11 Great Ideas to Build Your Emergency Fund

Money jar with emergency label.Most of us know that having an emergency fund is a good idea but maybe you’re not sure how to get started or where to get the funds.  Here are 11 great ideas for building your emergency fund:

Tax Return

If you can treat your tax refund as “found money” you can build, and add to your emergency fund each year without impacting regular lifestyle.


You might be surprised at what people will buy on eBay.  You’ll probably sell anything you put out on the world’s largest garage sale.


Craigslist is another virtual garage sale.  It’s great for local sales and when you have something hard to ship like furniture or a car.  Include in the listing that the buyer is responsible for picking up the item.

Selling Your Books

Do you have books falling off the shelves?  Or maybe you read on a tablet now.  You may want to keep some, but sell the others.  An easy way to sell your books is through Cash4Books.  Open a free account, enter your books’ ISBNs (found on the back or inside front cover), and find out how much they’ll pay you. Shipping is free.  Cash4Books pays you via check or PayPal and covers any applicable PayPal fees.

SellingYour Gold Jewelry

Selling your gold jewelry might fund your entire emergency stash.  If you have jewelry you don’t wear, consider selling them.  Keep your family heirlooms and pieces with sentimental value.

Working as a ChaCha Guide

ChaCha is a website to which people text questions about weather, sports, politics, and entertainment.  If you’re signed on, you continuously receive questions.  For every answer you provide, you get paid. ChaCha isn’t always hiring Guides, but you can get on its waiting list.

Save Your Change

Saving your coins is an easy way to build up your emergency fund.  Empty your pockets or purse into a jar every night.  You’ll be surprised how quickly your emergency fund will grow.

Become a Test User

Sign up at UserTesting and make money reviewing websites and apps.  After visiting a website or an app and completing a set of tasks, review the website and get paid $10.

Be a Title Editor

Demand Studios hires titles editors.  You can earn a decent amount of money if you know grammar rules and are a good speller.

Be a Freelance Writer

If you’re a good writer but don’t have the time or resources to gain clientele, consider applying to one or more freelance writer sites.  The site recruits both the clients and writers.  Writers pick assignments based on their knowledge, experience, and passion.  Most writing sites have an application process that involves submitting a short writing sample.  Popular writing sites include Word Gigs, TextBroker, WriterAccess, and Elance.

Be a Guru

Sticking with the freelancer theme, Guru hires talented freelancers and matches them with clients that have jobs in their specialty area.  Guru areas of expertise range from software and IT to management and finance to admin support.

Good luck building your emergency fund.  Some of these ideas may be a little extreme, but being strapped for cash during an emergency can be worse.  Hopefully, these tips were helpful for establishing your fund.

Have other ideas to share?  Let me know in the comments section.

1 Comments on “11 Great Ideas to Build Your Emergency Fund”

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