You may have thought at one time or another about making a big push and saving as much as you canas quickly as you can — but what about saving $1,000in a month? Even though it’s an amount that may seem overwhelming, it becomes more realistic if you think of it as $250 per week, or break it down even further.
“Create small daily wins,” said Guinevere Stasio, financial coach. “If you want to save $1,000 in a month, breaking that down into 30 days, it becomes $33 a day … What are daily actions that you can take that will earn you back $33?”
Track Your Expenses
“The first thing you need to do to save $1,000 per month is know where your money is going,” said Maggie Tucker, founder and host of “Inside Out Money.” “You need to start tracking your expenses, which you can do in Excel, a Google spreadsheet, an app like YNAB, Mint or whatever you’re most comfortable with. It’s hard to know where you can cut back when you don’t have a complete picture. Is $1,000 10% of your monthly spend, or 33%? That matters and will adjust how severe your approach may need to be.”
Automate Your Savings
Once you know how much money you must spend on necessities, such as housing or rent, food, car payments, insurance, phone charges and utilities, you should think about saving some of the leftover money automatically each time you get paid during the month. If you can manage $200, you’re $200 closer to your goal. If you can manage $400, even better.
“While there are almost too many options for savings these days, one great option they almost all share is the ability to automate your monthly savings,” said Adam Vega, CFPR, wealth advisor and president of Avance Private Wealth. “Often called an electronic fund transfer (or) sometimes an account builder function, there are many different names for the same product, but they are all just different ways to automate your savings plan each month. Many banks and savings institutions also allow you to have multiple contributions running each month. Instead of a monthly $1,000 contribution, you can do $500 every two weeks, or even $250 a week.”
Cancel Your Subscriptions
Money-saving apps can help track your purchases and determine what can be cut from your monthly budget, saidNancy Belcher, CEO and co-founder of Winona. “Truebill is an app that helps you scan your bills and flags any bills or subscriptions that appear to change, and prompts you if you would like to keep those subscriptions. It’s free to download in the app store, so it’s a great tool for starting to cut back and save.”
Subscriptions to cancel aren’t only Netflix, Hulu and the gym. Also look for subscriptions for monthly boxes and entertainment and music apps. You can also pause the delivery of specialized items (supplements, low-acid coffee) for one month to help save money. And if you subscribe to satellite or cable TV, call and ask if you can suspend your service for a month. If you’re a subscription junkie, you could easily save several hundred dollars.
Cancel Amazon Prime
Brad Johnson, founder and songwriter of Sound Production Pros, said to cancel your Amazon Prime account. If you don’t subscribe to Amazon Prime, think about where you shop the most during the month (aside from necessities) and temporarily stop doing it for 30 days. This could potentially save you a couple hundred dollars.
“This was huge for my family and me,” he said. “We had an Amazon Prime account, and we would buy so many things. It’s convenient, and it’s dangerous for a budget. I’ve found that I would think twice about buying something when I actually have to go somewhere to get it. Most of the things you won’t miss, trust me.”
Press Pause on Eating Out and Date Nights
It may not sound like much fun, but doing both of these things can help you reach your goal of saving $1,000 in a month.
“If you find yourself running through a $5 coffee each day and a $20 lunch, that’s $750 a month going toward food and drink alone, and it’s only 1 p.m.,” Vega said. “While I’m not suggesting giving up on coffee, it could be something as simple as allowing yourself coffee and eating lunch out every other day instead. Now you’re that much closer to reaching your savings goal.”
Allan Givens, finance expert and PR manager at Finder, recommended getting creative with dates and dating habits to save. “Simple.com did a poll and found that Americans spend around $64 a month on dating just for grooming (so not counting food or what you actually do on the date),” he said. “You don’t have to break the bank every month — get creative by doing things such as a makeover date with your partner. You get to groom, be on the date and save money all at the same time. Now, don’t be a cheapskate and suggest a walk on the beach every week, but consider some alternative options that do not cost or cost less.”
Sell Your Unwanted Items
Another way to bring in some quick cash is to sell things that are doing nothing more than gathering dust.
“How many things do you have around the house that you don’t use anymore?” Stacio asked.”You know what they say; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Use services like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to sell your items and collect some cash.”
Start a Side Hustle To Bring in Extra Cash
If all of the above don’t get you to the $1,000 mark, then start a side hustle. It’s possible to get some side hustles up and running in a couple of hours.
“I bet you have some skills or hobbies that can create extra income,” Stacio said. “Can you proofread documents? Can you sell a craft that you make? Side hustles don’t have to cost money to start, plus if it’s a skill you already know how to do, you’re just leveraging your abilities. Look on places like Upwork or Fiverr or simply ask your friends on social media if anyone is looking to hire someone in the skillset that you already have.”
Airbnb Your Place
Brian Davis, from Spark Rental, suggests a speedy method to earn $1,000 within 30 days: List your home on Airbnb and stay with friends or family when it’s booked. For instance, his cousin employed this strategy and comfortably stayed with his fiancée whenever guests booked his apartment.
Another option is to lease a part of your home. One of Davis’ friends opted for this approach by renting out a bedroom and bathroom suite. She discovered that by offering it for two extended weekends each month, she could offset a significant portion of her monthly rent.
Leave Your Car at Home
According to Gates Little, the CEO of altLINE at the Southern Bank Company, a simple approach to saving money each month involves leaving your car behind. If it’s feasible, consider using public transit instead of your car, leading to significant savings on gas expenses. Even better, if you can incorporate walking or cycling into your routine a few times a week, both your personal well-being and your wallet will reap the benefits by month’s end.
As an added bonus, you can rent out your personal car to earn extra money using peer-to-peer carsharing platforms like Turo, Getaround, HyreCar, Avail and Neighbor.
Laura Beck contributed to the reporting for this article.
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