February 4, 2020
1k by July
Looking to save $1,000 by summer? Maybe you’re finally building that emergency fund, planning a fun vacation, or building a downpayment for a big purchase. Either way, we’ve got the tools you need to jumpstart your savings.
$1,000 may sound like a lot, but if you break it down, it becomes much more achievable.
See where you stand
If you aren’t already tracking your spending, you need to create a budget.
What is your take-home pay?
- Your total monthly income after taxes.
How much do you pay in expenses?
- Bills you need to pay in order to live, like rent, groceries, debt and loan payments, gas, utilities, etc.
How much disposable income do you have?
- Subtract your expenses from your take-home pay to find your disposable income. This money is yours to decide how to spend.
How are you spending your disposable income?
- Take a look at last month’s transactions. Aside from expenses, how are you spending your money? Divide these purchases into categories—eating out, subscription services, retail purchases, entertainment, etc.
How much of your disposable income are you spending?
- I.e., how much money do you have in your account the day before you get paid at the end of the month?
Increase income and cut costs
The more aggressively you can cut your unnecessary spending, the faster you’ll reach your goal. This will likely be the most crucial factor in meeting your goal.
- Make your coffee and food at home.
- Find free things to do in your community or at home.
- Cancel services you can do without or do yourself, like cable or yard maintenance.
- Refrain from retail purchases, like clothing and online purchases.
- Clip coupons and avoid buying name brand products if they’re more expensive.
- Reduce your energy costs by turning lights off when you leave the room, turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, and washing your clothes with cold water.
Find creative ways to bring in more money to reach your goal faster.
- Sell old clothing and unused items online or hold a yard sale.
- Cash in all your loose change.
- Take on a second job.
- Help friends with odd jobs—like helping them move, walking their dog when they’re out of town, etc.
- Find a savings account that lets you gain interest on your savings, and set your account up to auto-draft from your paycheck.
- Rent out your spare living space on AirBnB or another renting platform.
Systematize your savings
Make your savings into a game with these fun, easy strategies.
- Every time you find yourself with a $5 bill, save that $5.
- Tip yourself for making good decisions. If you make coffee at home when you would have otherwise purchased your morning brew from a coffee shop, transfer the coffee shop price of a coffee into your savings account. If you choose to stay at home when your friends are going to the movies, transfer the price of a movie ticket into your savings account.
- Aside from paying your expenses, see how many days you can go without spending a single dollar.
These are just a few ideas to kick start your savings. Remember to be patient and stay focused, and you’ll have $1,000 in no time.