. We’re going to talk more about how other people have built their savings, their emergency savings and how that worked for them in just a second, but here’s a message from our sponsors.

Lillian Karabaic:
So we’re back and talking about different ways that people have saved up their first emergency fund. How do you get to that point where you have, you know, a buffer?

Lillian Karabaic:
Like, how do you get savings and kind of get past that total paycheck to paycheck method? And there’s there’s a lot of different methods that people talked about. A lot of folks talked about how they actually saved when they didn’t have a lot of expenses. So Pancakes said “I started working in a supermarket when I was in high school and I saved a lot of what I earned because I didn’t have many real expenses. I think I had three thousand dollars saved when I finished high school in 2003 and I never let my savings go below that. It’s probably not particularly helpful information to people who are not in high school students living with their parents. But I am forever grateful to past me for making such great savings choices early in life.”.

Lillian Karabaic:
That was a big factor for me too. Like I had some expenses when I lived with my parents, but obviously not paying rent and being able to work full-time really, really helped with savings quite a lot.

Will Romey:
Yeah, absolutely. That makes sense. And I guess I feel similarly I like I like the being grateful for your past self. Yes that’s a good feeling.

Lillian Karabaic:
Right. And I feel like often we’re talking about like, don’t be mad at your past self on this show. And sometimes you can be really proud of your past self.

Will Romey:
Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good that’s a good inversion.

Lillian Karabaic:
So Galiver said I “in college I put any significant earnings I had e.g. from summers into a semester’s payment, part time job covered, ongoing incidentals, snacks, groceries, outings with friends, travel home, clothes. Long term savings weren’t on my radar. Between college and grad school, I worked at a summer camp and I banked most income to cover quote unquote startup costs at grad school. Good thing I did – fees ate a good chunk of that grad school was my first steady paycheck and I was pretty good that first year on a fellowship with incredibly low rent. I also still had really cheap habits and expectations from college. I am pretty sure I saved $1K from that first paycheck and I never dipped into that. Funny thing is, no one had taught me this yet. It just seemed like the right buffer.”.

Will Romey:
Yeah, it’s a nice round number.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah, I definitely like I’ve always been kind of a nerd about personal finance, but my idea that my checking should never go below 2,000 dollars was based on nothing.

Will Romey:
Yeah,.

Lillian Karabaic:
Especially because my living expenses were so wildly different, like living places where I had no rent. You know, like.

Will Romey:
Expensive rent

Lillian Karabaic:
Expensive rent, whatever. But two thousand dollars is just it’s always been my panic amount if my checking goes below that. Then I start twitching.

Will Romey:
So it makes sense,.

Lillian Karabaic:
Which it has to be clear it has gone below that I have twitched much.

Will Romey:
You’re twitching a lot this morning but and I think that’s more the coffee

Will Romey:
Rdaneel01 Heard any 10 hour?

Lillian Karabaic:
RDaniel?

Will Romey:
R daneel 0. Rdaneel0.

Lillian Karabaic:
I see that all the time and I never think about how to pronounce it.

Will Romey:
Rdaneel0 – if we’re pronouncing that wrong, Let us know!

Will Romey:
“In envelopes. I was mostly working class jobs like waitressing and bartending, so it’s easier to save money in envelopes than by depositing in an account. I was also paying rent and shared utilities in cash at the same time, so I had a different envelope for each life expense, including savings.”

Will Romey:
“At first I could only put in a few dollars at a time sporadically 5 bucks one day, nothing the next, whatever it left that I felt I could spare. Within the envelope, my only rule was that I couldn’t take money out unless it was an emergency. I didn’t make very much, so it didn’t have to dip into it a few times. But after about a year I’d saved around three thousand dollars.”

Lillian Karabaic:
That’s that’s a lot for saving, you know, random cash from waitressing and bartending.

Will Romey:
And that’s sort of the the shoebox under the bed method, you said. But I mean, we’ve definitely talked about the envelope method before for budgeting and expenses. That’s a yeah.

Lillian Karabaic:
And I think the envelope method, I think one of the things is that like people think that maybe you have to go all in on it, but you can just use an envelope for 1 category. So it works both ways. You can use it for spending or savings in just one category area.

Lillian Karabaic:
So if one of the areas that you have impulse control problems with in spending money is like eating out, you can just use the envelope method with cash for eating out so that when it’s empty, it’s empty. Or vice versa. You know, if you want to save, you could just save money in cash. And you know, I know I know a lot of people whose main savings is their pocket change. I know someone that every year they like go to the Coinstar or whatever and dump and have a couple hundred bucks that they’ve saved just from pocket change each year.

Will Romey:
So I use a laundromat. So never have any quarters in my pocket change. That definitely cuts down the average value. I do a big jar full of non quarters, but it’s worth less.

Lillian Karabaic:
I was selling books yesterday and someone paid me twelve dollars entirely in quarters and I was like laundromat me would have loved this, but now I just feel like it’s a bunch of change.

Lillian Karabaic:
I bought my coffee in quarters this morning.

Will Romey:
First three coffees.

Lillian Karabaic:
So LambyPamby is in the middle of saving their emergency fund and said “I’m working on saving my emergency fund. It’s been a work in progress since the beginning of the year and I’m seventy six point seventy five percent of the way there. (Exact percentages make me feel more accomplished.) My goal is two thousand dollars in a bare emergency fund and then twelve thousand dollars eventually as a cushy six months worth of living expenses.”

Will Romey:
That’s a pretty big emergency fund.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yes.

Lillian Karabaic:
Good.

Lillian Karabaic:
“My strategy has been minimum debt. Payment, including transferring credit card debt to a zero percent intro APY card to throw maximum amount of money that otherwise would have gone into debt repayment into an emergency fund. And also I transferred my savings money into a high interest savings account. 3) When an emergency fund hits two thousand dollars. Focus on aggressive debt repayment, but keep saving.”

Will Romey:
Oh nice. That’s a cool strategy. Yeah. Yeah. I like I like how it sort of shifts once the emergency fund hits to two thousand.

Lillian Karabaic:
LambyPamby also talked about the digit app, which is something a lot of people have brought up before. Digit is kind of one of the best known ones. But there’s a number of apps that do this and even some bank accounts that do this – where they essentially round up purchases and transfer them into a savings account.

Will Romey:
oooh!

Lillian Karabaic:
Some of them will round up to the dollar. And so if you spend, you know, $1.75, they’ll put 25 cents on a savings account for everything you spend. Some of them claim to use automated technology to study your spending habits and figure out how much you can save without noticing it. There’s some bank accounts to do this, but you can kind of Google around if that’s something for you.

Will Romey:
Yeah, I think my Bank of America student account did that.

Lillian Karabaic:
Oh, nice.

Will Romey:
[skeptical] Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t. I didn’t love it.

Lillian Karabaic:
For me, I don’t like linking my spending to savings – because I want to prioritize savings ahead of time. I want to save before I spend.

Will Romey:
And intentionality, I think is important for me.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. But for some people, it works super well because they know they’re going to spend money. But they don’t. They haven’t gotten a good track record at savings. So you might as well do it in a sneaky way. Right?

Lillian Karabaic:
I know a lot of folks that have never saved before. Have never had luck with savings before. And using one of these apps is the first time they’ve seen that savings start to pile up and realize like how powerful little amounts of money can be, if you do it consistently.

Lillian Karabaic:
And I think it’s very good for that feeling of like, oh, because savings, when you first get into it, it feels pretty good. I think one of the things to like to watch it just go up and up. I think you start to feel a lot of internal pride.

Lillian Karabaic:
I think a lot of folks get discouraged when they feel like they’re nickel and diming themself where they finally start to see that tick up. And then an unexpected expense comes. And they’re and they you know, they watch it go down again because they need just pull money out of the emergency fund. And for a lot of people. I know that can feel really demotivating. But I think the thing to remember is – if you didn’t have that savings, that unexpected expense would have been debt. Right?

Will Romey:
yes!

Lillian Karabaic:
Like and so it’s I think or you would’ve been scrambling or having to work extra hours or whatever you would have done to cover that unexpected expense.

Lillian Karabaic:
And I think that’s really important to remember is that like you are like even if it feels like, oh, you’re like nickel and diming yourself, you’re actually just learning better information about what it costs you to live and you’ll have more information about those unexpected expenses in the future that you can plan for and budget for. So you want to put it. How cool is it that you managed to, you know, save for that? So I don’t want you to get discouraged if that has happened to you. Yeah.

Will Romey:
Mountain Mustache says “I had always had a savings account as a kid, because I started working earlier and was still living at home, of course, until college. In college, I spent most of my savings on groceries, life, bikes.”

Will Romey:
Oh, yeah, I remember this guy.

Lillian Karabaic:
“So I only had $500 left when I graduated. Even after working three jobs my last two years after college, I started working in incredibly fun, fulfilling an incredibly low paying industry.”

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah, I’ve worked in the bike industry!

Will Romey:
“Six years After college, I hovered around having 500 to a thousand dollars in savings, but never really taking it seriously since I much preferred to spend any extra money on bikes, racing, etc.

Will Romey:
I didn’t have debt or anything, but pretty much was just living paycheck to paycheck. Last year I had some serious expensive medical issues and started taking saving money/being frugal extremely seriously. Since then, if meant to save most five thousand dollars in an emergency fund, it helped that I got a few raises and now I actually make what I consider to be a lot of money. Like $36,000 a year. Woohoo! Basically every month I make a savings goal, an IRA investment goal and then decide what the rest of my expenses can be – outside my fixed expenses, of course.”

Will Romey:
“So I take the savings, investments out first and then spend what’s left. This helped me immensely because I used to just save what was leftover, but often there wouldn’t be anything left over because I wasn’t planning to save.”

Will Romey:
Yeah, that’s real.

Will Romey:
“My savings goal changes every month and some months. I know will be expensive like 6 months of car insurance is due, etc. but I try to save at least two hundred bucks month and anything more is a bonus.”

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. That’s one of the big things is just paying yourself first. I know that a mountain mustache. She’s talked before about like how easy it is to spend money on bikes, which I’m totally familiar with.

Will Romey:
I just spent two hundred fifty dollars on my bike.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. I don’t think that’s the amount that mountain mustache is spending on bikes because you know, when you work in the bike industry it’s really dangerous because if you get things for wholesale, suddenly it feels like how can I not get that?

Will Romey:
Yeah. This normally costs 3000, I’m only paying two thousand for it. It’s like I’m saving money. Yeah.

Lillian Karabaic:
One thing is weird to me, is that someone. I’ve I’ve – I’ve worked in a bike industry or bike adjacent for most of my career, in non-profits, but I almost always had access to shop deals and like wholesale prices and discounts on service when I got my bike worked on. And since I haven’t the past two years, I’ve been like, oh, this is what it costs? I just I had to like adjust my budget for the idea that like, oh, I’m no longer getting wholesale

Will Romey:
I cracked. I cracked my old frame for context. But they had a frame sale. So I got a new frame and swapped out the frame, which is bizarre. It feels like a body transplant. Like it feels like a new bike, because like the frame is the bike.

Lillian Karabaic:
You’re really tall. So are frames is hard to find in your size?

Will Romey:
Uh… This one was 60 centimeters, which isn’t crazy.

Lillian Karabaic:
Oh, my God. For contrast, my frame is 46 centimeters. So.

Will Romey:
I guess that’s about height ratio.

Lillian Karabaic:
For people that can only hear us and cannot see us right now, we are different sizes.

Will Romey:
I am 60 centimetres tall and Lillian is 46 centimetres tall.

Will Romey:
Smacky says. “When I was student, money came in super irregularly, it was impossible to plan for other than being cheap, slightly past the point of pain. So every time new money came in, I took whatever was left in my account the last deposit turn it into cash and hid it in a box.”

Will Romey:
There’s that box method again.

Will Romey:
“Often it was nothing. Sometimes it was a few hundred. By the end of my undergrad, I had enough to pay for my divorce and a chunk of a house in my local city. After that, I got approved for twenty five thousand dollar HELOC, that I didn’t tap ever. But it was there if I needed it and my experiment and any spare money I threw on my mortgage. That box of money in the rafters of my basement turned into a ton of financial security.”

Will Romey:
What’s a HELOC?

Lillian Karabaic:
HELOC is a home equity line of credit, which essentially means that you can borrow against your house. So if you’re someone that house has a high value relative to what you owe on it, HELOCs can often be kind of a backup. The downside if he locks is that if you can’t pay them back.

Will Romey:
They take your house.

Lillian Karabaic:
They take your house. And so that is one of the situations where student loans have gotten so expensive and people always felt like their houses were gonna go up during the last recession. A lot of people borrowed against their house to pay for college education.

Will Romey:
That worked out poorly.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. And that worked out poorly. So. But generally, HELOCs can be a kind of they allow you to tap into the wealth that your home is supposedly building. Right? Right.

Will Romey:
Okay, that’s cool.

Lillian Karabaic:
So it’s it’s one of those things where, you know, use it with caution. But I think the way that snack is using it, which is essentially like “sure” . – it’s there. You know, it’s kind of they’re in the same way that like, yes, I have access to like $40,000.

Will Romey:
More of an emergency line of credit.

Lillian Karabaic:
Right right exactly.

Will Romey:
That’s cool though. And then it’s neat that they were able to turn their saved cash into that line of credit. Right. Which seems like sort of a a way to build on that.

Lillian Karabaic:
Qristy talked about the kind of downsides of using these side hustle method, which meaning like you save everything for you make from a second job. Qristy said “I was working two part time jobs and an adjunct teaching one or two courses at a time. Then-spouse was in school and working zero jobs. We were “couldn’t afford health insurance broke.” I adjuncted at an extra summer session to get that first emergency fund. And it was maybe the most exhausted I’ve ever been.”

Will Romey:
Damm! hustling!

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. Yep. Definitely rough. I think that the last one I want to end on is probably the simplest and in many ways I think is if you’ve got like a pretty regular income. This is a great way to do it if you’re just trying to figure out how to do it. And nnls said, “I set up an automatic transfer from my bank to take 10 percent of my pay and put it in an emergency fund. As my pay increased. I just left it at 10 percent and now I have a nice buffer.”

Will Romey:
That’s easy. Yep, that’s nice. That’s how I recommend doing retirement savings. Once you kind of get your basic foundation, financial foundation set up is just automatic and increase it as you make more.

Will Romey:
Nice.

Lillian Karabaic:
If you have a normal job Unlike me and Will that works was great.

Will Romey:
Someday- maybe I don’t know.

Lillian Karabaic:
Do I want that? I don’t know. Existential questions, huh? I.

Lillian Karabaic:
I think it wraps our show for today. We would love to hear about like, have you saved your first emergency fund? How did you save it? I think this is really helpful to hear for folks that are either saving their first emergency fund or they’ve wiped it out due to life circumstances and want to get it built back up.

Will Romey:
Or you want to.

Lillian Karabaic:
Yeah. Or are you one of those people that likes to live life on the edge with no savings? And who are you and why do you listen to this show – explain it to me! I’m always curious about that. But we love hearing from you.

Lillian Karabaic:
You can e-mail us your financial worries, successes, emergency fund stories at questions@ohmydollar.com You can tweet us at @anomalily or @ohmydollar

Will Romey:
Your producer is me, Will Romey. Our intro music is by Aaron Parecki and your host and personal finance educator is Lillian Karabaic. Thanks for listening. And until next time, remember to manage your money so it doesn’t manage you.

Will Romey:
Xray.

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#2

I should add that when I didnt have regular pay when I was younger I would just transfer the 10% based on what ever I got paid that fortnight, it seemed like a slow process to get to a decent savings amount but it just happened gradually and suddenly it was there

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