Reducing your expenditures on items that you might be able to do without for a period of time will help you build your emergency fund. The great thing about cable or Direct TV is you can always reactivate your services and, often times, at a reduced rate. The same can be said about a smart phone. For you to establish and build your emergency fund, you need to think "reactivation is always an option." Your emergency fund should be constructed in three different layers. First, get a small buffer between you and life by setting aside $1,500 in a money market account. Before moving onto the second layer, you need to focus on eliminating any and all consumer debt (if you haven't already done so). A mortgage is alright at this point, but no credit card debt, no student loans, no auto loans, and no other forms of debt. Once you have accomplished that, build your emergency fund to the value of three to six months of gross wages. A person making $50,000 annually should have between $12,500 and $25,000 in an emergency fund. If you were to experience a lay-off, your emergency fund would carry you for more than six months as you search for new employment.