Ten Ways To Save $10,000 Fast

Over half of Americans don’t have the cash to cover a $1,000 emergency expense, which is one of the main reasons why finances are the number one stress in their lives. But what if you could go from having less than $1,000 in savings to having over $10,000 saved in just one year? And I know that might sound impossible, but I’ve done it, as have millions of others who followed a similar plan to the one we’re going to talk about in this blog post with 10 ways to save $10,000 as soon as possible. 

So let’s get right into it now because $10,000 is such a large number if we want to save that amount in around one year. We’ve got to put it into perspective. So divide it by 12 months; that works out to be about $834 per month, or $28 per day, rounded up to keep it simple. Now that means when we’re talking about saving money in this blog to hit that savings goal, we shouldn’t be focused on a lump sum of 10,001 years because that’s too much over too long of a time frame. But instead, we want to focus more on how we can save through the actions we take every single day and every single month because it’s those things that’ll translate directly into increasing our savings in the long run.

So our goal is going to be to find an extra $834 per month but doing that from savings alone is actually pretty tough since you can only cut back on your expenses up to a certain amount. So what I want to do is split that up into two buckets. The first half of that or $417 per month in bucket number one is going to be from extra savings that we can create from spending less.

And I’ll go over five very effective ways to do that, and the other half of the $4,17 per month in bucket number two will come from extra income because income has no limits. So again, I’ve got another five ways to earn more that anyone can do, no matter what their situation is. 

Saving Money 

1. Attack The Big Three Expenses

So first let’s look at our savings bucket, and the primary way to reduce our expenses and save money is to attack the big three expenses, which are housing, transportation, and food. Now those three areas of spending tend to be the highest for the majority of people out there. And I know those things combined can make up almost two-thirds of my monthly budget.

So what I want you to do is write down a list of every possible expense that you currently have every month for things like rent or your mortgage, any car payments, groceries, or dining out, and then go through your credit card and bank statements from last month in the previous two months.

This way, you can calculate how much you spend in these categories each month. The idea is that you can focus the majority of your time and energy on reducing expenses that potentially makeup two-thirds or more of your budget. Then that’s going to be the quickest way to save money and have the biggest impact on your personal bottom line.

Then, after you’ve listed out everything, get creative with it and really ask yourself if there are cheaper alternatives. So can you live in a cheaper apartment if you’re renting? Can you sell your car and buy something cheaper to drive that’s still reliable, or if you’re living in a city, do you really even need a car in the first place once you’ve addressed housing and transportation because those things are pretty straightforward? 

2. Strategic Food Spending

Then it’s time to take a look at your food budget, and this leads me to the second big way to save money to reach our $10,000 savings goal, so we’re going to do what I call strategic food spending. Now with this, if you’re looking to save money as fast as possible, then I’d say to immediately cut out things like food delivery and dining out at restaurants in the short term, or at least try to limit yourself to paying for those things. Maybe once a month, if you do want to go out to eat, try to avoid spending money on drinks.

Because typically those are the menu items that have the highest markups, and if you’re someone that likes to go ahead and grab drinks with friends, Then pay very close attention to that too, because those drinks add up really quickly if you’re going out on a regular basis. Now for grocery spending. This is where we really want to try to hack our brains a little bit to save some money. 

And the first way I like to do this is by never going grocery shopping on an empty stomach. I mean, if you think about it, when you’re hungry and you’re surrounded by food at the grocery store, you’re just going to be tempted to buy things you don’t really need, or you’ll buy more food than you plan for. However, before you go grocery shopping, make a list of what you need. Just by having a plan before you walk into the grocery store, you’re more likely to stick to it and not browse the shelves as you think about what you might not need to buy.

And also, going to the same grocery store consistently is really helpful with this because you’ll learn exactly where everything is, so you’ll spend less time browsing the shelves and be less tempted to buy the stuff you don’t need. Finally, when it comes to grocery shopping and saving money on food, try to buy store-brand items over name-brand items on the majority of your shopping list if possible.

Because a lot of the time it’s practically the same stuff, there are some foods that we’re all always buying name brands for, but you can pick and choose for yourself depending on what you like and how much money you’re trying to save. Also, instead of going to premium stores like Whole Foods, you might be better off going to cheaper ones like Trader Joe’s or Aldi.

So overall, there are lots of ways to save on those three big expenses of housing, transportation, and food, and those have to be the first places you look to cut back and save. Because if we take a look at bucket number one, we’ll be saving an extra $417 per month. Let’s say you can decrease rent by $150 per month, and let’s also say you can save another $100 per month by cutting back on dining or not getting food delivery, plus maybe on average you can cut back on groceries by $40 per month, which I think is very realistic.

Then we’re already 70% of the way to our monthly savings goal of $417, and I know these are simplistic examples, but I just want to demonstrate that it’s possible. So keep an open mind about saving money because even if you can’t cut back and save $417 per month, wouldn’t you rather save half of that, or at least some of it, than nothing at all?

3. Passive Savings On Minor Expenses

But that leads me to the third way to save money, which I call passive savings on minor expenses, and I really like this one for the compounding effect it has on saving money. So let me explain what it is. Now most of us have heard the term “passive income,” where you do some work upfront on a business or buy some assets like stocks or real estate.

And then those things pay you every single month in the form of dividends or positive cash flow. I don’t ever hear people talking about the opposite of that for what I call passive savings. So that’s basically where you take a one-time action to eliminate an expense or greatly reduce it to save money each month on a recurring basis.

So an example of that could be your cell phone bill, where you might look at it and realize that you’re paying $100 per month for something that another carrier could offer you for 50 bucks or less. And if you made a switch today, you’re not just saving $50 one time, but you’re saving 50 bucks every single month by not doing anything else, and that really helps to free up your budget. You could do the same thing with a number of other monthly expenses, like finding a cheaper gym membership, canceling cable, or canceling other streaming services you might not use anymore.

You might also want to do something called the “a la carte” method, which is just where you list out all your monthly subscriptions and then cancel every single one of them except maybe the internet, and then you just buy things a la carte one by one. I know that might sound a little unconventional and not very practical. But maybe instead of streaming songs on Spotify, you just buy your favorite songs one by one so you own them forever, or you buy TV episode downloads one by one, or you buy day passes to the gym.

But basically, this just makes you more conscious of your spending and less reliant on subscriptions, which can be overvalued and underused anyway, and the lack of convenience with no subscriptions is just kind of the price you pay for saving money and learning more about what you’re paying for. So let’s say that with subscriptions in our first bucket, we’re able to find ways to reduce our total monthly expenses by 50 bucks per month, which continues to bring us closer and closer to the monthly savings goal.

4. 30-Day Rule

Next is my fourth way to save money, which sounds really simple but is called the 30-day rule. Now, the 30-day rule basically just says that for any larger purchases or purchases that aren’t part of your normal everyday spending, what you want to do is not buy it on the day you want it, but instead, wait 30 days before making that purchase. And you can even adjust this rule for yourself and make it less time, like maybe seven days or 15 days, but the point is that you want to become less impulsive and more conscious of your spending, which really is a big takeaway for this blog post.

So, whenever I want to buy something over $100, I write it down on my phone as a reminder rather than having it remind me in 30 days. And then after 30 days, once I’ve had some time to really think, read reviews, and weigh the benefits, I think that item will give me what I want. If I still feel like I want to buy it, then at that time I’ll buy it because I’ve put more thought into my decision.

It can be more confident. I’m getting the value that I expect now. I know that might sound silly, but I’ve noticed a massive difference in my spending habits now compared to when I was in high school. So I’m obviously making a lot more money now. But I spent so much less on random junk because I was able to create a new habit of being thoughtful and not spontaneous. When it comes to my spending, I’m not just going shopping and buying things for a quick dopamine hit.

5. Ignore Sales And Rethink Shopping Portals

Next, for the fifth way, I have to save money before we talk about the fun stuff of increasing our income, and that’s going to be to ignore sales and rethink shopping portals. So when we see store sales like 25% off or buy one, get one free, we tend to take advantage of them. We believe we are getting a good deal because the store can anchor us to the price of those items prior to the sale. We also usually feel a sense of urgency because sales typically have some sort of time limit or inventory limit attached to them. Maybe the sale is only active for the week leading up to Labor Day, or maybe we see that we can only get this deal while supplies last.

But those are all just really effective sales tricks that are literally proven to get people to part with their money because of the urgency they create, and when you pair them with how easy companies make it to pay for things by reducing friction for payment, they become even more effective. So think of how easy it is to tap to pay with Apple Pay or how you can literally swipe to buy something on the Amazon app.

All those things combined can make people spend way more money than they otherwise would if they just lived in a cave somewhere without an internet connection. to blast their email inbox with sales and promotions. So what I do is ignore sales. I never go shopping online or in person at a store just because they have some limited-time sale going on; instead, when I realize I need to buy something, I think about using the seven-day or 30-day rule. I’ll just search around the web and find the best price to buy it, and if there’s a sale going on or an upcoming sale, then that’s great. I’ll take advantage of that and save money as a bonus.

I also suggested reconsidering shopping portals such as Rakuten, which I believe have great potential. But you need to be using those shopping portals or cashback sites the right way, so I never start by shopping on Rakuten first because there are always so many deals going on that I might see. So maybe Nike will give me more cashback so I can buy some new sneakers.

But I wasn’t originally planning on buying new sneakers in the first place until I saw that cashback offer, so what I did was I downloaded the browser extension for Rakuten, and now whenever I need to buy something, I just go through it. I just go to the store’s website first and activate Rakuten second. That way, I’m not influenced by seeing what looks like a good deal.

So if we go back to our savings bucket number one let’s pretend that on average the amount of money that we save from spending on sales and shopping. In general, following these tips costs around $77 per month, which brings us to our monthly savings goal of $417 in this bucket, but that’s only halfway to our annualized $10,000 savings goal.

Increasing Income

6. Increase Your Main Salary

So like I said, to get the other 417, we need to increase our income so we’re not just cutting back too much on our spending, and the first way to increase your income is simply to increase your main salary. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but the two most common ways for people to increase their salary at their job are to ask for a raise or to change companies to a similar job that’ll pay more. 

And in fact, changing jobs is often the best way to grow your salary the fastest. because you could outpace inflation by nearly 10 percent, but staying at your current job could leave you worse off in many cases as your raises might trail behind inflation. 

So your purchasing power is actually decreasing now. There are a lot of things that you have to consider, like job location, commuter issues, and work-life balance, just to name a few. But in many situations, changing jobs or at least exploring your options could be the way to go, which is exactly what I did at the end of last year to increase my income. 

7. Work Overtime Hours

Now if you can’t change jobs or get a raise, Then the next best thing and a second way to increase your income could be to work overtime hours, which might offer higher hourly wages, or you can pick up a second job if you have the time for it. 

Obviously, you have to consider a lot of factors, but if your main goal in the short term is to save up something like $10,000 and build up an emergency fund, then if you can sacrifice some time now to earn more, that would be ideal. It’ll greatly reduce your stress in the long run when you have those cash savings, whether over time or with a second job.

8. Start a Side Hustle

Working for someone else isn’t the best option for you. Now is a great time to work for yourself and start a side hustle, which is the third way that you can boost your earnings. But you could really monetize so many things in so many ways today. You could do the typical side hustles like driving for Uber or making door dash deliveries on nights and weekends, which are going to trade your time for money. But it isn’t really scalable, or you can make money from things that you’re passionate about.

So maybe you can be a personal trainer on the side, or you can start a blog or a YouTube channel. When you provide value and information to others, you don’t have to aim to make a lot because, remember, bucket number two is increasing our income. We just need around $417 per month, and really, there are countless ways to do this. 

9. Sell Old Stuff

But if you want to make even more progress towards getting $10,000 in savings in one year, then you could do the oldest side hustle of all time for the fourth way to increase your income, and that’s just to sell old stuff. All you have to do is go through your closets, basement, or even other people’s old stuff, whether from family members or garage sales, and you can sell almost anything on sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. Again, there are infinite possibilities here. 

So all you really need to do is hustle and get creative. But there’s no reason you can’t make a few hundred dollars extra per month just flipping stuff and selling old things you don’t even use anymore. but on top of any salary increases, side hustles, or other income-generating activities.

10. Take Advantage Of Bank Account Bonuses

The fifth way to increase your monthly earnings to meet your savings goal is to take advantage of bank account bonuses. For example, I used to sign up for three to four new bank accounts every year and get around $200 or more per new account, and all I had to do was set up my paycheck with direct deposit and keep a minimum there for 60 days or so, but after that, it was like free money.

So if you could get a new bank account bonus every three months for four new accounts per year at $200 per account on average, that’s basically like 67 bucks per month to help us fill out bucket number two’s second goal of 417 additional monthly earnings. 

So, say you get a $2,000 raise at work or by changing jobs, which is $167 per month, plus an extra $100 per month from overtime or a second job, plus another $83 per month from side hustles or selling things, and $67 per month on average from new bank account bonuses.

All of that put together brings us to our second $417 of extra income per month when we break it down in this oversimplified example, so with both our 417 from saving money in those five ways and our 417 from increasing income in those five ways, when we put that all together, we get an extra $834 per month or $10,000 saved in one year, which is our ultimate goal here with this blog post.

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