How To Build And Grow An Emergency Fund Quickly

By Minh Tong Reviewed by Nima Vahdat Updated Feb 14, 2024
How To Build And Grow An Emergency Fund Quickly

With some planning and financial discipline, you could start and grow a sizable emergency fund within just 6-12 months. 

In light of the ongoing economic difficulties and uncertainties, including persistent inflation, fluctuations in the stock market, and notable companies implementing layoffs, you may find yourself seeking ways to strengthen your financial stability.

Having a robust financial safety net is a great way to make this happen.

Unfortunately, for many Americans, it’s difficult to create a dedicated emergency fund and even more challenging to maintain one. 

According to Bankrate’s 2023 annual emergency savings report, just 48 percent of U.S. adults say they have enough emergency savings to cover at least 3 months’ worth of living expenses.

Below, we’ll cover the importance of an emergency fund and provide practical steps on how to build and grow it quickly. 


  • An emergency fund is a critical element in a well-rounded financial strategy, serving as a safety net for unexpected expenses.
  • Ensure the security of your finances by adhering to the widely accepted guideline of having three to six months’ worth of your household expenses set aside in your emergency fund.
  • Populate your emergency fund through a combination of cost-cutting measures and consistent contributions.

What Is An Emergency Fund? 

An emergency fund, commonly referred to as a “rainy day fund,” is a financial cushion designed to cover unexpected expenses, offering stability and peace of mind during challenging times.

Consider it a buffer against life’s unexpected jolts, designed to prevent you from accumulating more credit card debt.

When considering your emergency fund, it’s essential to account for mandatory expenses, which are those costs that are absolutely essential. 

Typically, mandatory expenses include housing, transportation, and food. According to a BLS Consumer Expenditures report, these categories account for about two-thirds (62 percent) of the average household’s income.

How Much Money Do I Need In My Emergency Fund? 

Financial experts recommend accumulating three to six months’ worth of living expenses*. This ensures you’re well-prepared for unexpected events without compromising your financial stability.

Start by calculating your monthly expenses. To accurately assess this, review your bank statements from the past 12 months, summing up the expenditures for each category. 

After aggregating the total annual spend for each category, divide these totals by 12. This calculation will give you the average monthly expense for each category.

Then, after determining your monthly total expenses, multiply this figure by 6. This sum will represent your initial savings target.

However, for many individuals, six months’ worth of living expenses can appear daunting, potentially discouraging even those with the best intentions to save. This is especially true if you’re just making ends meet. That’s why it can be a good goal to start with two months worth of living expenses, and build from there!

* This amount might be higher if your income fluctuates or if you’re employed in an industry with a notable history of layoffs.

Building And Growing Your Emergency Fund

Building an emergency fund to cover multiple months’ worth of living expenses might seem impossible, but that doesn’t imply a passive approach is your only option. 

There are proactive measures you can take to expedite the growth of your savings.

Opt For An Account That Pays You Back

The funds in your emergency account may not yield significant returns, and this can be by design. 

Unlike an investment account, your emergency savings act more like an insurance policy – a financial safety net for unforeseen circumstances. When choosing where to house your emergency fund, opt for accounts that not only provide security but also offer growth. 

It’s essential that these funds are readily accessible, completely liquid, and not subject to the fluctuations of the stock market. Money market funds and high-yield savings accounts offer competitive interest rates, allowing your savings to flourish over time.

Begin With Small, Regular Contributions 

Building an emergency fund doesn’t have to be overwhelming. 

Start with modest, consistent contributions from your monthly budget and work your way up. This approach guarantees that your cash flow isn’t strained, preventing you from justifying a lapse in your savings habit.

Identify something in your daily life that you can do without or reduce — perhaps cutting back slightly on your monthly streaming subscriptions. 

Select an amount and pledge to save it consistently, whether monthly, weekly, or each paycheck. The crucial factor is turning it into a routine practice rather than an ongoing challenge. This approach ensures steady progress without straining your finances.

Put Your Savings On Autopilot

Streamline your savings process by setting up recurring automatic transfers.


Create a dedicated account exclusively for your emergency fund and arrange for your selected savings amount to be automatically deposited, either directly by your employer or through your bank.

Opt for a savings or similar account that isn’t readily accessible. Over time, you’ll likely not even notice the “missing” money. 

Additionally, avoid constantly monitoring the account balance, as this can make the growth appear minimal and sluggish. The best approach is to set it aside and allow time to work its magic.

Automation guarantees regular contributions, making it easier to achieve your savings goals efficiently.

Cut Back On Unnecessary Expenses 

Assess your spending habits to pinpoint areas where you can cut back. 

Here are a few tips:

  • Opt for generic brands
  • Downgrade your cell phone service
  • Explore discount options
  • Cut down on the amount you spend dining out
  • Resist impulse purchases. 
  • Redirect the saved funds into your emergency fund for accelerated growth.

Make It A Competition 

Building an emergency fund swiftly can be aided by both increasing savings and boosting income, though, in practice, this is often easier said than done.

Transform saving into a fun challenge.

Engage your partner, sibling, or friend in a friendly competition to determine who can contribute the most to their emergency fund. This not only fosters healthy financial habits but also creates a sense of accomplishment.

Put Your Tax Refund To Good Use 

When it comes to tax refunds, individuals often belong to one of two groups: those who spend the entire amount and those who choose to save it.

If you’re looking for a way to build and grow your emergency fund quickly, allocate a portion or the entirety of your tax refund to your emergency fund.

This strategic move amplifies your financial cushion without affecting your regular budget.

Redirect Cash Windfalls To Your Emergency Account

Occasionally, we find ourselves with unexpected financial windfalls, such as bonuses or gifts.

While it might be tempting to take an exotic vacation or splurge spending at the mall, such windfalls present an excellent opportunity to bolster your emergency fund. 

Instead of indulging in non-essential expenses, channel these funds toward securing your financial future.

Only Tap The Account for Real Emergencies 

Clearly define what constitutes a genuine emergency. 

Tackle the potential problems that might necessitate the use of emergency savings, such as losing your job, roof repair, your car unexpectedly breaking down, etc. 

Rather than merely saving and hoping for a positive outcome, proactively manage and mitigate the risks involved.

Resist the temptation to tap from your emergency fund for non-essential expenses, preserving it for situations that genuinely threaten your financial stability.

Monitor Your Progress 

Regularly evaluate your emergency fund’s growth and adjust your contributions as needed. 

Monitoring progress helps you stay on track and make informed decisions about your emergency fund strategy. 

Conclusion About How to Build and Grow an Emergency Fund Quickly

Building and growing a rainy-day fund is a crucial step toward financial resilience. 

By implementing the above strategies, not only do you secure your financial present, but you also pave the way for a debt-free future. 

Remember, every small contribution today adds up to a more secure and stable tomorrow.

At Americor, we understand the importance of managing your finances wisely. 

As America’s trusted source for debt relief solutions, we aim to empower you with financial knowledge that can lead to informed decisions, whether it’s about savings, investments, or managing debt.

If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider a free consultation call with one of our certified Debt Consultants, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.

By taking proactive steps today, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. 

Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.

For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you eliminate your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!


Minh Tong

Minh leverages decades of experience in marketing, sales management and technology to provide high-level advice and lead new initiatives. Minh has a Bachelor of Science in Business/Managerial Economics from University of California at Irvine. He brings over 20 years of sales and executive management experience to the company and his responsibilities include customer service improvement, professional development, and carrying out communications and marketing. Originally from the east coast, Minh resides in southern California and enjoys spending time with his family, going to the beach, and playing a variety of sports.