Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund may sound counterintuitive if you’re trying to get out of debt—you could be using that money to pay off your debt instead of sticking it in a savings account—but an emergency fund can actually keep you from creating more debt. These savings provide you with a safety net you can use when an emergency expense arises, which saves you from reaching for your credit card. The ideal emergency fund is six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses, but you can start by building up at least $1,000, or whatever you can manage to put into a savings account.

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