This article is geared towards those new to or struggling with their money-saving journey. The question “How to save $1000?” to many seems so far-fetched but it is do-able with a little (okay, a lot) of focus and sacrifice. Here at Divas With A Purpose, we believe in setting a S.M.A.R.T. goal (simple, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based) to jump-start our success.
To some, it may sound crazy and unattainable, but with any goal, if you break it down into small, simpler steps – saving $1000 in 90 days is something that can be accomplished.
First and foremost, you may have to do something that is difficult for most of us – SACRIFICE.
Most would approach $1000 in 90 by breaking it down:
$11.11 per day
$77.77 per week
$153.85 every two weeks
$333.33 per month
For some that may be more manageable and for others it may still be a little daunting. Believe me, I’ve been there many times.
Breaking down your goals into smaller, more attainable steps is a great way to ensure success and keep you from getting overwhelmed and frustrated. The key is finding ways that will work for you and your specific circumstances.
How to Save $1000
First and foremost, evaluate where you spend money on a regular basis and what you can cut down.
action task 1: Review your spending
Knowing where our money is going is the first step. Are you being hit with multiple fees from your bank? What’s causing them? Automated bill payments, over drafting, just plain over-spending? A reader recently mentioned doing this step caused her to realize that some months she was spending almost $400 on bank charges. Because they were spread out, she did not realize the overall total of them. They add up and they add up very quickly, y’all.
Also, this step helps you to see if there are certain places you’re spending or overspending on a regular basis. Are there regular items you can go without for the next 90 days (or more)? I challenge you to find at least one of them.
Quick Note: This article includes referral links.
Do you eat out regularly – either for lunch, dinner or both?
For me, this was one of the first things I focused on first when working on our savings plan. I would eat out with co-workers almost every day at $10-15 a day. That adds up quickly to almost $50 – 75 (sometimes more!) a week. I’ll be honest, rather than completely eliminating lunches with my favorite co-workers, I gave myself a budget. When the budget was depleted, I either brought leftovers from home or went home for lunch. Since I was averaging, $100+ every two weeks on lunch when I ate out regularly, I gave myself a budget of $40 every two weeks and put $60 into my savings account. (This was $360 over 90 days for me!)
Action task 2: Automate your savings
This can be hard…at first. Especially if you’re in a place where your finances are all out of whack. I had an ah-ha moment one day. I was a dedicated employee and deserved to pay myself out of each paycheck. What was the purpose of putting in those hours of service if I had absolutely nothing to show for it?
Setting up a direct deposit to my savings account for $25 each pay period ensured I had something to show for it and gave me a sense of accomplishment towards my savings plan. You can, also, slowly increase the dollar amount by $5 or $10 increments.
Action task 3: find small ways to save
Those small dollar amounts add up! Simple things like saving all your change and cashing them in each month at your bank. Perhaps you save all dollar bills, as well.
Digit is a great tool you can use to help get you started with this process, too! (This added up to $150 in 90 days! These first 3 steps got me to over half of my $1000 goal!!!) NOTE: After publishing this article, Digit began charging $2.99/month to use their service BUT you do get to try it out for 100 DAYS FREE to decide if it’s for you or not. I have continued to use them and enjoy all that the service has to offer.
Action Task 4: cash budget for personal expenses.
You will think twice when spending cash versus swiping your debit card. (Don’t forget to save your change!) You can also automatically round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer that difference to a separate account. Some banks do this automatically.
Action Task 5: Sell something.
I make $30-40 a month listing items on sites like Amazon, Totspot (children’s clothing) and eBay. It takes about 1 hour of my time to snap photos and load items. You can, also, look at taking clothing in great condition that you no longer need or use to consignment shops in your city. (This adds up to $180 – 240 in 90 days!)
I was a direct sales consultant for close to 12 years. I typically brought in $250-300 a month from my sales and that of my downline after any investments that I may need to make for products or marketing. If this is something you’re interested in doing, connect with a seasoned consultant that will support you through the process. Some will even sponsor your first event and apply your sales towards your sign-up so you can have little or no out-of-pocket expense to sign-up. (I do NOT recommend direct sales if you cannot afford the sign-up fee. Do NOT purchase products up-front that you will not be able to turnaround immediately.)
While direct sales is not for everyone, finding another revenue source can be. Look within yourself and the talents that you have to see what you can offer to others for a price – making products, a part-time job, social media skills, consulting, ghostwriting, babysitting services, the list is endless!
Action Task 6: Couponing, store rewards programs, and money savings applications
These are all another way to cut costs and save money. Most stores show how much you saved at the bottom of your receipt – take that amount and put it into your savings account. There are lots of websites that will do match-ups for you and send you alerts on the best deals. I, also, love using the following apps that you can earn cashback or points that can be redeemed for gift cards:
Action Task 7: Lower or Eliminate nonessentials
This can be your cable, Internet, subscription services, etc. Sometimes you can find creative ways to get those services you really enjoy for little or no cost. For example, Netflix is a popular video streaming service and at approximately $8-9 a month can be an affordable way to eliminate your cable service. This article shares one way you could offset Netflix’s monthly fee and come out paying nothing for it.
Additional Savings Tips
Business Insider shared 13 tips on how to save money quickly. My favorite is inviting friends over for dinner rather than eating out. Think about it – cooking a simple dish at home versus spending $40+ on a meal for two!
MoneyTalkNews shared 16 painless ways to save money. Three of my favorites were having a yard sale (or collaborating with a group for a yard sale); drinking water only when you eat out and cutting cable. Drinking water when eating out is a big one! For a family of 5, that could be a savings of $12-13 if not more.
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was a game-changer for me! I’ve applied many of his principles to my day-to-day life. Two articles of his that can help with your money savings plans are: how to save $1000 in one month and 9 ways to build your emergency fund fast. One suggestion that stuck out was BELIEVING THAT YOU CAN! We are often the biggest barrier to our success. If you are determined, put in the work and make the sacrifices you can save $1000 in 90 days and begin to make a difference in your personal finances.
Let’s Talk About It:
Do you have an emergency savings account?
How do you save money in your day-to-day life?