A Brain-Powered Emergency Fund

It's an Emergency

Saving is an art, but there’s a science to doing it well. To pack more power into your “It’s an Emergency!” savings effort, try these:

  • Think “one.”
    If you have a few savings goals, cut back.

    You save more when you zero in on one goal at a time, according to a study in the Journal of Marketing Research.

    While you might want a new fridge, a puppy, and a vacation, harness that energy and focus solely on your safety cushion till—bam!—mission accomplished.

  • Think “why.”
    You’re more likely to reach your goal when you concentrate on why you’re saving (and less on how), according to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

    Need a nudge? Here’s our motivation:

    • “I want enough cash to keep my family afloat for several months.” —MP Dunleavey, editor-in-chief
    • “I want to be able to fly home to Detroit on short notice if need be.” —Katie Karlson, sales editor
    • "I'm prone to weird accidents–from broken wrists to corneal ulcers (true story), and I don’t want to stress about medical bills.” —Nika Rastakhiz, marketing manager

Tell a friend about the "It's an Emergency!" challenge and get one extra entry for each friend who enters.

Be scientific. Why are you building a $1,000 emergency fund?

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