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January 7, 2021

HSA as FORCED SAVINGS

If you don’t have a Health Savings Account (HSA), build it up. And if you can pay for regular out-of-pocket medical expenses with other money, don’t take from the HSA. It acts like forced savings. Then in times of emergency, you can tap the HAS for reimbursement for those previous medical expenses-basically reimbursing yourself for medical costs you incurred in prior years. -Brendan McCarthy, director of wealth management at Three Bridges Planning, Melbourne, Fla.
January 3, 2021

Pay with Points!

Build up a stash of credit-card rewards points as part of an emergency fund. I always keep at least 25,000 points on my AmEx as a backup emergency fund. I can use my points to pay for groceries at Walmart or Amazon, or pay for things through PayPal. -Kimberly Foss, President and Founder of Empyrion Wealth Management, Roseville, Calif.
December 28, 2020

BORROW FROM THE FUTURE

Take the amount you’re investing into your retirement plan that is over and above the company match (if you have one) and split it between savings and retirement investing until you reach your emergency-fund goal. – Kyle Whipple, financial adviser and partner at Custom Wealth Solutions in Plymouth, Mich.
December 14, 2020

Limit Extra Debt Payments!

If you are paying down debt, don’t pay less than the minimum payment just to contribute to your emergency fund. But if you’re minimum payments are manageable, then build your emergency fund while you are paying down debt. Until you have at least three months of emergency savings, consider putting 50% of your available funds toward extra debt payments and 50% toward your emergency fund. -Shelly-Ann Eweka, a wealth management director at TIAA Charlotte, N.C.
December 6, 2020

A Public Commitment

Instead of birthday gifts, ask family and friends to crowdfund an emergency-savings account. And make it more credible with a “commitment device” – a penalty for failing to follow through and use the donated money only for emergencies. Savers can establish circumstances under which the funds might be used – such as promising to only dip into the funds to pay for a medical emergency or to ease an unemployment spell. The more credible the commitment, the more comfortable givers may be to contribute. Contributors can be rewarded with an update. -Benjamin Harris, Executive Director of the Kellogg School of Management’s Public-Private Interface in Evanston, Ill., and former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden.
Give The Gift That Keeps On Growing

Give the gift of a Dollar Investment Club Membership this Holiday Season!