Stashing your cash for a rainy day may not seem the most exciting use of your hard-earned dosh but everyone should have an emergency fund.

Saving for a car, a holiday or a home can be exciting. Saving just in case something terrible happens…less so. However, life has a habit of throwing curveballs so it’s essential to have an emergency fund to ensure you can ride the bumps in the road. Despite this, Deloitte’s  Financial Consciousness Index reports more than 13 million Australians have no savings. It’s a worrying statistic. If this sounds like you, isn’t it time you considered saving for a rainy day?

These five tips will help you get your emergency fund up and running so you can safeguard yourself should disaster strike.

How much do you need?

First you need to work out your expenses. If you’re single, your emergency fund will be a lot less than if you’re married with children. The rule of thumb suggests your emergency fund should have enough money to pay expenses for six months. So, look at your monthly budget and times it by six. Once you’ve done your sums you’ll have the goal you need to work towards. For some of us this figure could be in the tens of thousands and may seem out of reach. Don’t worry too much about this figure. The important factor is to just start saving what you can right now.

Let’s try to save $1000

Cutting back on unnecessary discretionary expenses like takeout and coffees, can immediately save you money. However, the best place to start looking for that first $1000 in savings is to Marie Kondo your house. You will be surprised how much unwanted paraphernalia you have lying around at home from old electronics to unwanted furniture. Remember one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Put your unwanted belongs up for sale and see the cash roll in.

Ditch one thing

Do you go out for dinner frequently? Do you spend a bucket load out at the pub? Maybe you’re a coffee drinker or you always use Ubers instead of public transport. Whatever it is you are regularly splashing cash on, pledge to give it up for a month and put the money you would usually spend into your savings. Each month try a different option. Giving up that two cup a day habit for a month might only save you $200 bucks but it also helps you see how much money you may be wasting.

Plan your meals

This may sound like a no-brainer but planning your meals is a great way to save money. Not only does it save you at the supermarket as you do not impulse buy groceries that you won’t really use, it ensures you and your family get to spend some quality time together eating meals. According to research by ALDI families who plan their meals spend on average a third on groceries than those who enter the store without a list…

Use a savings round up

There’s an old saying take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves. While few of us are paying with cash these days it’s worth keeping this adage in mind. Since so many of us pay with tap and go these days, why not take advantage of this and add a round-up feature to your payments. In short this rounds up any payment you make on your card to the nearest dollar and deposits it into another savings account for you. Instant savings!