How Military Families Can Save $500 to $1,000 for Emergencies

Maintaining an emergency savings account may be the most important difference between those who manage to stay afloat and those who sink in debt. An emergency fund consists of a small amount of money, usually in a savings or share account, that you do not have easy access to. Keeping $500 to $1,000 of savings for emergencies can allow you to easily meet unexpected financial challenges such as:

  • repairing the brakes on your car;
  • paying for a parking ticket; or
  • traveling to visit a sick parent.

5 Ways to Save $500 to $1,000 for Emergencies

  1. Save Automatically. Have part of your paycheck automatically deposited into a savings or share account or set up regular transfers from your checking to your savings account.
  2. Save a portion of your tax refund or stimulus check. Use tax form 8888 to split your tax refund.
  3. Cut back on ordering out. Curbside pickup and Uber Eats are tempting, but ordering meals out adds up. If ordering out costs $10-15 and you do it 5 times a week, if you cook at home even once or twice per week and put that money in the bank you could easily afford to create a $500 emergency fund and still have money left over.
  4. Make your monthly credit card payment on time. The $30-35 you save by not being charged a late fee each month on one card would save you most of the money you need for $500 in emergency savings. Paying your card on time also boosts your credit score, which saves you money by lowering your insurance costs and interest rates on loans and mortgages.
  5. Cut “Vampire Costs.” By getting rid of auto-renewals, subscriptions, and memberships you don’t use or need, you can cut your expenses and put that money toward your rainy day fund.

Where to Keep Emergency Savings

It’s usually best to keep emergency savings in a savings or share account. These types of accounts allow you to access your money when you need it. Keeping your money in a savings account makes it much less likely that you will use these savings to pay for every day, non-emergency expenses.

Are you ready to set your goal?

Military Saves, a proud participant in the DoD’s Financial Readiness Network, encourages the entire military community to save money, pay down debt, and build personal wealth. The first step is to take the Military Saves pledge, a simple savings plan that works.

Complete the Pledge and Military Saves will send you short email and text reminders, resources, and tips to keep you on track toward your savings goal. Become part of an entire community of savers!

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | September 30, 2014

    Participate in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) - a retirement savings and investment plan for Federal employees and members of the Uniformed Services. It offers the same types of savings and tax benefits that many private corporations offer their employees under 401(k) plans. More info at tsp.gov

Saver Stories View all »

Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

Read more...

When You Start Small, Saving is Easy

Written by Lila Quintiliani | August 12, 2019

When Attiyya first got married, she and her Marine husband had just graduated from college and were focused on paying off student loan debt. They had both attended private schools and had sizeable loans. Then three months after the wedding, the couple found out they were pregnant with their first child.

The first year of their marriage, says Attiyya, was a balancing act between paying down debt and saving for the future.

Read more...

How Smart Financial Decisions Can Create Opportunities 

Written by | November 22, 2019

Written by Stephen Ross, America Saves Program Coordinator | November 22, 2019

Of the many stories Military Saves shares, most describe how someone was in dire straits financially and worked their way out of it with the help of Military Saves. This time we want to highlight a different kind of story. This is a story about how responsible financial decisions can build on one another to create opportunities you thought only the super-rich enjoy.

Read more...