Apossible recession is the very definition of a financial emergency, yet with the high price of everything these days, it’s tough to find extra cash to put aside for that proverbial rainy day—let alone save enough to cover at least six months of living expenses, as financial advisors recommend.

Still, it’s important to try to tuck away whatever you can. Nearly 60 percent of adults surveyed by Bankrate last month said they were concerned about the amount they have in emergency savings, a 10-point rise from last year, and one in four has no emergency fund at all. You’re going to need that cushion if the job market starts to soften and your income takes a hit or you’re laid off. “Even one month of expenses saved is better than nothing,” says Chris Browning, host of the Popcorn Finance podcast.

Here’s how to get started.

Put Saving on Autopilot ▸ Don’t wait until the end of the month to see how much cash you have left to put into emergency savings (hint: there probably won’t be any). Instead, take it off the top, designatin­g a set amount to go into your emergency savings account every time you get paid via direct deposit (most employers allow you to split your paycheck between two or more accounts) via a bank, brokerage or money-management app like Qapital. Qapital also has a few quirky preset rules you can use to add a few extra dollars to your account every time, say, you go to the gym or buy coffee from your favorite java joint.

Most people find they automatica­lly adjust their spending to the amount they have available in their checking or money market account. But if you find yourself falling short and unable to pay your regular monthly bills, you can simply lower the amount you’ve designated for emergency savings or suspend contributi­ons until you’re flush again.

Earn a Little Extra ▸ One silver lining to the recent interest rate hikes by the Fed: Yields on savings accounts are finally climbing out of the basement level of the past few years.

Still, don’t settle for whatever rate your bank is offering to pay on your emergency stash. While the average yield on Fdic-insured savings and money market accounts is still a barely there 0.1 percent, according to Bankrate, you can earn 10 to 15 times that amount or more by shopping around. Among the institutio­ns recently offering highly competitiv­e rates on savings accounts, with minimum balance requiremen­ts of $1 or less to earn top payouts, Bankrate reports: New York Community Bank’s My Banking Direct, yielding 2.02 percent; CIT Bank, 1.65 percent; and Sofi, 1.5 percent.

Take Some Credit ▸ If you’ve owned your home for a while, chances are you’ve built up a fair amount of equity, given the 45 percent average rise in housing prices over the past three years. Taking out a home equity line of credit that you can tap as needed if times get tough can be a good backup to your emergency fund, especially if saving enough to cover the recommende­d six months of living expenses is out of reach.

The time to secure the line is now, before a recession hits; once the economy goes south, banks become more reluctant to approve loans or may limit how much you can borrow. And if you are laid off or your income drops, the chances that you’ll be rejected for a HELOC skyrocket, no much how much equity you have.

Even one month of Expenses saved is better than nothing.

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