If you’re tired of living from paycheck to paycheck or you want to stop being surprised by unexpected bills or expenses, then it’s time to consider building an emergency cash fund.

Here’s how:


1. Assess how much debt you have to pay off.

If you’re still paying back an Arizona title loan or some other form of credit card or debt, then you’ll want to pay off those debts in full. Talk to a credit specialist to determine the best plan of action, or create your own debt repayment plan to get yourself out of the red and back to zero debt.


2. Determine how much you want to save.

Whether it’s a specific dollar amount or a few months of living expenses, you’ll want to have a total amount to aim for. This way, you can create a manageable savings goal that, once achieved, will enable you to continue saving for other big purchases like a new car or a family vacation.


3. Figure out where you will keep your savings.

While a piggy bank or your bedroom mattress is a nice place to tuck away your emergency dollars, you’ll probably want to keep your savings in an interest bearing account with an accredited banking institution. This way you won’t be tempted to use the funds for any other purpose than emergencies. So often people make the mistake of borrowing from their emergency fund to pay for things that are not necessarily emergencies. Maintain control over the use of your money so you’re always ready when an emergency happens.


4. Keep saving!

Don’t get discouraged if you’re only able to save a few dollars here and there. Even the smallest amount ($5 or $10 from every paycheck) can build up over time, especially if you’re consistently putting money away. Another great way to keep those savings growing is to implement automatic deposits from your checking account into your emergency savings account. Be sure the deposit takes place as soon as you receive your paycheck. This way you won’t accidentally spend money that was meant to go to your savings.


5. Refill the savings pool.

Real emergencies do happen, and when they come up, you’ll be relieved to know you’re covered. But just because you needed to dip into your emergency fund, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay the money back. Once you determine that you can begin saving again, keep putting away those extra dollars and replenish your emergency account as soon as possible until you reach your pre-determined goal. This way, you’ll always have your emergency funds available for the next time you really need it.


Remember to pay off your title loans and other borrowed funds first before you begin to build your emergency fund. This way, you won’t have to worry about paying off your debt, and you’ll have extra cash to keep you afloat at all times.