Murphy has hit us and hit us hard these last few months.

Murphy is a challenge any time he shows up, but when you have a very small emergency fund, Murphy can wreak all sorts of havoc in your finances as he has ours recently.

Our debt, which had gone down for 10 months, went back up for the last two months.  I hate that.

I hate feeling unprepared and like we are making our family vulnerable.

Now, we are done traveling for our conferences for at least the next 4 months.

It is time to get busy and right these finances.


We are going to have a flash savings challenge.

Currently, our emergency fund is sitting at a little over $600.

The plan is to have that account reach $3,000 by December 10th.

That means we have to come up with an additional $2,400 in the next 4 weeks.

Here is how we plan to do it:

1.  Save my husband’s conference reimbursement.  My natural tendency is to put that money on the credit card because that is what we used to pay for his ticket and the hotel, but I am not going to fall into the trap of putting money on debt before making sure we have an ample emergency fund.  He should get about $1,500 to $1,700 in reimbursement

2.  Sell stuff.  We have lots and lots of stuff to sell.  I haven’t been making selling it a priority, but now I am.  I have already listed a dozen things on Craigslist, and tonight I will list things on eBay.  I hope to earn $200 to $500 by selling stuff.

3.  Unexpected work.  Any money from unexpected work that comes my way will go straight to the emergency fund.  I am planning on $25 to $75 for this.

4.  Cut costs temporarily.  Tomorrow night my husband and I are going to have a budget meeting for November.  (It was delayed because of our trip to the conference in California.)  Whatever we set aside for expenses for the month of November and do not use will go in the emergency fund.  I am hoping for at least $100, though that might not be possible because my husband’s pay will be docked again this month.

5.  Divert flexible spending dollars.  I am reimbursed for our babysitter costs through our flexible spending account.  I normally roll those funds so they can be used to make the next payment, but since I won’t be using a babysitter as often thanks to the upcoming holiday and a medical test I need to take, I should be able to roll that money into our emergency fund.  This should be worth about $100 to $200.

6.  Cashing out “free” cash.  I have let my Swagbucks accrue for quite some time now, and I have enough to cash out for a $100 PayPal cash deposit.  I will use that money to go to our emergency fund.

With some hard work, I plan to have our emergency fund situation dramatically improved within the next 4 weeks.  Then, we can start tackling debt again.

What is your best strategy for rounding up cash quickly?

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