All of us know that we’re supposed to have a cash reserve right? There are always going to be emergencies that come along that we didn’t expect, and that’s when our cash reserve is the most important. So, why is it that many of us struggle to even have a comma in our cash reserve? We’ve gone through our whole lives attempting to save, but we don’t even have a thousand bucks in cash. Here are five reasons why your cash reserve might not be working.
1) It’s Too Accessible – Many of us are just trying to beef up our checking account and keeping our emergency money in with the funds we use to pay bills. When you do this, it’s just way too easy to dip into your cash reserve. Instead, you need a completely separate account that you can’t spend with a debit card. If you really need to use the money, you’ll have to make a transfer either online or at the bank. This small barrier will help keep your reserve safe.
2) Not Enough Flexibility in Your Cash Flow – One of the biggest reasons we dip into our cash reserves is because we don’t have enough cash flow from month to month. Money is so tight that the slightest unexpected expense leads us into our reserve. To ensure that your cash fund doesn’t go anywhere, you need to reduce your monthly expenses.
3) Too Much Instant Gratification – We live in a world where everyone expects to get what they want right now! I urge you not to be that person. Most of the time, what we want and what we need are two totally separate things. If you don’t need that special something and you’re going to have to dip into your reserve to get it, just don’t buy it! I know it can be tough to walk away, but there are always deals to be had elsewhere.
4) You’re Feeling Rich, Time to Spend – Everyone has their number where they start to feel wealthy. For some, this is $1,000. For others, it’s $10,000. When their cash reserve reaches “their number”, they suddenly feel like they are rich and can afford to spend some money, rather than just leave it in their account for a rainy day. My friends recently did this when looking for a car. Initially, they were only going to spend $6,000, but when their cash reserve kept growing and growing, so did their “need” to have an expensive car! All of the sudden, they spent $13k on a car rather than their initial plan of $6k. Now they’re feeling tight with money. Go figure.
5) No Incentive to Keep It There – Saving money is honestly pretty boring. When you put that money into a savings account, it probably earns 0.05% interest, which equates to a few bucks a year. Your savings don’t have to earn such a low amount though. There are some banks out there that will pay more than 1.0% for your savings, and if you have the will-power to have your reserves in your checking account, you could earn more than 3% at some credit unions. Getting $20 or more per month is way more fun than a dollar or two.