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29% of Americans Have Tapped Emergency Savings During the Pandemic. Here’s How to Replenish if You Did the Same

29% of Americans Have Tapped Emergency Savings During the Pandemic. Here's How to Replenish if You Did the Same
Written by Publishing Team

Have you raided your savings since the beginning of the crisis? If so, you are in good company.

The pandemic has caused a world of financial turmoil for many people. Not only have millions lost their jobs, but many workers have been forced out of the workforce due to health concerns or a lack of childcare. It’s no surprise, then, to learn that 29% of Americans have been forced to tap their emergency funds during the pandemic, according to a new survey from Discover Personal Loans.

Now to be clear, the purpose of having an emergency fund is to cover unplanned expenses or deal with unplanned financial circumstances, such as a job loss. But if you had to raid your savings account during the pandemic, you might, at this point, be eager to replace the money you had to take. Here are some steps you can take to make it easier to replenish your emergency savings.

1. Reconsider your budget

Following a budget is a great way to monitor your spending and stay on track with your savings goals. But if you’re looking to replenish your emergency fund, it may be time to reconsider your budget and make changes that will allow you to make more savings.

Take a look at your various expenses and identify those that can be classified as non-essential – things like cable TV, streaming services, and other types of entertainment. Then, prioritize them and pick a few bills to cut back. That could mean keeping one streaming service with another canceled, or ordering a Takeout once a week instead of twice.

If you’re not actually spending any money on non-essential things, there might not be much tweaking in your budget. In this case, your best bet may be to get creative with your existing bills. That might mean negotiating a better rate with your mobile phone provider or getting a roommate to split the rent with.

2. Increase your income with a side hustle

If you don’t have a lot of expenses in your budget to cut back, you may need to get a second job to replenish your emergency fund. The good news, though, is that there are many different side opportunities available in today’s gig economy. And if you are able to put in some time, you can increase your earnings in a beneficial way.

Take a look at your schedule and find out how many hours you can set aside for a side party. From there, explore the different options based on your income goals and limitations.

If you need flexibility with your side hustle, you may want to focus on jobs you can do from home, such as data entry or telemarketing. And if you are able to leave home but need to set your own hours, you can sign up to drive for a car rental.

3. Bank any cash reward you receive

You may get additional money from time to time. This year, most Americans were given a stimulus check back in March, and while another one isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, you never know what windfall might come your way. You could end up with a larger tax refund than expected, or get a generous bonus at work.

Either way, if you’re eager to replenish your emergency fund, take that extra money and stick it straight into the bank. You may be tempted to spend a portion of it, but if you bank it, you may achieve your goal sooner.

If you take money from savings to get through the pandemic, there is nothing to be ashamed of or feel bad about. If anything, you should pat yourself on the back because you collected some savings to cash in in the first place. However, you may be eager to replenish your cash reserves, and these moves may be your ticket to doing so sooner.

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