RECEPE FOR FINANCIAL SUCCESS | THE SIX SECRET RECIPES | MEET THE FINANCIAL GOURMET

HOW CAN YOU SPICE-UP YOUR EMERGENCY FUND

• Put tax refunds, bonuses and raises directly into the emergency fund.

• Setup an automatic or payroll deduction. This is just another electronic bill pay — except it’s to you.

• Roundup your expenses in your check register. For example, if you spend $14.25, record the expense as $15.00. Once your monthly statement becomes available, move the difference over to your emergency fund.

• Save your change – you’re never too old for a piggy bank.

• Once debts are paid, re-direct those payments into your emergency fund.

• Ask your cable provider for a lower rate or switch plans. Also consider canceling your landline phone service and save the difference.

• Negotiate a lower rate on your auto, homeowner or renters insurance, or consider raising your deductible. Apply any savings directly to your emergency fund.

• Change your tax withholdings to bring home more money on your check rather than waiting for your refund.

• Be a bargain shopper – clip coupons, scan ads for the best deals and ask for a discount on your larger purchases or service expenses.

• Ask your energy company for a free audit. They will tell you how to save money. Bank the extra and help the environment, too.

• Stir up the stuff in your basement, attic, storage shed or garage. Hold a yard sale or sell your unwanted goods online.