Emergency fund—start small, think big
Many people wonder how they can build an emergency fund when they’re trying to pay off debts. It isn’t as hard as you might think. The strategy is to start small, change a few habits, and change your mindset.
If you’re starting from scratch with your emergency fund, begin by saving one month’s worth of living expenses while paying the minimum on your credit cards. When you have that first month of emergency funds started, turn your focus to your credit card debt and pay more than the monthly minimum. Once the credit card debt is paid off, go back to building your emergency fund.
If your credit card debt is very high and can’t be paid in full within a couple of months, then alternate the extra payment every other month: The first month, add to your emergency fund and pay the minimum on your credit cards. The next month, pay more on your credit cards and skip the deposit to your emergency fund, etc.
Here are five more ways to boost your emergency fund and change savings habits for life:
1. Treat savings as a bill
Figure out what you can afford to save each month and stash away $75, $50, $25, or even $10 a month. No matter the amount, it adds up and can become habit-forming. As your financial situation improves, increase the amount.
2. Live one raise behind
When you get a raise, don’t begin spending more. Instead, apply the extra amount to your emergency fund.
3. Automate it
Set up an automatic transfer to your emergency funds account. When the credit union receives your direct-deposited pay check, you can have a portion of it put directly into your savings or emergency account. Out of sight, out of mind, but you know it’s there if you really need it.
4. Give savings a garage-sale boost
Go from room to room in your home and purge stuff you no longer want and need. Then schedule a garage sale. Both your house and your savings will look better.
5. Think of it as a life jacket
If you can’t find that initial spark to get started, ask yourself how you’d pay your bills if you lost your job tomorrow. Having an emergency fund will help you keep “your head above water.”
Remember: The professionals at White Sands FCU are ready to help with all your savings needs. Call us to set up short-term and long-term savings vehicles that fit your needs.
(575) 647-4500 or
Hours of Operation:
Monday thru Friday, 8 am-5 pm
P.O. Box 99
Las Cruces, NM 88004
Routing & Transit # 312276470
Federally Insured by NCUA
Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government. National Credit Union Administration, a U.S. Government Agency.
Equal Housing Lender
We do business in accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
White Sands Federal Credit Union is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience in accordance with the WCAG 2.0 standards and guidelines. We are actively working to increase accessibility and usability of our website to everyone. If you are using a screen reader or other assistive technology and are encountering problems using this website, please contact us at 575-647-4500 or 1-800-658-9933. Please provide the location of the inaccessible information. All products and services available on this website are available at all White Sands Credit Union branch locations.