Fifteen Smart Strategies to Grow Your Emergency Fund Faster

Posted On: September 22, 2023

It’s easy to get financially distracted, especially today. You plan and budget your expenses and put in extra hours at work to ensure you have enough funds to go around, only to have the inevitable happen — the car breaks down, a tire goes flat, your home needs an unexpected repair, or someone gets sick. The list is endless. 

When surveyed, 52% of Americans said that they need more emergency savings. How much do you need for a fully funded emergency savings account? The answer might surprise you.

And if your savings are lacking, we've put together some strategies to help you grow it quickly.

How much do you need in emergency savings?

For most of us, saving enough money to cover 3-6 months of living expenses is sufficient. But what if you’re one of the 58 million Americans participating in the gig economy, or you’re living with a potential job loss, disability, or an economic downturn? If that sounds like you, aiming for 9-12 months of expenses is best to ensure an adequate financial safety net.

While this might seem impossible, it can be easier than you think. Keep reading for some suggestions to help you build your savings faster to reach your goals sooner.

Rent Out a Spare Room

Do you have a spare room in your home? Lease the extra space. You’ll gain steady rental income that you can use to boost your emergency fund and reach your savings goals sooner. 

Start a Side Hustle

Side hustles have gained popularity over the last few years, and they’re not stopping now. Find a side gig for a secondary income stream and watch your savings grow.

Freelance Your Skills

Freelancing is a side hustle that dives into entrepreneurship. You can freelance skills such as writing, editing, software development, graphic design, customer service, virtual assistance, data entry, marketing, and more.

Delivery Services

The pandemic jumpstarted a new trend for gig workers nationwide — delivering everything from food to groceries to pharmacy supplies.

Rideshare Services

The need for rideshare services is continually growing, with marketing experts expecting the total annual market revenue to reach nearly $75 billion by 2027. Rideshare gig services like Lyft, Uber, and taxis offer many opportunities to hustle your way to your savings goals.


Got some spare time to help someone else with a task or project? Offer electrical help, plumbing repairs, yard work, home cleaning, moving assistance, and more. Depending on the project and location, average pay starts around $50 and climbs from there.


In some ways, Gigwalk is like a secret shopper, except you’re usually snapping photos and reporting on the condition of a brand’s store display, if it’s well stocked, neat, etc. Gigs can pay from $3 for a few minutes to $100 for an hour or two of your time.

Participate in Paid Medical Research

Paid medical research is more than just clinical trials and often includes everything from medical surveys to studies on social media use and more. Medical research might earn you a few bucks for a brief survey to thousands of dollars for something more involved, like a study or clinical trial.

Monetize Your Online Presence

Do you have a blog, YouTube channel, or TikTok? Why not build it out for followers and monetize it? The greater your following for a given industry or niche, the better your chances of monetization through ads, sponsorships, or affiliate marketing.

Make Money with Your Hobbies

Hobbies are a great way to earn cash for doing what you already enjoy. Think crafts, arts, and more. 

Rent Out Equipment or Belongings

If you have tools or equipment that others might need to borrow, consider renting them out for some extra cash.

Negotiate Bills and Expenses

Review your budget each month. Sometimes, you can negotiate lower rates on cable, internet, and insurance services. Then, save the extra cash in your emergency fund.

Sell Unwanted Items

Selling items you no longer need or want is like a yard sale for many of us that you can take advantage of at any time. Online markets such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist make selling unwanted items an excellent way to earn cash while decluttering your home. 

Offer Consulting or Coaching Services

If you have specialized experience, you might offer coaching or consulting services to individuals or businesses.

Earn Cashback Rewards

Put your credit cards to work earning cash back when shopping, but pay off your monthly balance to avoid interest charges.

The Final Word

Growing your emergency fund is essential to financial independence and greater peace of mind. However, saving three, six, nine, or 12 months of living expenses can seem daunting, especially when starting. But by fast-tracking your savings with these strategies, you’ll be better prepared to meet life’s unexpected challenges.


Are you an Extraco Banks customer? Grow your emergency fund with Savvy Savings!