6 Tips to Get Started on a Rainy Day Fund

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You never know when life will throw you a curveball. Maybe your car breaks down, or you lose your job, or you are attacked by a gorilla — leading to unexpected medical bills.

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Because of the random nature of the universe (see: gorilla attack), a good rule of thumb is to have a rainy day fund to cover your essential expenses for at least three to six months.

But how do you save enough money for a rainy day without sacrificing your lifestyle and/or sanity? 

These 5 tips will help.

1. Be Realistic About Your Goals

Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to save too much too fast. Start with a small goal, like $500 or $1,000, and work your way up from there.

A savings calculator is an invaluable tool. You can use MoneyLion’s rainy day savings calculator* to estimate how much you should save based on your income and expenses.

See how much you can save

Use our free savings calculator to estimate your investment growth over time.

Initial deposit




Monthly contributions


Save for (years)


Future projections based on your selections


Estimated Interest*

Total Savings*

*The estimated projections are hypothetical in nature and do not guarantee future results.

2. Make Your Money Work For You

You want an account that offers a high interest rate, low fees, easy access, and security. One of the best options is a high-yield savings account (HYSA), where you could grow your savings at 10x-12x higher rate than the national average savings account.1

That means you’ll earn more money off your money. The definition of a win-win.

MoneyLion offers a convenient marketplace to compare high-yield savings accounts from our trusted partners that could help grow your money. 

3. Automate Your Savings

One of the easiest ways to save money is to make it automatic. Set up a direct deposit from your paycheck or a recurring transfer from your checking account to a high-yield savings account. That way, you won’t have to think about saving or be tempted to spend the money on something else.

4. Find Extra Income

To boost your savings faster, look for ways to earn extra money. You could ask for a raise, take on a side hustle, or sell unneeded stuff online. Every extra dollar you make can go straight into your emergency fund.

5. Track Your Progress

Track your progress and celebrate your milestones, big and small. Regularly check the savings calculator. Always remember to reward yourself with something that doesn’t break the bank.

6. Spend Less

Look for areas where you can cut back on your spending, such as entertainment, dining out, or subscriptions. You can also use coupons, discounts, or cashback apps to save on purchases.

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Check out our Bougie on a Budget Playlist for useful saving hacks.

Extra Tip: Invest in Yourself

Saving money is not only about preparing for emergencies but also about creating opportunities. 

You can use some of your savings to invest in yourself, such as taking a course, learning a new skill, or starting a business. This can help you increase your income potential, expand your network, or pursue your passions.

Following these tips can soften the economic blow if and when the sh*t hits the fan.

Just the fact that you’re reading this means that you’re on the right path.

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