Save a little money from each paycheck.
Choose a savings vehicle. This can be a savings account, a regular bank account, or just a jar in your closet. Make sure that this account is low risk and liquid (which means that you can easily pull from it anytime without penalty). I personally wouldn't count money saved in retirement accounts, pensions or stocks. It's too hard to get immediate cash from these sources.
Start this week to save money in that "account." Are things really tight? Start with $10 a month. Even tighter? Then save $1 a month. The idea is to make saving money a habit. And don't touch that money unless you're starving! :o) This reserve is for emergencies only. A dress that is on sale, the need to pay your kids an allowance, or piano lessons do not constitute an emergency. The time to turn to this money is when you are out of work and have run out of money (or other similar emergencies such as medical etc.). Make it a goal to leave that money alone. Increase the amount as your income allows.
I personally use a bank account and have an automatic transfer set up. Each time we get paid, a small amount is automatically transfered into my emergency savings account. I've been amazed how quickly money has accumulated in that account. If this sounds like something that would work for you, then call or get online and set up that automatic transfer today.
From All Is Safely Gathered In: Home Storage:
Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount.
From All is Safely Gathered In: Family Finances:
Gradually build a financial reserve, and use it for emergencies only. If you save a little money regularly, you will be surprised how much accumulates over time.
And From President Gordon B. Hinckley:
“Set your houses in order. If you have paid your debts, if you have a reserve, even though it be small, then should storms howl about your head, you will have shelter for your wives and children and peace in your hearts” (Ensign, Nov. 1998, 54).