Who Built the Ark? Well...you did.

I love the analogy that an emergency fund is like Noah's Ark that Everyday Money makes. I would appreciate the shout out to the Good Book on its own, but the post also makes an excellent point: Where would Noah have been without his ark?

When it comes to personal finance, an emergency fund is your ark and salvation in tough times. I know you are saying, "But, Financista, I am barely scraping by as it is." I would say to you, my child, it's time to take a look at all of those "necessities" that are part of your budget (you do have a budget, riiight?) and cut out some fluff. There are many ways to scrimp and save, but just do whatever you must to get together at least 3-6 months of living expenses in case something should happen, like an illness or death in the family, a job loss, or even on a smaller scale, your car breaking down. (A new plasma screen does NOT fit into this category, nor do those cute flats at the Macy's shoe sale).

How to do it? Well, here's a few quick ways to save a couple of bucks a month:
- Cancel Netflix or BBO and establish a recipriciocity agreement with a few friends (you take one of their DVDs and they get one of yours. No Thieving Toms allowed).
- Brew your own coffee at home -- or better yet, get rid of it all together! (Hopefully those caffeine shakes will hit the road as well).
- Bottle your own water and throw them in the refrigerator whenever you need a cold beverage.
- Check out Craigslist or Freecycle for the next random blender or chair or shelf that you need.
- Go out for Happy Hour instead of late night -- carouse and have fun, but pay a lot less. Lots of times there are good deals on food as well.

Building your ark is a top priority, on par with paying off credit card debt -- it's that important. It's best to be prepared because unlike Noah, God does not tell most of us when the flood is going to come.