Like someone else said, put aside the mini-EF of $1000 and tackle your cars first. We did and paid off our Van really fast.
If you have the kids college fund in something liquid take the EF out of there. We did this, and we certainly don’t feel bad about since 1. we put it there and 2. if an emergency comes up the money will protect them as much as you two. If it’s not in a liquid account, then stop contributing to the college fund and anything else, including retirement accounts and any other pay-in monthly accounts. Getting your EF put together is more important that any of these.
Another thing we did was change our withholdings at work so are checks would be bigger now and our tax return smaller later. I’d rather have the money now working for me, then give the govt an interest free loan.
Another thing we did was have a rummage sale – made about $300+
I also started selling stuff on Amazon – I make at least $50-100/month doing that, on movies, books, old video games, old textbooks, and anything else I can get rid of online.
Write a budget that tracks your cashflow. We found we were spending so much money on junk and going out to eat and movies, I mean hundreds of dollars a month. Now we cook in and watch cable movies or borrow DVDs from our spendthrift family members.
Now I assume you’re saying you’re entirely debt free except the house. If that’s the case you’ll need 3-6 months of expenses. If you’re not entirely debt free then you would put 1K into the EF and the rest would apply to your smallest debt.
If you can use even one of these suggestions you should be able to make a dent in your efforts.