We all know we need to save money, but when it comes to how to save a $1,000 dollars, it gets a little more difficult. Getting the job done isn’t always as easy as we’d like. It always seems like something gets in the way or just when you start saving money an unexpected expense comes ups and washes it all away.
At least, this is how it was for me for years before I made a few simple adjustments.
How to Save $1,000 Dollars and Change Your Life
Whether you are making a lot of money or are just getting by, saving money may not come naturally to you. I know it didn’t for me. For years, my finances would swing from high to low. During the low times, I barely got by. During the high times, I spent to make up for when I didn’t have any money.
No matter what my financial outlook was, there was no extra left in my bank account at the end of the month. If that sounds like you, just know you’re not alone.
In fact, studies show that 26 percent of adults in the United States have no savings at all. That means they can’t even handle a $100 emergency.
Not to mention, they estimate that 38 million households in the United States live paycheck to paycheck.
What that means is that for those folks, if they lost their job today, they could be out on the street next month. Let me tell you, that’s a scary way to live.
Ironically, 66 percent of these folks make an average of $41,000 a year, so they aren’t living on minimum wage.
What it all comes down to for many is not having a savings mentality and not paying attention to what they are actually spending.
Again, I know this is true for me. When I had a dime, I’d spend a dime and let tomorrow be damned.
What I didn’t admit to anyone was how concerned I was about having an emergency such as my car breaking down or needing to go to the doctor.
I’m happy to say that has changed for me, and it wasn’t all that difficult. So, now, let’s get you started on saving that first $1,000.
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How to Save $1,000 Dollars and Still Be Able to Enjoy Your Life
When most people think about saving money, they feel a sense of dread as if they are going to be punished, as if they will never be able to have a moment of fun in their lives again or never be able to buy something when they want it.
With that mindset, it’s no wonder that people don’t save money.
Step 1 – on How to Save $1,000 Dollars – Change Your Mindset
Take a moment to think about the benefits of saving money instead of the negatives.
- You sleep better at night when you have money in the bank.
- You won’t have to deal with an uncomfortable conversation trying to borrow money.
- You can take care of an emergency instead of having to use credit cards.
- You feel a sense of accomplishment when you save.
- In general, you just feel better about yourself.
When you change your mindset, all of a sudden saving money is a challenge, a game, instead of drudgery. You’ll find that once you start saving, it can become an addiction. You’ll want to save more and more, and this is one-time addiction is a good thing.
Case study: Cindy E. aged 32 is single. She has always lived paycheck to paycheck. Her parents did as well, so she never really thought much about it. She always paid her bills, so she was never too concerned, but then she was lost her job. The family-owned business she worked for went out of business, and Cindy found herself flat broke.
It took her three months to find a new job, but the pay was a little less, about $100 less take home each month. This put her in a real bind.
During the three months off, she used her credit cards to pay most of her bills and even borrowed $,2000 from a friend. Now she had to find a way to pay back her friend and lower her credit card balances.
She finally realized how living paycheck to paycheck is really living on the edge, and she vowed never to find herself in the same situation again.
Here’s what Cindy has to say:
“It was terrible. Sure, it’s true that I never had extra money, but I always paid my bills and did pretty much what I wanted to do without thinking about what I was spending, but now I was in a big hole. It was really scary and I have to admit embarrassing to ask a friend for money.
I decided that I needed to change how I saw money and how I spent it. With a few simple changes each month, I was able to pay my friend back and then start on my credit cards. It took me about a year to get them paid off, but now I put a $100 to $150 in savings each month, and let me tell you, it is a great feeling.”
For Cindy, she now sees saving in a new light than she did in the past. She feels good about herself and feels as if she can meet all her life goals, and it all started with changing her mindset about saving.
Step 2 – on How to Save $1,000 Dollars – Be Honest with Yourself About Your Finances
It’s easy to pretend that you don’t have a debt problem or a savings issue, but if you want to start saving money, you need to be honest with yourself and face your financial situation head-on.
No matter how scary it may be, face your fears, and get a picture of your true financial situation.
This shouldn’t be too difficult. Just take a couple of hours one evening or on the weekend and make a list of all your bills and outstanding debt.
Then do the same for all monies that you receive.
Once you have your two lists, it’s time to see where you can start saving money. There are two main areas.
1. Large expenses – Housing, transportation, food
2. Smaller expenses – Discretionary spending, utilities, wants instead of needs
After you have made a list of your bills, take a look at your bank statement for the past month or two, and start listing what you’re spending money on besides those bills.
Do you make daily trips to Starbucks? Have you hit the mall? Do you buy a candy bar once a week as a treat?
All of these little expenses add up faster than you realize. Chances are you are spending a lot more on these little things than you realize.
For many people, just cutting back a little here can help you save $1,000.
All it takes is saving $20 a week to save $1,000 in a year’s time.
Before you dive into the larger expenses, look to the little ones to see if you can save that $20 a week or more. Heck, that’s only lunch out and a cup of coffee in today’s world.
When you start saving, make it simple, and keep it small. Don’t try to save on everything all at once.
You may become overwhelmed or frustrated and give up before you even really get started. This needs to work for you.
Once you have a handle on your small spending, there are many ways to cut down on the big three. Here are a few examples:
- Make a list and only go to the grocery store once a week – no exceptions
- Stay away from convenience foods and fast foods as well as convenience stores
- Consider public transportation at least once a week or ride your bike
- Trade-in an older car for one that is more fuel-efficient
- Consider downsizing to a smaller home/apartment you’ll save on rent and utilities
- Rent out an extra room in your home
Step 3 – How to Save $1,000 Dollars – Automate Your Savings
Once you have figured out what you’re going to cut down on to save money, now you need to get that money into a savings account.
The easiest way to do this is to automate your savings.
You have a couple of options here. First, you can just have an automatic transfer set up on your checking account to send a set dollar amount to your savings account on set days of the month.
This would most likely be a day or two after your paycheck is deposited into your account.
If your company has a 401K you can have the amount you want to save automatically deducted from your paycheck before you even receive your pay.
It is true, out of sight out of mind. You won’t even miss it.
There are some online savings accounts available that use automatic deposits, so you don’t have to think about saving or decide whether you want to.
It is already done.
In the end, once you have your mindset in the right place, you face up to where your money is really going and automate your savings, you’ll find that saving isn’t really all that hard.