Life Without a Savings Account

Savings Account

Hello folks! Today I have a post for you contributed by Katherine who is shares a few tips to manage in a life without a savings account. For most folks, an emergency fund is imperative. Life happens and we need to be prepared. However, for many on the path toward FIRE with growing investment account balances and stable employment, there may be better emergency fund alternatives available to you. Either way, the tips below can help get you back on your feet during a cash crunch.

So without further ado, take it away Katherine.


Let’s face it… life is full of unexpected surprises. Some of those can end up costing us quite a bit of money too. What happens, for example, if you get sick and have to miss a week at work… and you are living paycheck to paycheck, without a savings account? What do you do? Today we are going to take a look at some of your options to get through these unexpected financial problems when you don’t have a savings account.

Payday Loan Alternatives

When you need money quickly, you might consider checking in with a reputable lender like Blue Trust Loans. Businesses of this type offer alternatives to payday loans. You will be able to borrow as much as $1250 and you might be able to get the money you need as quickly as the next day. Some of the benefits to getting a loan of this type includes things like:

  • Few requirements for eligibility
  • Flexible schedule for repayment

In order to qualify for this type of loan, you will need an active checking account, a Social Security number, and a source of income that can be verified.

Cutting Back

While cutting back might not get you the cash that you need right now, it can give you a bit of padding for the next time something like this happens. Believe it or not, there are all sorts of ways to save money. Think about taking your lunch to work instead of buying it every day. Make your coffee at home in the mornings as opposed to stopping at a café on the way to work. Clip coupons. Shop sales. Compare prices.

If you shop online, save money by using programs like Ebates. While this won’t put cash in your pocket now, these things do add up over time and can actually add up to more than you might think.

Donate Plasma

Donate might be too strong of a word here since they do pay you for it… although they will say that they are paying you for your time. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. It carries the blood cells to where they need to go. Mostly, it is dissolved proteins and water. They use this part of our blood to make different kinds of medications along with using it for treatments and medical research. Each time you donate plasma, depending on which company you go to, you can make between $15 and $40. Each one of the plasma centers is different and there are more than 500 centers in the US. You will get paid right when you finish your donation. This will take longer the first time you go because they will give you a physical first to determine if you are healthy enough to donate.

However, before you jump to donating plasma, which a lot of people are doing right now, make sure you consider some of the downsides.

Sell Your Stuff

Another way to make a bit of cash quickly is to sell some of your stuff. This will also help you get rid of some of the clutter around your home. Sell some things that you don’t need anymore. Take a look around your home and surely you will be able to find more than just a couple of things that you no longer need. Think about things like:

  • Books
  • Smartphones
  • Unused gift cards – these can be redeemed at Coinstar kiosks immediately depending on the store they are from
  • Musical instruments
  • Video games
  • Collectible toys
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Crafts

Make sure to put competitive prices on them so that people will purchase them. You might choose to have a yard sale if you have an abundance of items to sell. For just a few items, you might consider listing them on eBay or use an app such as 5 Miles.

Get Focused

Join a focus group in your area. Focus groups are groups of ordinary people who can give feedback to companies, organizations, or individuals about things like products, designs, and or ideas. Monitor your local paper to find these or do searches on sites such as if you want to find one that is in your area. Sometimes these sites will offer things that you can do online. Like acting as an e-juror. Payment for this type of thing can be rather good and they typically pay out pretty quickly too.

– Katherine


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  1. Out of curiosity, does anyone know of someone who has personally donated plasma? How was the experience? Would they do it again? Did they consider it worth their time and effort?

    1. Back in high school and college I knew guys that would donate plasma regularly. It was an easy way to get some weekend beer money for them. For me, never tried it, but I probably would have if there was a convenient location back then.

    1. I keep just a little in savings but otherwise try to cash flow through life events which has suited me well. I put things temporarily on the credit card and paying them off in full when due.

      Thanks for sharing, ATL!

  2. Although I regularly sell things I no longer use, I feel much better having an emergency fund. We probably have enough to cover 6 months of ‘mostly’ required spending (still have a mortgage).

    That said, we probably don’t need that much in cash. So we are considering moving some of our emergency fund into bonds, in the hopes of earning more than the measly 0.75% at Capital One.

    1. Yeah that’s my biggest complaint of emergency funds… The horrible interest earned. The opportunity cost can be quite significant.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. The title was a little misleading, I don’t think it’s completely accurate to use “savings account” and “emergency fund” interchangeably. I could easily have an emergency fund in my checking account.

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