2 Easy Steps to get $1,000 in Emergency Savings

2 years ago we had less than $50 in savings, $65,000 worth of debt and little money on hand. Ironically, our debt has increased. But mainly because we bought our own house and my student loans are starting to pile up. After receiving my husband’s appeal back-pay from the VA, we decided to get our own place. Buy all new furniture and about a hundred other things we couldn’t afford all these years. But in the end, we still didn’t have enough in savings and only paid off very little of our debt. Now what?

We needed to come up with a plan!

We established that we wanted to have at least $1,000 in savings for emergencies. After that we would come up with a plan to pay off our debt. This may be the the most exciting blog post I have written thus far!

We have met our goal of having at least $1,000 in savings!

And now we are inching in on having enough money to pay off one of our credit cards.


money saving


We were able to put away $1,000 over the last few months by transferring extra money whenever we had it. Although, we were able to create the cushion we wanted, I am hoping that these two tips may help some of y’all establish Emergency savings. Now we are using these steps to pay off our first credit card.

1. Have a Garage Sale

There is bound to be stuff your family doesn’t use anymore.

Clothes that don’t fit the kids. The candle holder you received from some random person at your company’s Christmas party. The old dishes you have hidden in your bottom cabinet, but never use. The gazillion-and-one toys the kids never play with anyway. That book you bought on clearance but never read.

Anything! You would not believe the things buy at Garage Sales!

The last Garage Sale we had brought us almost $300! And most of our stuff was old clothes, toys and other random things. Granted, we had A LOT of clothes and a two dressers to sell! Still, the fact that we made almost $300 at a Garage Sale baffled me. And we are getting ready to have another one.

Now, I’m not guaranteeing that you will make $300, or less, or more. But selling things can serve two purposes:

  1. You can get rid of stuff you don’t need anymore. One less thing to deal with is always good in my book! Just saying.
  2. You may very well get yourself a nice little start for your Emergency Savings. Even if you make $50; that is $50 more than what you had yesterday. That is $50 that can be used on gas, food, medicine, or in this case: SAVINGS! You know?! The thing we will use to pay off debt?! Right?

2. Pay with Cash

Cash IS King at our house right now. Although, my husband wasn’t too convinced it would work. I did it anyway. : ) So I’ve been using cash to pay for things like groceries, gas, and anywhere cash is accepted. I keep track of what I spend by getting a receipt every time I go somewhere. This way, I can calculate what I have left when I get home.

So here’s the kicker though.

I put all the change and $1 bills into an old jar and take that down to my local bank to deposit it. So far, we’ve managed to come up with roughly $380 worth of coins and $1 bills! That’s crazy!

The point is this:

Living on a limited income sucks! Having debt makes the suck even worse.

Having Emergency Savings CAN make the suck feel less sucky though! If you already have Emergency savings, then having the cushion while you save more money to pay off debt is just about as exciting as a triple chocolate cake with chocolate icing!

Do you think these two steps can help you establish Emergency Savings? How did you achieve your goal?

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Disclosure: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. Some posts may contain affiliate links. For more details please view my disclosure policy.


  1. Doug says:

    Been paying with cash or debit card for better part of 2 years was able to pay off credit card in May. Been debt free since then. Now to save up money to buy stocks and coins.

  2. Cori says:

    I wish our garage sales netted that much money! We had people trying to talk us down from $0.25-0.50 per clothing item to a nickel. I was like Are you serious? I wanted to tell that person to leave, she POed me so much!

    • Alisha says:

      I must say, we were lucky that day! We did have a dresser set we sold for $60. That was a big chunk. It’s funny, when we lived in Texas, people would always try to talk us down from 0.50cent clothing items as well. But since we moved to the PNW, people are loving that price tag! But yes, we were really lucky.

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