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Finding Money for an Emergency Fund

Make some money on the side

Pro

  • You may be able to use earnings made from a temporary part-time job pay for your emergency expense.
  • You can also use this income to build an emergency fund.

Con

  • If the emergency expense is pressing, you may not have the enough time to work for the needed funds.

Selling unused or unwanted items

Pro

  • Selling unused or unwanted items that you already own in a yard sale, on Craigslist, or local classified websites could earn the money you need to take care of the emergency.  
  • As an added bonus, you will be de-cluttering your home!

Con

  • You may not have enough unwanted items to sell to produce the needed funds.  
  • Also, you may not have the time needed to advertise and sell the item(s).

Re-examine your budget

Pro

  • You may discover some spending leaks that you could plug.  You can then use that unspent money on your emergency.
  • You use this new source of savings to begin to fund an emergency fund.

Con

  • If your budget is already stretched thin, then you may not find anything to cut back on.

Borrow from family or friends

Pro

  • Taking out an informal loan from family or friends lets you avoid the typical underwriting process of formal lenders.  

Con

  • Your relationship may weaken if you are unable to pay back the loan in the time period you agreed to.

If you have a specific emergency, figure out your rights as a consumer to see if someone else may be obligated to cover some or all of the expense.  You may already be covered by a service contract, warranty, or insurance.  Or if you made the purchase using a credit card, you may have some protection.

Pro

  • You may find that some or all of your emergency expense is paid for.

Con

  • This takes some research and trying to understand the fine print on disclosure documents.  
  • This might also require time that you do not have if the emergency is pressing.