I know, I know. You've been meaning to start an emergency fund, but emergencies keep getting in the way. Life gets in the way. Here's how to get that emergency fund stated and fill it up quicker than you think.
The Law Of Diminishing Intent
The law of diminishing intent works against you: the longer you wait, the less enthusiasm you have for it. Start now. Take your lunch to work one day a week; that'll save you about $10, or $500 a year. You already take your lunch everyday? Well, how about cutting out those non-essentials, such as the triple latte? Or all those cable channels you NEVER use? Or those name-brand clothes with logos on them that you pay extra for and advertise for the manufacturer?
The $5 Bill Plan
How about keeping every $5 bill you receive in change? At the end of the week, deposit it in your emergency fund, which should be a separate account from all your others; that way you won't be inclined to spend it. This may amount to $20 a week, or about $1,000 a year.
Save The One-Off Monies
Did you get paid for overtime? Or did you receive a once-in-a-while bonus? Save half of it in your emergency fund; you wouldn't have had it otherwise. It's a bonus. That includes any money from a tax refund or an inheritance.
The Car Payment Replay
Once you've finished paying off your car, continue to make the payment. To who? Yourself; specifically, your emergency fund. You wouldn't have had the money anyway. Great way to really increase your emergency fund.
The Finish Line: Reward Yourself
Once your emergency fund is close to the number of months' expenses it would take to find a job if you were to lose your current one, then go have some fun; NOT with your emergency fund, but with the money in your account that continues to accumulate due to the new spending patterns established from above.
When will you start your emergency fund? The longer you wait, the longer it will take and the deeper in debt you'll become when the next emergency arises.