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How to Rebuild Your Emergency Fund

One thing we can all agree on is that life rarely goes as planned. And just when you feel like you’ve got your finances under control is when the water heater goes out, your car needs new tires, or a pipe bursts. In times like these, you’ll be glad you have savings in the emergency fund. But what do you do once you’ve dipped into the emergency stash? Today we’re talking about just that—rebuilding your emergency fund. 

What Is An Emergency Fund?

An emergency fund is a specific amount of money you set aside for when the unexpected happens. Life is full of the unexpected. No matter how much you budget, track, and save, you can’t control when emergencies pop up. An emergency fund is that soft place to land between you and your bank account. 

With so many people living paycheck to paycheck (7 out of 10 Americans), saving for an emergency can seem down-right impossible.1 But with a little intentionality and a few sacrifices, it can be done! In fact, 13% of people chose to make saving for emergencies their number one financial goal this year.2 

How Much Should You Have In An Emergency Fund?

The specified emergency fund amount in your account all depends on you and your financial goals. We always suggest you start your fund with an initial $1,000. In 2022, Bankrate found that only 1 out of every 4 Americans had enough money saved to cover a $1,000 emergency.3

Saving just an initial $1,000 can be the difference between incurring more debt and financial unrest or feeling secure in an unexpected situation. Once you have saved the initial $1,000, you should consider switching gears to focus on paying off debt. Once you’re out of debt, consider saving three to six months of expenses (that’s what we call a fully-funded emergency fund). This number will be different for everyone, but it’s one that will give you peace when the unexpected happens.

4 Ways to Help You Rebuild Your Emergency Fund

Now that we’ve covered just how important emergency funds are, it’s time to talk about rebuilding that fund after an emergency. It may feel like you’re moving backwards when you have to dip into your emergency fund. But the truth is that your fund is what stood between you and more debt. So now that you’re looking at it that way, it’s time to start rebuilding. 

Here’s some ideas to get you started:

1.  Add another stream of income. 

Adding more income to your household is always a good thing, especially when you’re chasing after a financial goal. Don’t worry, you don’t have to work two (or more) jobs forever, just for a short time. Think about grocery delivery, catering events, or monetizing your hobby.

2.  Cut back on extra spending. 

Maybe it’s going out to eat, streaming subscriptions, or random apps on your phone. Whatever that extra spending is for you, think about cutting back for a season and saving as much as you can as you work on rebuilding your emergency fund.

3.  Shop the sales. 

We all know groceries aren’t cheap right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t save money. Shop the sales at the grocery store, meal plan around what’s in season, and save the rest. 

4.  Budget. 

If you’re not making and sticking to a budget, now is the time! A budget helps you stick to your financial goals. When you take the time to plan out where each dollar is going and then track where it went, you’ll be surprised at how much you can save.

Like we said earlier, an emergency fund is a key part of a healthy financial foundation. Once you have your fund in place, you can rest easier knowing that you’re prepared for whatever comes your way. If you’re in the process of rebuilding your emergency fund, a financial advisor can help. Reach out to a SageSpring Wealth Advisor today and we can help you on your journey toward financial success.

Jeffrey Dobyns
Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Jeff Dobyns is President and Founder of SageSpring Wealth Partners. Passionate about serving his clients, he strives to truly get to know them, understand their goals, and provide them with financial confidence before developing and executing ongoing, strategic financial plans. 

In order to meet the highest standards of professionalism and ethics in the industry, Jeff is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a Chartered Life Underwriter, a Chartered Financial Consultant, and a participant of the Dave Ramsey SmartVestor referral service program.

Jeff has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. He served as VP of Investments of Lykins Financial Group CPAs before founding SageSpring in 2002. Jeff has been recognized for his unwavering commitment to his clients, and as a leader among Raymond James financial advisors, earning membership in Raymond James Chairman’s Council every year since 2008.

Jeff devotes considerable time and resources to a number of causes. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. He is on the advisory board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee, which works with families to increase their charitable giving to their favorite causes, as well as the advisory board for Halftime Institute of Nashville, an organization that coaches marketplace leaders to discern and engage in their life purpose. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. He is a past board member of Porter’s Call, a Nashville charity that provides free counseling for musicians and their families, and the Martha O’Bryan Center, which empowers those in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment, and fellowship.

Jeff and his wife, Amy, are grateful to be raising their four children, Gracyn, Hunter, and twins Tanner and Logan at Christ Presbyterian Academy. Jeff enjoys being outdoors with his family- boating, hiking, skiing, hunting and fishing.

Ramsey Solution’s relationship and agreement is between SageSpring Wealth Partners only. Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. is not affiliated with the solicitor arrangement between Ramsey Solutions and SageSpring Wealth Partners.

Membership is based on prior fiscal year production. Re-qualification is required annually.  The ranking may not be representative of any one client’s experience, is not an endorsement, and is not indicative of an advisor’s future performance. No fee is paid in exchange for this award/rating.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.