Perhaps you need $5,000 to pay off some of your existing debt. Or maybe your savings goal is more exciting, such as for an upcoming vacation, a down payment on a new car or to finally purchase that new piece of exercise equipment you’ve had your eye on.
Whatever your reason for saving $5,000 in half a year, you need to come up with a plan of action that will help you rake in the money you need each month. To help, here are four smart savings tips you can start today.
Cut Unnecessary Expenses From Your Budget
“To save $5000 in six months, one must have a budget or it likely won’t work,” said Christine Sager of Sager Financial Coaching. “Divide $5,000 by six months and that equals $833/month that must be removed from the budget or earned in extra income. The solution lies with the person — they must know themselves to know what will work for them and typically one solution or the other will be more appealing.
“If they are to cut expenses, start with subscriptions that can be given up for six months and then move to other discretionary income categories: eating out, clothes shopping, entertainment. It would be easier for them to cut smaller amounts across several categories than to cut one expense (like shopping) out altogether.”
Shop at Different Grocery Stores To Get the Best Price
“Try grocery shopping at a different store,” said Nick Burgess of Making a Millennial Millionaire. “We all fall into a groove, and grocery shopping is one of those things that can get too comfortable. Shopping at different stores allows you to price-match and compare. Doing this in my own life saved me close to $300 per month switching from Publix to Aldi for the essentials.” Here are some additional ways you can save big on groceries.
Sell Things You Don’t Need
“Another idea is to take a look around your house to see what you don’t need anymore,” said Sandy Yong, award-winning author of “The Money Master.” “Anything from clothing, electronics, children’s toys and books, fitness equipment, home decor to kitchen appliances could be appealing to a potential buyer. You can use Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, eBay and/or OfferUp. When you list an item be sure to provide good quality photos, an accurate description of the product, pricing and a website link to where you purchased the original item. Not only are you decluttering your home but you’re also passing along the item to a new family that will continue enjoying it. This is a great way to boost your savings on a regular basis.”
Freelance or Get a Side Gig
“One of the best ways to save money fast is to use the skills you already have for freelancing,” said Steffa Mantilla, a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and founder of the personal finance website Money Tamer. “Most skills translate well into the freelance market where small businesses or individuals are looking to hire for one-time contracts. For example, graphic design, copywriting, and video editing are all things small businesses hire independent contractors for. Usually, you can do these jobs in your free time so you can keep your day job.
“Even if you don’t have tech skills, you can offer to be a handy person or do lawn care, pet sitting and more on a neighborhood website like NextDoor. A few clients in the evening and weekend can quickly add up to over $1,000 a month. If you need money in a short period of time, using the skills you already have rather than learning a new skill is the way to go.”
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