How to save $1,000 in a month: What the experts say Cutting back on things like food delivery and subscriptions, can help you save $1,000 in a month. Getty Images
High interest rates are incentivizing many Americans to change their financial habits. If you want to avoid high-interest credit card debt, for example, you need to avoid spending more than you make. And if you want to take advantage of high interest rates to earn money, such as by putting cash into a high-yield savings account or certificate of deposit (CD), then you need to have savings in the first place.
Saving money in this inflationary environment can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you want to save $1,000 in a month, that can be within reach with a few straightforward steps. Financial experts recommend taking a few steps to get there.
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How to save $1,0000 in a month, according to experts
Want to save $1,000 over the next month? The experts we spoke to recommended taking these steps.
Analyze your finances
If you want to save $1,000 in a month, then you need to earn $1,000 more than what you spend. It sounds simple, but many people overlook this fact. You don’t have to create a strict budget if you don’t want to, but at least looking at what you make versus what you spend can help put you on the right track.
“Take a close look at your bank accounts and credit cards, and, if you can, sort by categories to see where the majority of your money is going aside from rent/mortgage, loans, and utilities,” says Misty Lynch, CFP, owner and CEO of Sound View Financial Advisors. “If you notice you are spending more on things like food, shopping, convenience or entertainment than you feel good about, those are usually the areas of the budget that people can scale back on without feeling too much pain.”
As you’re looking at your statements, see if there’s also anything you can return for some quick wins. Or, you can at least identify the types of purchases to avoid this month as you figure out how to save money.
“Maybe you didn’t need that sweater on clearance or the extra item you grabbed off the shelf when you were grocery shopping or at the pharmacy,” says Naoko McKelvey, CFP, senior financial advisor at Blue Chip Partners.
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Sweat the small stuff
While avocado toast probably isn’t keeping you from big goals like buying a home, these small types of purchases could be worth sweating if you have a short-term goal like saving $1,000 in one month.
See if you can at least temporarily cut smaller purchases “like movie rentals, manicures, massages, cigarettes, lotto tickets, or happy hour drinks. If you watch what you spend on the little things with a quick swipe of your debit or credit card, you’d be surprised how quickly you can get to $1,000,” says McKelvey.
Plan your meals
One way to cut down on smaller purchases that add up is to be proactive, especially when it comes to food costs.
“Consider planning your weekly or monthly meals and incorporate grocery shopping into your routine to eliminate the need to pick up a quick but expensive meal for your family,” says Annette Harris, an Accredited Financial Counselor and owner of Harris Financial Coaching.
In her work with clients, she says she’s noticed “most household expenses tend to go towards eating out. A family of four could spend between $50 to $75 a night on a weeknight meal. If you eat out at least twice a week, you could spend a minimum of $400 a month eating out alone.”
That doesn’t mean you can never treat yourself, but planning ahead can help. For example, Lynch points to the high markups of meal delivery. “If you plan to do takeout one night, consider ordering and picking it up yourself,” says Lynch.
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Another expert tip for saving money is to cut out some subscriptions, which can help in both the short and long term.
For example, cutting cable and replacing it with a streaming service “can result in significant monthly savings of $100 or more,” says Harris.
Even then, you might notice that costs start to creep up, as nowadays there are so many different streaming services with great content. However, you might be paying for some that you barely use. You could cancel those, even if only temporarily. Resubscribing later, such as when a new season of your favorite show comes back, could still result in some savings.
And it’s not just TV subscriptions. Your cell phone plan, for example, might have swollen over the years. Or maybe you have recurring expenses for things like gym memberships, music services and software that are ripe for trimming.
“Look at renegotiating a renewable contract to see if you can cut some additional costs to get to that extra amount of savings you are trying to accomplish. Get creative and maybe it will become a more sustainable pattern for the future,” says McKelvey.
Make impulse purchases harder
Cutting some subscriptions can give you more room in your monthly budget, but to stick to that budget and save money, you might need to keep yourself away from impulse buys that put you in the red.
“If overspending on impulse shopping is costing you a few hundred dollars a week, try to remove your credit card information from the stores or websites you visit most often,” says Lynch. “One click or swipe shopping can make it really easy to part with your money. Make it a little more difficult by having to go get your cards and type them in each time.”
Also, remind yourself that just because something is on sale, that doesn’t mean you need to buy it. If you didn’t plan to spend the money anyway, then you might be hurting your finances more than you realize.
“Unsubscribe from emails that remind you of sales and products you may want. The sales and discounts can be found when you decide ahead of time to go shopping on your schedule,” says Lynch.
Sell unneeded items
You can’t always save your way to $1,000 by cutting spending. Sometimes there’s simply nothing left to reasonably cut, at least in the short term. So, you could look to the other side of the equation and make money by selling some of your stuff.
For example, “if you have kids that have outgrown expensive toys you can try to sell them on Facebook Marketplace to turn them back into cash,” says Lynch.
You can even try to recoup some money you’ve spent on past indulgences.
“There are high-end online retailers where you can set the price for the items you want to sell, so if you had a phase where you bought expensive suits, dresses, handbags, jewelry or shoes and they are collecting dust, it is a great time to sell them,” adds Lynch.
Find extra work
In addition to selling some items, you can make more money by picking up some part-time work and then adding that income to your savings.
“This could be creating a job by doing things you are already good at for other people like tutoring, babysitting, virtual assistant work, yardwork, or organizing. You could also consider working part time somewhere like driving for deliveries or a local business,” says Lynch.
Sometimes it’s hard to find a lot of work right off the bat, but even if you get a few gigs in a month, that could result in a few extra hundred dollars to add to your savings account. You can find many different types of freelance marketplaces online, or you can look on social media for people in your area in need of help.
Play the long game
These expert tips for saving money can help you reach the goal of saving $1,000 in one month. Ideally, you can keep the momentum going and continue saving money at a sustainable rate over the long term. When you start thinking about long-term savings, a bonus tip is to see how much you can save by contributing to a retirement plan.
“Some employers may even match your contributions, providing you with free money towards your retirement,” says Harris. Plus, you may be able to reduce your taxes via retirement contributions, she adds. In other words, retirement savings might reduce your take-home pay, but after accounting for what you save on taxes and gain in net worth, you could save more money overall.
That type of mindset, combined with some of these short-term tips to save money, can go a long way toward improving your financial picture.
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