Experts recommend you save at least three months expenses, with some saying that saving enough for a year is key in these shaky financial times. We fall somewhere in the middle, trying to get back up to six month's worth of expenses. It's not easy, but it's doable.
1. Realize that it's easier to build a rainy day fund when the sun is still shining. When things are going relatively smoothly, that's the time to be diligent about saving. Once an emergency hits, you'll more than likely find yourself without a cent to spare and will kick yourself for not starting earlier. 2. Set a realistic goal of how much you'd like to save. Trying to save $20,000 when you only make $25,000 per year might not be realistic. Instead of thinking in terms of how much you'd like to have saved at the end of the year, think about how much you can afford to save right now. Is $20 a week reasonable for you? 3. Make it automatic. If you have to make the transfers between bank accounts or to the little jar in your cupboard, do you really think you'll do it? Probably not. If you're banking online, you can easily set up money to transfer between your checking and savings at any interval you choose, whether it's weekly, biweekly, or monthly. 4. Make it a game. Challenge yourself to see how much you can save. Cancel one recurring bill you have (do you need both a Netflix AND Hulu account?) and put that money in your savings. Instead of going out to the movies, make it a Redbox night.Thinkstock