Navigating the reality of living paycheck to paycheck isn't easy, but establishing a saving routine, no matter how modest, is crucial. To build an emergency fund, consider these five steps:

1 | Identify Your Essential Monthly Expenses

Categorize monthly expenses as essential (rent, mortgage, utilities, etc.) and nonessential (entertainment, dining out). Sum up the essentials to determine your monthly income needs.

2 | Multiply Essential Expenses by Six

Aim for at least six months' worth of essential expenses in your emergency fund. This safeguards against financial hardships like bankruptcy in case of income loss.

3 | Create a Savings Plan

Realistically assess how to accumulate the needed amount over a specific period, be it six months, a year, or more. Cultivate a savings habit that aligns with your income and budget.

4 | Don’t Get Frustrated

Slowly building savings can be discouraging, but focus on the positives. Each dollar saved is a step forward. Even a modest amount can cover unexpected expenses or insurance deductibles. Stay committed once you start.

5 | Ask for Help

Don't be shy about seeking advice from people you trust, like friends, family, or community resources. And hey, at First Commonwealth, we've got your back! Meet with a Counselor: We have over 50 certified credit union financial counselors ready to help at all of our locations. They can guide you on saving money and reducing debt in your budget. Make an appointment today!