Personal Resource Center

Tips For Building an Emergency Fund

How to save money in an emergency fund
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The amount of money you spend on dining out will probably shock you. Put that money to better use in an emergency fund.

Freeze your gym membership: When was the last time you hit the gym? If it's been a while, that monthly membership is eating into your savings for no good reason. A high number of American adults1 with gym memberships don't use them, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars per year. But don't worry, you don't have to cancel. Many gyms allow you to freeze your membership temporarily so it's there for you when you're ready to get back in shape.

Eat out less: We're not here to tell you that you can't enjoy a latte from the drive-thru or a burrito to-go every once in a while. But have you ever stopped to add up just how much you're spending on take-out? The average American eats out 3.5 times a week,2 which really adds up. In Alabama, for example, the average person through 2022 spent $3,066 per year dining out, while the average Floridian forked over $3,477. Take some of that money you would've spent and put it in a savings account.

Redeem your credit card points: Do you have credit card rewards miles or points sitting around in your account doing nothing? Consider redeeming them for cash back and putting that money into your savings — or apply the money to your credit card bill for the month to help get you out of debt.

Refinance your debt: If you have credit card debt or a home mortgage, it pays to keep up with financial news. When the Fed lowers interest rates, the prime rate, which is the lowest interest rate that banks offer their most qualified customers, also falls. When the prime rate is low, it may be a good time to consider consolidating outstanding credit card debt into a bank loan and locking into a much lower interest rate.

While mortgage interest rates aren't tied directly to the prime rate, they are based on some of the same factors the Feds use when setting interest rates. So when the Feds lower rates, it's a great time to see how much you may be able to save by refinancing your mortgage.

Transfer your balance: If you carry a credit card balance month-to-month, that interest you accrue makes it tough to pay it down and focus on saving money instead. However, if you find a balance transfer offer, you may qualify to move your balance to a new card and pay 0% APR for anywhere from six to 18 months. Take the interest savings and put it into your savings account, or get rid of your debt faster so you can focus 100% on saving money when your debt is paid off.

Join online thrift groups or physically shop at stores that provide savings: Shop thrift3 or join online groups that focus on items that are cheaply sold or may be given away for free. Why spend more on something if you don't need to? Take any of those savings and add the money you would've spent to your saving account.

Are you ready to start saving for a rainy day? Visit a Synovus branch and talk with your local Synovus branch to learn how to open a savings account.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Adele Halsall, "Americans January Gym Habits. Revealed." MyProtein, https://us.myprotein.com/thezone/training/americans-new-year-gym-habits-revealed/, Added February 2023, Accessed December 15, 2023. Back
  2. Gabrielle Olya, “See How Much the Average American Spends on Dining Out," NASDAQ, https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/see-how-much-the-average-american-spends-on-dining-out%3A-how-does-your-spending-compare, Published September 15, 2023, Accessed December 15, 2023. Back
  3. Shaun Paul Wood, “10 Terrific Thrifting Tips for Saving Money," https://www.beyondfinance.com/blog/10-thrifting-tips-to-save-money/, Published March 23, 2023, Accessed December 15, 2023. Back