Saving more money doesn’t necessarily have to mean earning more money. Whether it takes for 12 weeks or 12 months, you can reach your savings goals simply by sticking to a plan. If your goal is to save $10,000 in one year, here are some tips and tricks to steadily grow your bank account.
See: 3 Ways Smart People Save Money When Filing Their Taxes
How To Save $10,000 in a Year
Whether it’s by examining and breaking down some of your biggest expenses or simply taking on some passive income, saving $10,000 in a year could be more doable than you think. Here are 10 steps to take to start saving:
- Break Down the Amount You Need To Save
- Review Your Budget and Personal Finances
- Cut Out Unnecessary Monthly Spending
- Don’t Pay Interest on Your Credit Cards
- Reduce Discretionary Spending
- Check Your Grocery Bill
- Examine Your Fixed Expenses
- Save Your Windfalls in an Emergency Fund
- Start a Side Hustle
- Make Your Savings Automatic
1. Break Down the Amount You Need To Save
Saving $10,000 may seem like an insurmountable task, but if you break it down, it’s much more manageable. If you want to save $10,000 in a year, you’ll need to shave $833.33 off your monthly budget.
Still overwhelmed? That’s the same as $384.61 every two weeks, or $192.31 per week. If you really want to break it all the way down, it’s $27.40 a day.
2. Review Your Budget and Personal Finances
To know where you can save money, you first have to know where your money is going. Look over your bank and credit card statements for the past year to determine what you’re spending money on.
Look at essential costs, such as housing, transportation, food, utilities, healthcare and loan payments. Any cost besides the essentials could be easier to edit down. For example, you might cut back on clothing purchases, or shop at less expensive stores.
3. Cut Out Unnecessary Monthly Spending
Projecting savings: $25 a month
Look at your budget to see what you can do without. For example, subscriptions such as streaming services are billed every month, and then you forget about them. Look carefully to see which ones you can eliminate. And don’t let the fact that they’re low-priced fool you — eliminating a few subscriptions at just $5 each per month can add up pretty quickly.
4. Don’t Pay Interest on Your Credit Cards
Projected savings: $100 a month
If you carry a balance on your credit cards, you’re paying extra every month for that tank of gas you’ve already used and that dinner you’ve long forgotten. Pay off your credit cards, and then stop using them.
If you have credit cards that charge an annual fee, consider getting rid of them. There are so many fee-free cards that have rewards and other bells and whistles, there’s really no good reason to pay an annual fee if you’re not getting the value back in rewards you actually use.
5. Reduce Discretionary Spending
Projected savings: $150 a month
Look at how much you spend on things like entertainment and gifts. While you don’t need to cut out these things entirely, this is often a good place to cut back. Instead of going out for dinner at a fancy restaurant, choose a less expensive venue, or go to lunch instead. Go out once a month instead of once a week. You can even choose fewer or less expensive gifts and make it the thought that counts.
6. Check Your Grocery Bill
Projected savings: $100 a month
If you’re still buying name brands, particularly for things like paper products, consider switching to generics. And look at how much food you’re throwing out because it goes bad before you can eat it. Planning meals in advance, and shopping based on that plan, can help you avoid overbuying and waste.
If your weekly grocery shopping includes a trip to the warehouse club, make sure you’re taking advantage of it in the right way. When you compare prices between the club and your regular grocery store, don’t forget to factor in the annual membership fee. If you only go to the warehouse club every couple of months, that $60 annual fee could be adding an extra $10 to your bill each time you go. Make sure it’s still worthwhile.
7. Examine Your Fixed Expenses
Projected savings: $25 a month
Don’t overlook monthly expenses that you consider to be fixed, like utilities. Sometimes you can shave a little off your bills by reducing your energy usage or switching to a less expensive cable package, if you still use cable.
Gas is taking a bigger bite out of everyone’s budget these days, so be sure to shop around for the best price. Using a gas app can help you find the best deal wherever you are, even if it’s near home. Your regular gas station may not have the lowest price every day, so it helps to compare. And try to consolidate trips so you’re driving less and using less gas.
8. Save Your Windfalls in an Emergency Fund
Projected savings: $250 a month, or $3,000 a year
When you get a long-awaited windfall, like your tax return or a year-end bonus, it’s tempting to splurge on something you’ve been wanting. But if you put that money into savings right away and think of as an emergency fund you cannot touch, you can make a big dent in your goal. And if you get a raise, split it between savings and your monthly budget.
9. Start a Side Hustle
Projected savings: $200 a month
There are two ways to increase how much you save: spend less and earn more. Doing both sets you up for success. Consider taking a second job or adding on a freelance gig. Walking dogs, delivering groceries and ridesharing can all bring in a few extra bucks every week.
A note of caution about a side hustle: make sure you set aside some of your additional income for taxes. If you earn extra money all year long, you may need to pay estimated taxes every quarter so that you aren’t penalized at tax time.
10. Make Your Savings Automatic
This won’t save you any more money, but it will help you stay on track with your savings goals. Have part of your paycheck direct deposited into a savings account. If you have a side hustle, have that money go directly toward savings, too, making sure you account for taxes.
Pick a savings account with a high APY, and make it difficult to get at. Use a different bank than the one you use for your checking account, and don’t download the app. Tuck that money away and forget about it.
If you take all of these steps and you realize the projected savings indicated, you’ll have saved $10,200 by the end of the year. Now you can put that money toward a special long-term goal, or keep it in the bank as a financial cushion.
You could even try a money savings challenge to make a game out of saving money for you and your family.
- How long does it take to save $10,000?
- With some careful budgeting, you can save $10,000 in a year. The breakdown for what you would need to shave off your budget looks like this:
- – $833.33 per month
- – $384.61 every two weeks
- – $192.31 per week
- – $27.40 per day.
- How long should it take to save $10,000?
- If you save $500 a month, it would take you 20 months – close to two years – to save $10,000. You can decrease or increase your monthly savings to save $10,000 in more or less time.
- Saving $10,000 in one year would mean saving $833.33 every month.
- How can I save $10,000 in three months?
- To save $10,000 in three months, you would need to save $3,333.33 each month, or $833.33 per week. You can get started with that goal by examining your budget and determining what you can cut out, then deciding if you need to pick up a side gig or two.
Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.