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How to save $400 a month is a challenge but key for emergencies


It’s important to have money set aside for emergencies, yet four in 10 Americans say they’d struggle to come up with $400 in a pinch, according to the Federal Reserve’s annual check-in on Americans’ financial health. 

Without a cash cushion, those strapped consumers are likely to end up in more financial trouble when they encounter a financial emergency. That’s because they told the Fed they would turn to expensive payday loans to pay for an unexpected expense, even though these loans can trap borrowers in a cycle of repeat borrowing due to their high rates and fees. Others said they would put the emergency expense on credit cards and pay it off over time, potentially racking up interest. 

But there are other strategies to build up a quick savings cushion rather than turning to expensive loans or adding to credit card debt, financial experts note. Some of the tips can be turned into longer-term strategies that can help build an even bigger financial base over six to 12 months. 

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1. Sell things you don’t use anymore

Your attic might prove to be a treasure trove for your bank account. There are sites where you can sell everything from designer clothes to your grandma’s old china set. Poshmark, for instance, is geared to fashionistas selling their used clothing, while eBay remains a standby for everything from antiques to your kid’s old Lego toys. Many of these sites charge seller fees, so make sure to do your research to find the right fit. 



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