How to Save $1000 This Month
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The first step to becoming financially free is to save a baby emergency fund of $1000. Why? Well, because emergencies happen, and most of the time, they happen at the most inopportune times. It’s much better to pay cash for these emergencies rather than charge them and rack up your debt even higher.
Last summer the house across the street from us had sat empty for a while. The previous owner, a veteran, had passed away, and the grass had grown up pretty high. My husband, the great guy that he is, decided to do a good deed and mow its lawn. Long story short, he ran over a large rock in the front yard and sent it hurling towards our minivan across the street, busting out the back window. That good deed cost us $300. BUT we had our baby emergency fund of $1000, so we were prepared. Luckily no one got hurt!
Do you know how good it felt to pay cash for that emergency instead of charging it? It felt pretty darn good. Being prepared always helps me to feel less anxious, which is something I struggle with a lot.
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck like my husband and I have for so many years, I know that saving $1000 can seem like a huge task, especially saving that amount in one month’s time.
We tried so many times, and our efforts would last for months. But then we realized that we weren’t really trying very hard and made excuses, which dragged out the process longer than we should have.
We finally decided to buckle down and save that money as fast as we could, and you know what happened? We did it.
Here are a few ways you can save $1000 in one month.
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Make the Decision
Everything you do starts with a decision, and if you’re going to make this happen, the very first thing you have to do is decide to do it. Winning with money is almost all mental and very little behavior. If you don’t decide to change, you won’t. If you don’t decide that this month you’re going to save $1000, guess what. You won’t. Decisions have power. So make the decision that this month, you ARE going to save $1000. I suggest writing it down somewhere you’ll see it every day as a reminder.
Make a Budget
Y’all know I’m all about that budget. If you’re new here, Hi, I’m Kari, and I’m ALL about the budget. Budgeting to most people feels restrictive and almost like punishment, but that’s not how I see it. Having a workable budget is very freeing for me. It allows me to spend without guilt. It allows me to decide where my money is going at the beginning of the month instead of wonder where it went at the end.
Once you decide you’re going to save $1000 this month, it’s important so sit down with your partner if you have one and look at your income versus your expenses. This will help you determine how much extra you’ll already have to put towards your baby emergency fund at the end of the month.
This step might make you feel great about your current situation, or it might be a huge eye-opener. But the beauty of that is that there are workable ways to lower your spending in certain areas. Spend some time coming up with a workable budget, one that you KNOW you can stick to. Please don’t skip this step. Write everything down. First your income, then your bills and expenses. You can find a free printable monthly budget worksheet in my resource library to help you with this step. And if you need a little more help creating a budget, read this post about how to make a budget for beginners.
Have a No-Spend Month
Next, you’ll want to have a no-spend month. What’s that? It’s just a commitment to not buy anything extra. Basically just don’t buy anything that’s not in the budget. And if you have put some things in the budget that aren’t necessities, like your bi-weekly manicure or girls’ night out, I encourage you to take those out of the budget this month. You can add them back in later, but for this no-spend month to work, it’s better to skip them.
No-spend months can be a great tool to save up some cash quickly. Just be sure to put that money saved straight into your emergency fund. You can put it in an envelope or in a separate account, but whatever you do, do not keep it in your checking account.
Cancel Your Cable and Unused Subscriptions
I don’t know about you, but where I live, cable TV starts at $90 a month, which I think is just ridiculous. And that’s the cheapest package. When we canceled a few years ago, it was around $75 a month. We decided to let the cable TV go and signed up for Netflix and Hulu Plus. Right now we pay a total of $20.98 a month for TV. That’s a savings of $828 a year!
Look through your bank account and write down all your recurring monthly subscriptions. Really think about whether you like/need them, and cancel the ones you no longer want.
Sell Your Unwanted/Unused Items
Two summers ago, we had our first garage sale. I really didn’t think we had anything of value that someone else would want. After all, it was junk to me. That’s why we were getting rid of it.
But we made $300 in one day! It was hot and I ended up getting heat exhaustion, so we decided to donate the things that didn’t sell to the Salvation Army instead of doing it again the next day. They came to the house and picked it up for us, which was so nice to not have to worry about getting it to the donation place.
We also kept a few things back that we thought might sell in our local Facebook Marketplace. It was kind of a pain, but we made an extra $150 by doing that. I would definitely do it again.
Brown Bag It and Make Your Own Coffee
I know you’ve heard this before, but there is a reason everyone talks about it. We figured out that when my husband was buying his lunch every day ($7 per day), it ended up costing us $140 a month. And if he bought coffee every morning, that would be another $80 a month.
Just by bringing leftovers that you would already have and making your own coffee or drinking the coffee provided for free at work, that’s a savings of $220 a month! Double that if there are two of you working outside the home. You could potentially save $440 in one month just by doing that. That’s almost half of your goal!
Stick to a Shopping List
Have you ever noticed that if you walk into a grocery store without a plan, you end up overspending? The best thing to do is to make a list of what you need and only buy the items on that list. Simple, right?
Another way to make sure you stick to the grocery budget is to price check the items on your list before you head to the store. Also, don’t go shopping on an empty stomach.
Sign Up For ibotta
I started using ibotta in January. Now, you aren’t going to save a ton of money here. I’d say it’s the equivalent of non-extreme couponing, depending on what you purchase. It’s easy to use and pretty straightforward. Basically, you look at the list of things you can get cash back on, buy those things (if you need them), send in a picture or bar code on your receipt, and they’ll send you money. Easy. You can sign up here to start saving today.
Start a Side Gig
This one is my favorite, probably because we’ve had so much success with it. Though, I’d call my “gig” more of a main business. My husband, on the other hand, does have an actual side gig (handyman business) which brings in about $1000 a month right now.
I’ve found that everyone has a skill, and almost everyone can use that skill to make extra money. You can make money doing literally anything these days. Ever hear about the lady who has a six-figure business selling crickets? Crickets. She sells crickets, people.
If you need help figuring what you could do to make extra money or even start a business so that you can stay home with your babies, read this post I wrote about 28 lucrative business ideas for moms.
Time to Get Started!
If you’re serious about saving $1000 in the next four weeks, I’m going to challenge you to keep me posted on your progress. Implement the strategies above and any more that you come up with yourself, and come back here and let me know if you reached your goal in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
I’m Kari, founder of Mom For More. Do you often lie awake at night dreaming about what it would be like if your family was debt-free? What if you could make that dream come true with a business that allowed you to stay home and be fully present with your babies? Mom for More teaches moms that they can start a home business, become debt-free, and gain more overall peace in motherhood. It equips moms with the tools they need to succeed in their finances, home businesses, and daily lives. You don't have to put your life on hold when you become a mother. It's okay to dream. It's okay to believe that you were made for more. I’d love for you to subscribe and follow along with me!