How would you like to have $10,000 in your bank account in 12 months? What would you do with the extra money? How much better would you sleep at night?
It may seem like a pipe dream, but I promise it isn’t. It’s not only possible – it’s fairly easy with these 10 tips, as each can save you $1,000 or more in 12 months time.
# 1 – Try the 52-Week Money-Saving Challenge
This challenge is simple to understand. In the first week, you save $1. With each subsequent week, you save an extra dollar per week. So for the second week of the year, you save $2. By the last week of the year, you have to save $52. You can put it in your savings account or a jar – all that matters is that you do it.
In the early weeks, this challenge is simple. By the time you reach the second half of the year, you might have to get creative. Maybe you cut out restaurant meals, put in a couple of hours of overtime, or sell a few things you no longer use.
By the end of the year, you’ll have saved $1,378 just with this challenge!
# 2 – Home and Auto Insurance
You might have heard that if you spend 15 minutes shopping out your insurance, you can save 15 percent. That’s mostly true – although in my experience it seems to take closer to an hour by the time paperwork is completed. But even still, that’s a great return for an hour of your time!
As an example, I recently went through a round of switching insurance companies.
For my home insurance, Esurance came back $1,000 cheaper than my current price with similar coverage. Esurance offers both auto and home insurance, check out how much you can save here.
For my auto, I switched to MetroMile, which charges you per mile. As my family drives about 5,000 total per year, this was the far lowest price.
# 3 – Refinance Your High-Interest Debt
High interest debt is enemy # #1 for getting ahead financially. That’s why it pays to get rid of it as fast as possible.
To accelerate your debt payments, you should look to refinance. If you find a lower rate, you can then use the money saved to pay down your debt faster.
If you’re paying high annual percentage rates on your credit cards, see what rates you qualify for with Credible. Currently, Credible offers refinance rates on credit card debt as low as 4.99 percent. So, if you have say $10K in debt at an average of 15%, lowering your rate will save you $1,000 in a year.
But don’t stop there. Student loans can also be refinanced (with a company like Credible).
If you’re a homeowner, so too can your mortgage. This can potentially save you thousands. See current rates with LendingTree.
# 4 – Cut Your Cable
This can save you big money over the course of the year. And the best part is you have so many options for free or low-cost entertainment, you won’t even miss it.
As a side benefit, you’ll no longer notice yourself mindlessly flipping on the television and getting sucked into some ridiculous show you regret watching later.
If you still want viewing options, many networks offer free streaming of their shows online. You can get DVDs from most local libraries now or you could go with an HD antenna. If you don’t mind paying a few dollars each month for television and movies, you can opt for Netflix or Hulu.
While you’re cutting your cable, you can negotiate your internet bill too. If you have a hard time wheeling and dealing, let an app like Trim do it for you. Trim can save you money on recurring subscriptions, and it can even cancel them for you. That’s one less break-up call you’ll have to make!
# 6 – Switch Cell Phone Plans
You can ditch your existing cell phone plan and go with a lower-cost carrier.
If you’re living and traveling in the U.S., check out Republic Wireless. This is the company I just switched my plan too.
For international travelers, it’s hard to beat Google’s Project Fi.
# 7 – Delete and Negotiate Subscriptions
You can look at all your memberships and subscriptions, including your gym, magazines, radio, and clothing subscriptions. If you can cut back $83.33 in monthly subscriptions, in a year’s time, you’ll have $1,000.
# 8 – Recognize Sunk Costs
Sometimes the best way to save money is to cut your losses. Don’t feel like you have to stick with something that’s costing you money just because you’ve already committed to it.
If you bought a car that’s too expensive for you, get out from under it. You might have to pay the difference between what you can sell it for and what you owe, but it’s much better than keeping a car you can’t afford.
If you bought whole life insurance and are realizing term insurance is a better deal for you, cancel that policy.
Famed business consultant and author Brian Tracy has a genius question I try to continually ask myself.
“Is there anything in my life that, knowing what I now know, I would not start up again today, if I had to do it over?”
Asking this question consistently, will allow you to make the better long-term decisions.
# 9 – Automate Your 401k Withdrawals
If you’re not the best at saving money and staying out of it, you might want to consider hiding it from yourself. After all, out of sight, out of mind, right?
If you designated $83.33 each month (or $83.33 more to what you’re doing now) to your 401k, by the end of the year, you’ll save an additional $1,000.
And if you’re not taking advantage of your 401(k) match, you might not even have to save that much.
# 9 – Smarter Grocery Shopping
We spend a lot of money on groceries – it’s one of our biggest expenses, right up there with housing and transportation. That means any money we can save by shopping smart is bound to be substantial. Here’s the 80/20 when it comes to saving money on groceries.
While tips certainly help, I find it much easier to break it down by day. Saving $1,000 in a year as simple as saving $2.74 a day. Look back over the past few days and look for ways you could have saved $2.74 each day.
10. Improve Your Credit Score
Being responsible with your money can save you a lot of dough. You’ll get better interest rates on your mortgage and your car loan. You can also save money on insurance and cell phones just by having a better credit score.
Keep track of your credit score for free by signing up for Credit Sesame. It just takes a minute to sign up, and you’ll get frequent emails on how your credit score is changing. And you’ll receive handy advice on the steps you should take to improve your credit score.