10 Smart Ways to Build an Emergency Fund


Ready to finally create the life you’ve always dreamed of? Do it Scared is now available everywhere. Get the game-changing book everyone is talking about and discover the courage to face your fears head on.


Want to save money or pay off debt, but aren't sure where to start? Don't miss these 10 super smart ways to build an emergency fund fast!

There is nothing that can derail your financial progress faster than an emergency. You think you’re doing okay, making headway towards your goals, and boom! The refrigerator stops working, your car breaks down, or your child falls off her bike and needs four stitches in her chin and suddenly you are right back in crisis mode.


Get your budget in order with the Monthly Budget Worksheet. Simply opt-in below to have the Monthly Budget Worksheet sent straight to your inbox!

If you’ve read Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover or taken the Financial Peace University course, you already know that the very FIRST step in regaining control of your money and avoiding yet another financial crisis is to establish an immediate emergency fund of $1000. Financial planning company brightpeak financial recommends this as well—in fact, they are even willing to reward you for it! Download this free “10 Simple Ways to Boost Your Emergency Fund” eBook for more information on how you can earn $100 by making a habit of saving!

While $1000 may feel daunting at first, the truth is that there are plenty of ways to build an emergency fund quickly. The key to success is being willing to accept the idea that getting your finances in order might not be fun or easy, but it will be worth the effort. Plus, the great thing about all of these ideas is that they will not only help you build your emergency fund, but they can also help you kick-start your debt snowball and get you well on your way to becoming debt-free!

Here are 10 super smart ideas to get you started:

Hosting a garage sale is a big job, but if you're ready to clear the clutter, it may be time.1. Sell Something (Or Several Somethings)

Chances are that if you have found yourself in a financial crisis, you have probably bought more than a few things you either didn’t need or couldn’t afford along the way. It is time to start cutting your losses by selling anything and everything you can. Don’t hang on to things because you are afraid you won’t get what you paid—you won’t.  The money is already gone, but at least you will be making progress towards a solution. Check out this post for great tips on how to sell your stuff on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook or at a garage sale (and for knowing which one to use!) And, if by some chance you still haven’t opened the item, see if you can return it to the store you bought it from! (You never know!)

We sold out whole bedroom set for $900 and have been sleeping with the mattress on the floor for almost a year. Last week a friend came over to visit and saw that we had no bedroom furniture and the next day she GAVE us her whole set and bought herself a new one. God is always doing amazing things in my life like this!” ~Jade Hodge

I returned my Christmas present from my husband. It was a Cricut Die Cutting machine that I thought I wanted desperately. Guess what? I wanted an emergency fund and to be out of debt WAY more.” ~Andrea Vaughn

2. Get a Second Job

It doesn’t have to be your dream job, and if you are struggling to make ends meet, here is the brutal truth:  There is no job you are “too good” for. Go work at McDonalds or deliver pizza or wait tables or clean houses or stock grocery shelves at night. Check out the classified section of the newspaper or look on Craigslist—Jobs may be hard to come by sometimes, but I promise there are always jobs for people who are willing to work hard and do anything. Not sure how to do it? Check out this post for a few great tips on how to land a part time job!

I went back to work and used every single penny or every single paycheck (this is not at exaggeration) for a full year to put towards my bills. I also had two HUGE yard sales and made about $1500. At the end of that year, all by myself I had paid off approx $22,000 in debt.”  ~Kris Stevens-Starks

I started dog sitting. I sometimes make more money dog sitting than I do at my “real” job!” ~Deb Foster

I started cleaning houses on the weekend and took the money from that and invested in items to embroider and sell…kind of started a little business all with the goal of paying off debt!” ~Daisy Work

Delivered Yellowbooks to pick up extra cash. Easy and got exercise while doing it without a gym membership!” ~Shawna Squibb

3. Work from Home

If going out and getting a job outside the home isn’t an option, consider finding a way to work from home instead. Do you stay home with your kids? Why not offer babysitting or after-school care for a few of their friends whose parents need childcare? Are you good with computers? How about becoming a Virtual Assistant? Do you sew? Why not offer a tailoring service or perhaps sell your own items on Are you able to spot a diamond in the rough? You could salvage & spruce up old furniture then resell it on Craigslist. Still not sure what to do? These fifteen ideas for making money at home are a great place to start, or discover how to make money blogging.

We cleaned out some big ticket “toys” (motorcycle, jeep, etc) to clear a line of debt and put a chunk in savings. My husband used the profit to buy a table saw that he now earns money with doing side projects. All side project earnings go straight to paying off debt. We’re free of a car loan, 3 student loans and 2 credit cards in the last 6 months. Thank the Lord!!” ~ Sarah Burmeister

As a graduate student, I bought designer gowns at the Salvation Army and resold them at trendy consignment shops. Financed my education for two years.”~Mary Walker

4. Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

If the thought of starting your own home business is too overwhelming, why not instead start by cutting your everyday expenses? Just a few simple tweaks to the way you shop for food can result in drastic savings at the checkout line. Start by buying only what is on sale, then stockpile items when they are at their lowest price. Eat less meat (and save on the meat you do buy), plan your meals using a budget-friendly service such as eMeals, which lets you plan your menu based on what is on sale at your grocery store that week. (You can even try it free for two weeks!)

I started monthly meal planning, so no wasted trips to the store, which saves a lot of money!“~Reader Leah Donn Scott

We save money by using coupons and combine them with sites like Ibotta and Checkout 51 that pay you cash for buying items you already buy like milk,cereal, eggs and bread. We also do a lot of meal planning freezer meals and take lunches to work.” ~Becky Tester

5. Save on Utilities

Spending too much on things like electricity, water, phone, or even cable is practically like pouring money down the drain. Another great way to “earn” money from home is to start paying close attention to the money you are spending right in your own home without even thinking about it. A little vigilance can go a long way! Consider using a service such as BillCutterzThis innovative service helps negotiate better rates for all your bills, and then splits the difference with you, which means that they only get paid if they are saving you money. Check out this post for 12 more smart ways to save on utilities!

I ditched cable and got a roku box. Small savings month to month help a lot!” ~Reader Sarah Eckert

We called providers for every single bill we have (credit card, utility, phone, satellite, car, insurance, mortgage) and threatened to terminate our account unless they lowered the bill. Worked for every one, even the mortgage company! The key is you have to mean it, and have a number in mind that you want to pay. Don’t give up!!“~Carter Robinson

We live by candlelight every other week put the money we save on electricity into savings.“~Chris Schmeltzer

6. Stop Eating Out

Believe me, I get it! When life gets hectic sometimes eating out just seems like the path of least resistance. After all, fast food is quick and easy and relatively cheap, right? Wrong! All those quick & easy fast food meals still add up to a lot more than you would pay to just eat at home, and just a couple of family dinners at a nice sit-down restaurant or a daily run to Starbucks could pay for a whole month’s worth of food and coffee at home. Why not try scheduling a freezer cooking day to stock up on ready-made meals? Or, if you’ve really got a craving, check out these great copycat recipes for restaurant flavor right at home!

We very rarely eat out, cut back on meat dinners and eat beans, lentils, etc instead. I’m a single mom with no child support or alimony and I’m still able to pay down and pay off my debts!” ~Karen Muri

I Gave up my Redbull and Starbucks addictions–it gave me an extra 300 a month.” ~Jennifer Bryan

7. Get Free Stuff

It is actually pretty amazing to find out how much stuff you can get for free or close to free once you really start looking. Check out sites like or the free section on, or just drive around an upscale neighborhood on trash day to find things you need, or even to repurpose and resell. Bartering with friends and neighbors for goods and services is also a great way to get the things you need for free, while taking advantage of online freebies and samples can help keep expenses down as well.

I scrounge around Goodwill frequently and rehab stuff to sell on Craigslist. Found a huge Pottery Barn rug at Goodwill once. Had a few stains but otherwise ok. Looked it up online, retail price was $250. Cleaned it, then sold on Craigslist for $80, and put that toward debt.“~Angie Doster

I stopped buying beauty and cleaning products, and turned to my pantry for all of those needs!!! It’s amazing how a little vinegar, baking soda, honey and lemon can transform into all that you really need!!! It adds up to hundreds in savings, and I squirrel the money away into my savings“~Bonnie Pierce

I picked up perfectly good toys in someone’s trash and sold them online in less than an hour” ~Cindy Gillis-Williams

8. Earn Inbox Dollars

If you haven’t already, sign up for Inbox Dollars ASAP then check out this post to see all the ways you can earn Inbox Dollars doing the things you already do anyway, such as searching the web or shopping online. Signing up is super easy. Just fill out the form here. You will even get a $5.00 bonus just for signing up when you confirm your email address. The coolest part about Inbox Dollars is they actually pay cash–no need to trade in point for gift cards–and you can request to be paid anytime you hit the $3.00 minimum requirement. (Which isn’t hard!)  There is even a mobile app you can use to earn Inbox Dollars on the go. Seriously, don’t wait–start earning right now!

9. Skip This Year’s Vacation

Here’s another hard dose of reality:  If you don’t have any money in your savings account, you can’t afford to go on vacation. Period. Cancel any and all plans to travel, because the truth is that between the gas, the lodging, and the food, (not to mention the unforeseen expenses that always come up), even the most frugal vacations still cost more than staying home. Try planning a Staycation instead, or better yet, spend your week planning for & hosting a family garage sale to earn some extra cash!

We cancelled a vacation so our savings would not be touched.“~Rachel Carrier-Stone

If you want to save, it may be time to cut the Starbucks habit and enjoy your coffee at home.

10. Go on a Spending Freeze with Like-Minded Friends

Years of living in a “spend” mode can sometimes make it hard to stop, even when you know you should. Even so, if you are committed to building that emergency fund then you need to resist the temptation any way you can. The LWSL 31 Days of Living Well & Spending Zero Challenge has some fun ideas to help you make it through an entire month of no spending, and a great way to ensure success is to team up with others who are taking on the same challenge in order to hold each other accountable. More than 100,000 readers have taken the challenge so far, with life changing results! Find out more HERE.

*   *   *

While building an emergency fund might feel difficult or even impossible at first, it doesn’t have to be. Start adopting that “gazelle” mentality, and you might just be surprised at how quickly you can start saving.

P.S. Be sure to download this free eBook from brightpeak financial for more great tips on how to build your emergency fund (plus all the details on how you can earn $100 once you’ve saved $1000)!

Want to save money or pay off debt, but aren't sure where to start? Don't miss these 10 super smart and easy ways to build up your emergency fund fast!


  1. Danielle
    March 28 at 10:04AM

    These are great. To pay off debt my husband and I both worked a ton of overtime. We sold one of our cars, our TV, furniture, and anything else we could, and we stopped eating out completely. We paid off $44,000 in student loans and credit cards in 17 months. It was SO worth all the sacrifice, and even though it was hard work, it brought us closer together.

    • Anonymous
      February 28 at 06:26PM

      That’s awesome!!!

    • Lindsay
      March 6 at 10:23AM

      That’s the coolest thing I’ve heard! way to go!

    • Anonymous
      January 7 at 04:14PM

      That is amazing!! Great job!

  2. March 28 at 10:06AM

    Great post Ruth! Having an emergency fund is so important and you listed many great ways to achieve building one. I like tip #10 Go on a spending freeze. I might add: A person really needs to evaluate who they spend a lot of time with as friends. If you have friends who don’t have the same value of being good stewards of money you may want to spend less time with them lest you are tempted to go on a perpetual spending spree with them. Been there, done that 🙁

  3. Nancy l
    March 28 at 04:36PM

    We stopped eating out and a spending freeze when needed ,buy my groceries on sale cycles and clearance, and stock pile , buy my families clothes at the thrift stores all designer brands:) . It’s the best lifestyle change we have made as a family , I did the financial peace university (won a free membership) found a lot of Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett books at thrifts stores , it’s work and sacrifice but last year we built our dream home . Thank you for your encouragement and wisdom and helping my family you never know who you really help with your blog, many blessing for you and your family.

    • Anonymous
      March 14 at 07:01PM

      God is so good!!

  4. Linda Sand
    March 28 at 08:11PM

    I bought a sewing machine so I could make and mend clothes. It took awhile to offset the price of the machine but everything after that was a freebie.

  5. March 28 at 08:58PM

    We employed many of the strategies you mentioned. We also sold our vehicle to get rid of a car payment (using the equity to buy a modest paid-for vehicle) and turned off our satellite cable service in favor of a $7.99 Hulu subscription. We’re big Dave Ramsey disciples and are almost done with the debt snowball!

  6. March 28 at 11:49PM

    We got rid of our land line phone and our cable TV. We each have cell phones and watch Netflix which only cost about $8.00 a month. This saves quite a bit of money to apply to paying off bills. We also moved from a 2 bedroom apt. to a one bedroom and that saved quite a lot too. I am 70 and my husband is 72 and he still works part time and I still work full time.
    He is a CNA for hospice patients and I do home care nursing for special needs children. I rarely buy clothes that are not on sale. My husband does the grocery shopping most of the time because I am an impulse shopper and he sticks to what we actually need better than I do.
    Please sign me Lou from Illinois.

  7. March 29 at 09:19AM

    This is a great list. We’ve done most of this already, and we are seeing major progress. Also, it’s really nice to know we aren’t the only weird ones out here saving money and reaching financial goals instead of buying whatever we want whenever we want it.

  8. Kristin
    March 29 at 03:02PM

    I already do all these things. Do you have something that a poor person can do? Don’t have any more room to cut. All free sites come with a loooooong survey and an offers I have to choose from that I can’t afford and I don’t have a credit card or I don’t get to choose what I get for free. Usually what they want to give me is something I can’t use.

    • Anonymous
      March 30 at 03:54PM

      When you are poor there are a few things to look at. Of course I have very little information on your living situation. Food is always a big one. My grandmother always had us eat a banana before a meal so that food would last longer. She made sure to never use a dishwasher and only ran a trickle of water when doing dishes and made her bottle of dish detergent last one year. Turning off the water while shampooing, soaping and brushing teeth. We were very sparing of any disposable products, especially napkins or paper towels. Back then we had a brick in the toilet. It all depends on your family/home situation. All haircuts were at home. We washed certain clothes by hand because they would last longer.

    • May 2 at 08:36AM

      Hi Kristin, none of the surveys on will ever ask you to buy anything. These are all reputable market research companies and they will send you the rewards they promise. You can look through the list and see which offer cash (most of them too). When they send you a survey you can see how long the survey will take and what the reward will be. Then you can decide whether you want to take the survey or not.


    • Anonymous
      February 28 at 07:19AM

      Pray very specifically for what you need. I spent seven years on welfare w two small kids and less than 300 a month to cover everything besides the rent. Once needed a car and was led to pray for a very specific practical one and God gave me every single thing I needed even though I paid 50 a month to a friend to pay off that car. He gave me all I needed whether big or small and over time a good job too. Praying works not as a magical formula but because He is a loving father who wants to take care of his children. Don’t pray for instance “I need money” but “lord I need 43 dollars to pay for …. Which I believe we really need and watch Him bring the 43 or the item to you. Faith works.

      • Pam
        October 19 at 12:41AM

        I have also seen the Lord work that way. Once when raising my young son alone and with no income whatsoever, some people brought us several boxes of food.

        Later, we were living on welfare and didn’t have enough money to pay the rent one month. The day before it was due, an envelope from an anonymous sender arrived with the amount that we were lacking.

  9. March 29 at 06:36PM

    These are really smart ideas! I just started reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover (for free!). We cut our phone bills by switching to prepaid phones and paying only $38 a month for 2 lines and we also cut our grocery bills by having $65/week for a family of 4. And we are planning of holding a garage sale this summer! Can’t wait for more money savings!

    • Samantha
      April 14 at 02:05PM

      Gladys I would like to know how you cut your grocery bill to $65 per week for a family of 4?

      • April 14 at 04:42PM

        Hi Samantha,
        I base my weekly menu planning that’s on sale. I use some coupons which the store sends me every month (sometimes $1 off for $4 worth of produce or free facial tissue or peanut butter, it all depends how they track my grocery shopping), I cook (almost) from scratch like making homemade pizza,sloppy joes,cookies, bread etc. and we buy a lot of store brand items like cooking oil(with .40 cents off coupon that the store sent me and dish soap which is 50 cents cheaper than national brands. And we eat less meat that helps a lot, in short, every week there’s always a fish menu on my list which is so much cheaper.

      • Amy in Pennsylvania
        January 26 at 04:13AM

        We have recently been able to increase our weekly grocery budget to $80, but survived on $50/week for the longest time. I do 95% of our grocery shopping at discount grocery stores, such as ALDI or Amelia’s Grocery Outlet. It means cutting back on convenience foods and cooking more from scratch. It means accepting that generic store brands are nearly as good or better than national brands. I saved a lot of money when I realised how much I was spending on breakfast cereal. A box of oatmeal or a carton of eggs is much cheaper and stretches much further! We have pancakes for dinner about once a week. Any meat I buy, I make it stretch… try cooking and cutting up one chicken breast and adding it to a dish, rather than serving each person their own whole one. (Think stir fry, chicken/rice casserole, tacos…)

  10. Lia
    April 13 at 06:26PM

    This is wonderful if you have a spouse who is in agreement with you on cutting spending. I am married to a spendthrift and trying to keep him reigned in, without arguments, has been impossible and exhausting.

    • Anonymous
      June 7 at 01:15AM

      It is really important to involve them in the decision making! My husband is a reformed spend thrift! Part of that is his personality and part was a lack of training and awareness of the importance of sticking to the budget! For us we had to hit rock bottom and have been working with a debt consoldation company called Christians Against Poverty, and it was easier for him to hear the limits from someone else. My sis inlaw put her husband on a cash allowance! They had more to play with so the allowance was generous but still within reason (With his agreement after the first few major budget messes! Lol) and that allowed for all his petrol (gas) for the week and spending money. How frugal he was meant he could do more with his allowance. My other sister inlaw and her husband have the agreement that he can spend whatever he wants on whatever he wants as long as the money comes from his second jobs – not the main income!
      ALL of us have banned credit cards in our households and we work from debit cards. My husband and I are committed to NO new loans until our debts are gone. It can be done! Don’t let a partner who isn’t support be your excuse for not being a good steward! I did! For nearly 8 years I kept hoping my hubby would step up and when he didnt and I ended up having to sort out messes I really resented it. My attitude is so much better now I have accepted that I am more gifted in this area so I just do it!

  11. Daphne
    May 1 at 10:35PM

    It’s hard to save when hubby loves his special foods. It’s a bit discouraging sometimes because I would happily choose store brands over big brands but I make cutbacks wherever I can. Currently, I have been making dresses for my toddler, and more to sell in a special section of our garage sale. I have every relevant couponun app I can find and I use them as often as I can. We receive Wicc so that really helps when it comes to feeding our child and I make most of our meals and we coordinate dinners with our parents once a week or so. Lastly, I babysit for a hairdresser and when I need a cut I have her deduct it from my earnings and we barter babysitting for other favors for each other!

    Ps I signed up to get an emailed copy of your guide but haven’t recieved it yet. I love your site and I have been slowly converting hubby by reading him your articles.

  12. May 14 at 05:20PM

    It is a marketing activity in which a business
    rewards one or more affiliates for each
    prospect or customer referred by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
    You then take an ad from someone else and
    share it with your list. Writing copy for brochures, leaflets and newsletters –
    This type of copywriting harks back to more traditional copywriting, and this opportunity can be pursued
    both on and offline.

  13. Lydia
    May 31 at 12:22PM

    I love this list. Thanks for posting it. My husband and I only have an antenna, so we don’t have a TV service bill of any kind. We don’t have cell phones. (almost unheard of, I know!) We have managed to get by with one car, though it’s not easy. We buy a lot of our stuff from resale shops/yard sales. However, we don’t compromise when it comes to food. We buy organic when we can. (It’s hard to find where we live, lol.) I should add that we are empty nesters. Recently, we started a Christmas club account at our bank. Amazing! I would suggest that everyone do this, but not all banks offer it. It’s simple. We signed up to have money taken out of our paychecks and put straight into the accounts, then shortly before Christmas, the funds are available. If you have just $5 a week swiped from your check, (for a full year) you will have $250 saved, $10 a week will bring you $500, and $20 a week will earn you $1000!

  14. July 18 at 04:35AM

    What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It
    absolutely useful and it has helped me out loads. I’m hoping to give
    a contribution & aid other customers like its helped me. Great job.

  15. August 26 at 08:28AM

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found
    this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to provide something again and aid others such as you
    aided me.

  16. Anonymous
    September 5 at 12:56PM

    Another way to cut expenses is to use less laundry detergent per load. I use a liquid detergent (heard years ago that the powder detergents have added ingredients like sand since they sell by weight. And the sand or whatever added ingredient also wears out your clothing faster.) Also water down shampoo & dish soap. Fill an empty bottle 1/2 with water, then fill up with soap or shampoo. Use about 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1-2 cups water for hair rinse. Don’t put fabric softener in load of towels. They absorb more by being scruffy & not soft. Doesn’t hurt your skin that the scruffy towel rubs up blood circulation more & rids flakey skin. I also don’t use softener for the undergarments. In summer, don’t use air conditioner, only about 5-10 minutes before I go to bed. It is healthy to sweat. The rich & famous PAY big bucks to set in a sauna! I get that treatment for free during the summer. In colder weather, layer clothing instead of turning on the heat. This includes at bedtime. Pile on the blankets, it is healthier to breathe cool/cold air at night, while snuggled under blankets. Last winter was really cold, & I heated water & put in glass jars (from pickles, sauces, etc that have lids with some type of “seal” in them. This prevents leaking water.) Put under your covers about 15 minutes before going to bed to warm it up, especially where your feet will be. Can remove when you go to bed, or keep there all night, the water stays hot for several hours. I have been doing almost every thing suggested since the mid 70’s. also, grow a garden if at all possible. I am growing a little bit in flower pots on my balcony. Not enough to can or freeze, but every meal I get from it is a savings.

    • Anonymous
      January 7 at 11:41PM

      I ask you to try to live in 110 degree heat in Phoenix with no a/c. Won’t happen in the girl’s house but I do use the equalizer plan where my electric bill is the same every month.

      • Jen
        March 30 at 01:01PM

        I live in where it gets extremely hot, as well. My bedroom is upstairs, which makes the heat almost unbearable in the summer. However, I’m still extremely picky about using my A/C. I’ll indulge maybe once a week for a small amount of time, but I mostly go without. I open the windows, turn on a fan, and sweat it out for the most part. My bed is generally stripped in the summer (except for sheets, of course). Never thought of it as a free sauna, but that’s essentially what it is!

  17. Bonita Gordon
    November 9 at 01:57AM

    Great ideas

  18. December 1 at 11:15AM

    Appreciation to my father who informed me on the topic of this webpage, this
    website is truly remarkable.

  19. Leah
    December 23 at 11:03PM

    Love the list! We’ve done so many of things things, along with a strict monthly budget and faithful tithing, of course, and it’s such a blessing. My husband and I have good jobs and a solid income now, but we set ourselves up to be able to buy land and build a new home because everyone in our family is dressed (and handsomely, I might say) from clearance racks and thrift stores. Our furniture is hand-me-downs and yard sale/thrift store finds. We choose where to eat out based on what coupons we have, and clipped grocery coupons and shipped sales for 5 years straight. I truly feel like we are getting the blessing of our new home because we sacrifice coach purses and expensive furniture.

  20. Holly
    January 3 at 08:14AM

    I found I can plan all 3 meals a day for less or the same amount as emeals plans one so it wasn’t terribly helpful to us – it also depends on where you live. Being military as well the Commissary is often cheaper too. Meal planning sites are great to try or if you are new to the process but otherwise be aware they may not save you anything. Same with coupons – we generally don’t buy things that the coupons are for as very few are for staples such as meat, produce and milk. I have started using Ibotta and Checkout 51 apps.

  21. Correction
    January 8 at 09:53PM

    Pretty sure the Inbox Dollars minimum is $30.00, not $3.00. And a tip if you’re going to sign up: Open a new email account just for that so your primary email isn’t overrun with surveys, offers and spam.

  22. stephanie haynes
    January 9 at 12:31PM


  23. Anonymous
    January 10 at 08:28PM

    Interesting how no one posted about how rummaging through other people’s garbage is actually a crime. It’s called stealing when you take something that doesn’t belong to you!

    • Anonymous
      March 14 at 09:39AM

      Actually, once it hits the curb its legal. It’s not on your property anymore.

  24. Margie
    January 10 at 09:06PM

    I cook at home and stock up on things I can combine sales with coupons. My shopping trips look crazy because I’m often buying massive quantities of things, but it all fits into the stockpile of groceries at home! When I first started using coupons it was hard to resist spending money on something just because I had a coupon for it. Doesn’t matter how great a deal, if you don’t use it, don’t buy it! I like to trade coupons with friends and family so everyone has what they need!

    Also, I collect aluminum cans. I know some people don’t want to do this because it seems dirty or desperate, but it’s a great way to build up extra cash and recycle. There is a restaurant in town that saves their aluminum cans for me to scrap and I pick them up once a week. I also take a plastic grocery bag with me while walking and pick up stray cans on the side of the road. I get about $25/week just for turning in other people’s garbage!

    Another small thing I do that adds up… the milk we purchase comes in a returnable glass bottle from a local dairy farm. We pay a deposit for every bottle and get it back when we return the empty jar. I always put the deposit into our savings account. It’s small enough to not miss, but big enough to add up!

  25. Anonymous
    January 14 at 11:29AM

    At the end of every month. And all my bills are paid for the month. Anything in my checking account over a thousand dollars. I transfer to my savings. I leave a thousand in there for back up. Just because all my bills are automatically deducted from my checking. That way my bills are always on time. Helps FICO score.

  26. January 19 at 10:06PM

    It’s because of our own journey learning to save money in hard times I started Frugal Living Mom to help people find things that they could get for free and put “frugal strategies” into their everyday lives. And I get even more inspired when I read stories such as this. Awesome!

  27. Anonymous
    February 26 at 11:26AM

    My hubbs and I decided we could live frugally off one income. The other has been used over the years to build an emergency fund (never mind this 3 months that people talk about for emergencies, we socked away 1 year’s worth of basic living expenses) When we had our emergency fund, we then retired our 30 yer mortgage, only 4 years into it. After that, we saved up enough to purchase a delightful little home in FL. In about 3 years, we will be retiring and spending our winters there. Until then, we have it rented. After buying the FL property, the second income was stashed away for retirement. All from being determined to live off 1 income. We obviously don’t live extravagantly, but we are happy knowing we own 2 homes, autos, a boat and we have no debt. The trick is to always live BELOW your means. Just because you get a raise, or unexpected money, you don’t have to spend it. Be frugal with your money and always live with your goal in mind.

  28. Holly
    February 26 at 01:08PM

    Another thing I didn’t see mentioned is a clothing swap. We call ours “A Naked Lady Party”. All the women get together and bring any clothes that no longer fit or aren’t worn by any member of their family. This includes shoes, belts, purses, scarves, jewelry, etc. Then we all swap for the sizes and things our families would wear. Anything leftover noone wants back is taken to the Crisis Shelter. Then the money I saved not having to buy my growing kids new clothes goes in my emergency fund! Also I don’t have internet or cable in my home. We use the wifi at the library and check out books, movies, books on cd, and tv series for free. Plus they have great free family fun activities that include prizes like dinner for two, books, quilts, Christmas trees etc. So I can save money each month on in home entertainment. My oldest daughter and I play a game when shopping. We ask each other if its a want or a need. If it doesn’t fill one of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs then we don’t even consider buying it. If it does then we ask: Is there a cheaper/healthier to make this at home? Do we have something similar we can use instead? Can we wait for it to go on sale/have a coupon? This helps her understand the concept of taming the instant gratification monster and helps me from rationalizing household purchases.

  29. March 18 at 06:00PM

    Love the idea of a spending freeze!

  30. phyllis
    March 18 at 09:48PM

    Read Tightwad Gazette from the library

  31. jozy
    April 11 at 04:44AM

    to improve my financial situation i sold my car and was able to pay out the credit. first i was very sad, for a long time i was very afraid of loosing my car. but i started to use carsharing. i often use the tram and go by feet and today i save 90% of my mobility costs. instead of having 800€ mobility costs every months, i have between 50-100€. thats a great progress for me. and thanks to car sharing i’m driving modern and comfortable cars like my old one. but it’s only working, because i dont need every day a car and my provider offers a floating concept. that makes sure that i’m only paying when i drive. i dont pay for parking, so its cheap.

    then i started to earn more money. e.g. i use airbnb. i love it to care about people and to help them to have a nice stay. last month i earned by sharing my flat 250€ – a chinese guest stayed 5 days. it was a great experience. he was very friendly and we want to stay in contact. he said again and again “thats better than a hotel” to me and it makes me proud and happy :0) during that time he used my bedroom and i slept on the sofa in the living room. it helps me to reduce my high rate for my beautiful flat.

    and i love – i avoid bying new clothes and first i look always for used clothes at this plattform. i save 90% and i’ m always looking for people from the same town i’ m living. so i can put on the clothes before i buy something and make sure that i really like it and it fits well.

  32. Fran
    May 10 at 07:35PM

    I don’t qualify for most of these surveys

  33. June 8 at 08:04PM

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.

    Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service?

  34. June 17 at 02:46AM

    I constantly spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s
    content all the time along with a mug of coffee.

  35. June 17 at 10:12AM

    There is no need to purchase bottled water, which is expensive; you
    can store your own fresh drinking water for purposes
    of drinking in vertical storage tanks. This tool is a long, hollow, transparent piece of plastic branded with one-foot
    accretion. While both parents were charged, one of the charges
    that the boy’s mother is facing is more serious than what the boy’s father is facing, according to WUSA-9 on April 3.

  36. July 22 at 06:58PM

    I was excited to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and i also have you book marked to check out new things in your website.

  37. July 23 at 12:32PM

    If you are going for most excellent contents like
    myself, just go to see this web page daily because it offers quality contents, thanks

  38. July 26 at 02:44PM

    This is how quite a few website owners make substantial 6
    and 7 figure incomes each year. Not only do you want lots of people to visit
    your website but you also want your visitors to stay on your site and see if the deal
    is worthwhile by simply checking out your site. A money making attitude plus a money making opportunity almost always result in a money making reality.

  39. Kristy
    August 17 at 01:53PM

    Just so you know for the Inbox Dollars, you have to have a minimum of $30 before you can cash out, not $3. I was using Inbox Dollars as a way to get some extra money, but I got burned out doing survey after survey and was afraid to sign up for any of the offers that let you earn money quicker for security reasons. Maybe I need to take a risk and try one of the higher paying offers out. I have never reached the $30 pay out minimum yet. I’m sitting around $8 towards payout and it’s taking me forever to get there.

    • Jen
      March 30 at 01:04PM

      I’ve earned the $30 payout twice already, and I never take the surveys. I just click through the paid emails, and once in awhile, I’ll watch videos. Be diligent about clicking those paid emails, and you’ll earn the money in no time!

  40. Gena
    September 10 at 01:34PM

    We spent the money on a good set of clippers and now I cut my husband’s hair and my own (not with the Clippers lol) after 2 or three times of me cutting his hair the Clippers paid for themselves. And when I miss having my hair washed (which we all know is why we love the salon anyway) my husband will wash my hair like a pro. If you don’t like the idea of cutting your own hair, just skipping the wash and style saves like $10 a trip.

  41. October 10 at 04:50PM

    Great posts. These ideas are oldies, but goodies! Smart advice

  42. January 21 at 09:28AM

    We absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post’s to be what precisely I’m
    looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?
    I wouldn’t mind creating a post or elaborating on most of the subjects
    you write in relation to here. Again, awesome site!

  43. February 2 at 07:05PM

    Remarkable issues here. I’m very satisfied to look your article.
    Thanks a lot and I am taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  44. May 20 at 09:44AM

    Where is a will there is a way. Where’s my will? 😉

  45. February 10 at 11:36AM

    Hi, yes this article is actually good and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks

  46. August 7 at 10:25AM

    I really like reading through an article that will make people think.

  47. August 21 at 02:56PM

    Thanks for writing such an easy-to-understand article on this topic

  48. March 14 at 02:18PM

    Your style is unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.Gorgeous work you have here.

Leave a Comment