6 tips for building a financial safety net fast

Don't let an unexpected emergency clean you out

Do you have a financial safety net?
(Image credit: iStock)

My financial life started to change completely once I finally was able to put away $1,000 in emergency savings. I remember feeling for the first time like I could breathe freely, without fear of financial ruin hanging at the end of each exhale. The amount wasn't that much in the grand scheme of things, but it was enough to cover most small disasters: the unexpected trip to the ER, the broken sink disposal, the Amazon Prime membership automatically charging me because I had forgotten about it yet again. There was finally a buffer between me and my car breaking down (my most common and loathed budget destroyer) and the peace of mind was well worth the price tag.

The feeling of security was so warming, that I decided to go for the daunting goal of blanketing myself in a three- to six-month emergency fund. It took the better part of two years to hit that goal, but again, it was worth the sacrifice. It allowed my money stress to drop off the grid entirely. I was now standing in an open field of financial freedom — and let me tell you, it felt good.

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