Make Savings Automatic

Only 39% of people surveyed at Bankrate.com could cover an unexpected $1,000 expense with money from savings. Could you?

A recent Census Bureau report revealed that in 2016, medical expenses plunged 10.5 million people below the poverty line.

What can be done? First, always carry health insurance.

Next, build an emergency fund. If you don’t have one, start small and build with a specific goal in mind. If you begin now, with just $100 a month, you will have $1000 by the end of this year.

Perhaps $10 a week is all you can afford. The key is to start and make it a habit. In a month, you won’t miss the $10 so you can increase the saving to $15 or $20. Your choice to save will become a way of life and the progress you make will inspire you to stay the course. It won’t be long before you can increase the deposit again.

Whether weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, make saving automatic. Aim to accumulate 1 month of expenses for TRUE emergencies that you can access via a bank or credit union.

Take steps to change your spending habits, sacrifice conveniences and subscriptions to build your fund. I recommend at least three to six months of expenses set aside for emergencies.

If you have medical bills, try to negotiate the balance or seek a favorable repayment plan.

If you don’t, God sometimes puts people in our paths for us to help and experience the joy of giving. Whether donating money, negotiating their bills or starting a GoFundMe account your giving of money or time will not go unnoticed.

Being prepared can reduce the stress of an unexpected situation. Solomon said, “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.”

My advice: be prudent and prepare!

And If you need help or encouragement in your finances, call the Crown Helpline at 800-722-1976 or visit Crown.org