Before we go over all the different ways that you could save up your first $1000, decide where you're going to put it all. In "Everything you need to know about emergency funds" we talked about why you should use a no-fees, high-interest savings accounts. In short, these are three of the best options available to Canadians:
Tip: Banks often offer a signup bonus of $100-200 for new clients. Definitely take advantage of this when opening your new savings account - that's 10-20% of your goal!
Got that out of the way? Ok, now the real work begins.
If you already have $1000 on hand, then simply transfer it to your new Emergency Fund and move on to the next step.
10 ideas for saving up $1000
- Collect spare change at home (nothing like the joy of finding a $20 bill in the pocket of your jeans!)
- Anytime you make a purchase with cash and receive change, set it aside for your emergency fund.
- Reduce your discretionary spending for a month. This could be eating out less or deferring a non-essential purchase for another month.
- Find items at home that you no longer need and can sell on Kijiji / Facebook marketplace. Things that sell well include: furniture, textbooks, sporting equipment, tools, electronics, small kitchen appliances, and gently used baby items like strollers.
- If you are in the process of paying off debt, call you creditor and ask if you can pause your payments for a couple of months without a penalty.
- Save any money you get from gifts, refunds, or work bonuses.
- Call your phone/internet provider to ask for a lower monthly fee. Of course, this works best if you've been a client of theirs for some time. But it's always worth asking.
- Take an extra shift at work.
- Offer services in your community like babysitting, grocery shopping for elders, lawn mowing, etc.
- Keep a journal of every purchase. The accountability of having to track every dollar spent is often enough to make us second guess some purchases.
Funding an emergency fund is a marathon - not a sprint. But it's a lot more manageable when you break it down into small milestones. You'll be amazed at how quickly you can make progress when you're laser-focused on one financial goal at a time.
When you reach the $1000 goal, add a comment below to share how you did it and so that we can celebrate with you.