3Rivers Blog

7 Ways to Save $1,000 By the End of the Year (Starting in September)

Posted on Monday, August 29, 2016

It's hard to believe, but we're nearing September already! That means the holidays are just around the corner, and a brand new year, too. Want to kick 2017 off on the right foot financially? With a little planning and action over the next few months, you can start the new year (or your holiday spending) with some extra cash in your savings!

Image source: Shutterstock.com / Photographer: Cheryl Savan

Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you save $1,000 by the end of the year, if you start September 1.

Remind yourself that small savings will add up.

Instead of looking at your financial goal (whether it's $1,000 or even more) as one big number, break it down into smaller, weekly or monthly goals. Starting in September, you'd need to make and/or save roughly $60 a week or $250 per month. That smaller number seems a little less intimidating and a whole lot more doable, right? Start off feeling confident about your endeavor and you'll be a lot more likely to stick to your plan and reach your ultimate goal.

Consider taking part in a money challenge that requires you to set aside a certain amount each week or month and watch your savings grow slowly, but steadily!

Review your budget.

It's a great idea to review your budget monthly, anyway, to ensure you're still sticking to it and it's still working for your current lifestyle and financial situation. If you want to really amp up your savings, take an even deeper look into it to see where you might be able to turn off some spending. Could you cut down on your entertainment, eating out, or retail therapy budgets? Maybe slash a few dollars off of each grocery trip?

If you want to take it a step further, could you cut out cable or monthly subscriptions? Maybe it's finally time to look into going with a different mobile phone provider or internet company, and save an extra several dollars each month by doing so.

Try to find an additional $50-100 in your overall monthly budget that you could be automatically transferring into your savings account rather than spending and with that one step, you'll be well on your way to having a few hundred extra dollars to your name at the end of the year!

Downsize and sell.

Who says your yearly deep clean is limited to the spring? Prepare for winter by cleaning up and clearing out your home. Doing this won't only help you clear out your space, you can make some extra cash while you're at it, too.

Consider hosting a yard sale while the weather is still nice, or sell your items at secondhand shops like Plato's Closet, Mega Replay, or Half Price Books. Additionally, consider listing items on sites like eBay, Craigslist, or local Facebook "for sale" groups (practice extreme caution if you utilize sites where you may need to meet the buyer in person!)

Supplement your income.

Have a hobby or talent that you're really passionate about and a little extra time to spare? Then you might consider a side hustle to bring in some extra money. Promote your services as a freelance photographer, baker, dog walker, tutor, graphic designer, babysitter, interior designer, and so on to rake in extra cash over the weekends and put it straight into your savings.

In addition, if you have the time to spare and feel comfortable doing so, plasma donors can bring in upwards of $200 extra per month for just a few hours a week. College campuses, news stations, and other companies often offer a small payout for completing surveys, mystery shops, and more.

Raise Insurance Deductibles

If you feel confident in the amount you have saved up in your emergency fund for any unexpected occurrences, raise the deductible on your car and homeowner policies. This could save you anywhere from 10-15%.

Try a spending freeze.

If you're really up for a challenge, give a spending freeze a go. Essentially, determine a period of time (a week, three weeks, a full month) in which you vow not to spend a single dime outside of your essential, recurring payments (rent, utilities, and so on.) Or, try challenging yourself to live on $50 a week (again, outside of mandatory expenses.) Then, once the freeze is up, take any money you normally would have spent in that time and transfer it into your savings.

Visit your local credit union.

While you may already be a member and take advantage of great products and services, your credit union may be able to improve your financial health even further. Make an appointment with a financial advisor who can help you review your budget and offer suggestions when it comes to getting the most from your money - whether it's consolidating your debts for smaller monthly payments at better rates, or ensuring you're using the savings account that offers you the highest dividends, even minor changes to the relationship you have with your credit union can make a huge difference - both right away and in the long run.

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Want more ideas? For additional tips that could help you save $1,000 or more by the end of the year, check out this post!