Why It’s Easier to Save for a Trip Than For an Emergency Fund

One of the things I’ve been pondering since I got back from my recent trip across the country to FinCon15 is why it was so easy for me to save for that trip.

I socked money away for that trip for almost a year without much thought or effort.

Every time I got paid from my freelance writing business I put 30% away for taxes and 10-15% away for my trip to FinCon. The only time I ever used any of that money for anything else is when I got my blog re-designed a few months ago.

I was able to save almost $2,000 in 1 year without hesitation.

But when it comes to my emergency fund I’m not sitting that pretty. Why?

I have a few theories as to why it was a lot easier to save for my trip than for my emergency fund. Here are a couple of them.

Savings Location

My first thought as to why I was able to save $2,000 for my trip to FinCon (plus my tax savings on top of that) is because I keep it in a different bank than where my everyday money is, and it’s an online only bank. This means I have to specifically login to that bank in order to withdraw any money. Maybe that made it easier to keep my hands off the money.

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My emergency fund is in a savings account at the same bank as my regular checking account, so whenever I log into my account (which is everyday), I see both of them right there on the same screen. This does not make it easy to “forget” about all the money just sitting there doing nothing in my emergency fund.

The only thing holding me back from whole-heartedly believing this to be the reason saving for my trip was easy is because all the money I saved for the trip did funnel through my regular checking account first, so I did see each penny I saved leaving my checking account every month.


The other reason I thought of why I might have been able to save for FinCon but I’m having a hard time building my emergency fund is because trips are exciting, and let’s face it, emergency funds are not exciting.

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Flying across the country to meet up with socially awkward money nerds to talk about budgeting, investing, and other money related topics, might not sound like fun to you either, but I had a blast! (Even if I was almost the only non-frugal person there.)

Perhaps knowing that I’d be able to enjoy that money on my trip made it easier to save for FinCon than putting money into my emergency fund?

Looking forward to travelling somewhere new, meeting people I’ve only talked to online, and eating at restaurants guilt free, made it easy to save for FinCon vs. how difficult of a time I’ve had beefing up my emergency fund.

Now that I realize that’s the most likely reason why saving for FinCon was easy, what can I do to make saving an emergency fund more exciting?

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Stepchild Faves – September 2015

I don’t know about you guys, but this month has been awesome!

I’ve been really busy with work, but I’m loving every minute of it, and the highlight of the month was attending FinCon15 where I got to meet some awesome people. :)

The only downside of September was that being off for almost a week meant that the end of the month has totally snuck up on me. Yikes!

The end of the month means lots of good things, like pay-day and also that it’s time for another edition of Stepchild Faves!

Stepchild Faves is where we round-up our top 5 favorite posts of the month and share them with you for your weekend reading pleasure.

Here are our top 5 fave posts of September in no particular order:

Afford Anything – The 12 Essential Lessons I Want to Share About Money & Life – Ok, technically this was posted at the tail end of August, but who’s counting. This is an awesome post where Paula shares her 12 principles for how you can afford anything. Remember, you can afford anything but you can’t afford everything!

From Frugal to Free – My Frugal Road Trip: Eight Days for $323 – I’ve been bitten by the travel bug. I can’t wait to get my debt paid off so I can travel more often and experience new places. Therefore, I love reading about all thing related to frugal travel right now. This post from staff writer Kara is a great one with some tips for saving on your next road trip.

She Picks Up Pennies – The Burden of Gifts – I love to give gifts and until recently I never thought of them as a “burden”. But in the past couple of years, as I’ve tried to be more minimalistic, I’ve realized that I kind of hate gifts. They can be such a pain to give and receive. Check out this awesome post for more ideas about why gifts are a burden.

Money Beagle – 8 Ways to Effectively Multi-Task – Multi-tasking is something I am constantly doing. But in the past couple of years I’ve wondered if that’s the best way to do things. I’m sure you’re read or heard of some of the same studies I have that showed that multi-tasking isn’t actually efficient. But this article has some good suggestions if you just can’t break out of the habit. :) (Don’t worry I can’t either. #multi-taskerforlife)

Disease Called Debt – 10 Free or Cheap Things To Do in Autumn – I love this season and Hayley put together a good post with lots of ideas of how to celebrate the season on the cheap. Hopefully you’ll find something fun on her list too. :)

Well, that’s it for this month. I can’t believe we’re on the down-hill slope of 2015!

Do you want to be featured in our next edition?

Send us an email with your best post at reddebtedstepchild[at]gmail[dot]com.


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