So, you’ve heard that you should have an emergency fund, and your financial worries are really weighing you down. Fend off those worries by starting your own nest egg. Wondering where to find the cash? If your budget is already stretched to the max, consider these ways to generate money to save.

 Don’t spend your change. Pull out your old piggy bank and deposit your change into it daily. It adds up quickly. Speed the savings up even more by keeping all $1-or $5-bills and tucking those away in your fund.

 Pack your lunch. Cut your lunch bill in half by bringing it with you. Invest in a chic reusable tote or containers to cut your packing budget even further. Your wallet, and the Earth, will thank you.

 Decrease your interest rates. If you carry debt, call your credit card company and ask for a rate reduction. Tell them you may be transferring your balance if they can’t oblige. With a reduced rate, your monthly payment and length of time until your debt is paid will both shrink.

Control your grocery shopping. Remember how Mom used to have meals planned out for each day of the week? Yeah, she was onto something. Making a dinner menu and basing your shopping on it can reduce extra spending. Factor snacks, food for those new lunches you’ll be packing and breakfast needs into your list. Note how much you’re saving and transfer it into your emergency fund.

 Dine in more. You may be as good at pinching pennies as your great aunt Florence at the grocery store, but are you negating that frugality by eating out too often? You don’t have to become a dining hermit and eat in every night, but reducing your restaurant trips to one or two a week could save a bundle.

 Compare insurance rates. Shop around with auto and homeowners’ insurance companies. Rates can vary greatly by company, so check out a few. Consider choosing one company for both policies, and you’re likely see even deeper savings.

 Splurge less. Is your daily Starbucks really necessary? Just cutting it to every other day could save you around $15 a week or $60 per month. Or how about trips to the car wash? Do it yourself and pocket the savings.

 Clip coupons. Coupons aren’t just for grannies. Get savvy and discover all the ways. From Groupons and Sunday paper inserts to online codes and printable coupons, savings are all around you. Search for deals before you shop or head out for some fun. Tuck the amount of the coupon savings into your fund.

 Examine your bills. Do you really need 200 cable channels? Is there a more basic package you could opt for? How about that gym membership? If you’re not using services enough to justify their costs, cut them. It doesn’t have to be forever, but it could make a difference in your savings right now.

 Save your tax refund. Instead of spending that refund this year, consider using it to add a hefty amount to your savings.

 Sell your stuff. Sites like Amazon and eBay make it easy to create an account and get money for your things. Sell smartphones you no longer use, books, electronics, clothes and and collect immediate cash to save.

Whatever changes you make, remember to note the savings and deposit that amount into your emergency fund for a rainy day. Remain steadfast in reaching your savings goals. You’ll be rewarded with peace of mind knowing you’ve created your own safety net.

For more useful tips, classes, or one-on-one counseling with a success coach to help keep you financially fit and achieving your financial goals, check out our Financial Fitness website and Facebook page!

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