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Even though I have insurance, it still requires a $2,500 deductible before any percentage kicks in, so obviously, a major claim would require significant payment up front. On the bright side though, if anything else happens between now and the end of the year, I'm pretty much covered! Not that I'm hoping for another emergency…..ahem.
Thankfully, Joseph and I have always had a $1,000 Emergency Fund in place to cover things like this. We'd love to have more, of course, but it's certainly better than nothing. This recent medical emergency, however, depleted our fund rather quickly. We needed to find a way to not only cover the rest of our medical bills, but also build an emergency fund back up again….and fast.
I got right to work figuring out all the extra things we could do to pull in more income. My goal was to see how fast I could earn an extra $1,000 from scratch, and kept detailed records so I could show you how to do it too!
Brainstorm and Make a List
My first course of action was to do a major brainstorm. I took out a blank sheet of notebook paper, and wrote down anything and everything I could come up with to put extra money in our pocket.
This included things like:
- Household items to sell (things we didn't need or use anymore)
- Freelance job opportunities
- Money making apps
- Reward programs
I was very detailed in my list, and even went through some of my own Income Earning posts to make sure I didn't miss anything!
Next, it was time to get to work. Joseph and I both searched Craigslist every day for random job opportunities, sorted through our stuff so we could sell it later, and kept a running tally of everything we sold or earned.
Here's what we pulled in during the process:
- Sold a $50 unused gift card to a restaurant we don't like through GiftCards.com ($40.25)
- Went through all our DVD's and sold a few through SellDVDsOnline.com ($8.11)
- Sold a couple books through Amazon's Trade-in Program ($7.46)
- Sold books, real estate signs, a SodaStream, and a deep freezer that didn't work through Craigslist ($49.00)
- Sold a board game on BoardGameGeek.com ($18.00)
- Experimented with UserTesting.com, which hires individuals to test websites. ($13.00)
- Received birthday money from grandparents ($45.00)
- Cashed out pending credit card rewards ($125.00)
- Cashed out my Ibotta rewards (if you haven't heard of Ibotta, you just must check out my Ibotta app review!) ($38.00)
- Took on a dog-sitting client ($150.00)
- Went back to my Virtual Assistant roots and did some work for a friend ($182.50)
- Joseph found a professional on Craigslist who needed photos of items they were selling ($239.40)
- Joseph filmed peewee football for a few Saturdays ($200.00)
All in all, it only took us 90 days to earn everything mentioned above, and our final Emergency Fund amount came in at $1,115.72. This was even more money than we were originally hoping for!
My Biggest Takeaway
Now, I know $1,000 sounds like a lot, and to be honest, there were a few times when I thought we'd never meet it in the timeframe we wanted, but we DID. It reminded me again how important it is to never let a lofty goal scare you into inaction. Just because something sounds hard, doesn't mean it's impossible.
So here's my challenge to you, should you choose to accept it….
Maybe you don't have an Emergency Fund yet, OR it has unexpectedly dried up over the past few months. It's time to set a new goal to replenish it as soon as possible. Having any amount that is safe and secure for whenever life's unexpected emergencies pop up is crucial to not losing the financial progress you've made so far.
$1,000 is a great number to shoot for, but the final total is ultimately up to you. Be sure to let that goal scare you just a little bit though, because I find that's what propels you forward to actually meet it!
Do you have an emergency fund?
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