savings

5 ways to grow an emergency fund

Take it slow
Take it slow

"Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is an emergency fund," Gallegos says. "Any action you can take to establish an emergency fund will do you good. If you transfer $10 to a savings account each week, you'll have $500 in a year."

Don't be afraid to start with a small amount of savings each month, but try to increase it whenever possible.

"When you pay off a credit card with a $50 monthly payment, increase your savings by that $50," says Gallegos. "With the same outflow you have today, you'll be paying yourself."

When you get a tax refund or commission check, add it to your fund, he says. And gradually boost your savings by selling items you don't need on eBay, holding a yard sale or putting change into a jar every evening.

"Save rather than blow your excess money," Gallegos says. "By stashing the extra, in addition to your regular predetermined amount from your budget, you'll see your savings soar."

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