Currently, in America, 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. This number is astounding and really not ok. One of the biggest things to remember in life if that unexpected things always come up and the last thing you want is to be totally blindsided by an emergency. When emergencies arise many people rely on credit cards to get them through. In the long run, people end up paying more money in interest and make it more difficult for themselves to get ahead. If you are finally ready to break the cycle and get an emergency fund saved, follow the next ___ steps to save $1,000 fast.
*This post contains affiliate links through which I may make a commission. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Dissecting your budget
The first place to start finding money is by looking at your spending for the last few months. Going through your budget will more often than not prove to lead to a lot of places where you are spending unnecessary money that could be used to save $1,000 fast.
To help you get organized, you can use the printouts available in The Budget Bundle. There are worksheets available for dissecting your budget, organizing your savings, and sticking to a budget.
The first step to finding money in your spending is to go through your bank statements. Take the time to review your spending in all areas. Don’t let any spending go un-noticed! If you are a credit card user, make sure you take out those statements as well.
Here are some areas to pay extra close attention to:
- Purchases under $20
- Things like coffee and drive-thrus.
- “Fun” Purchases
- Any fun expenses like a night out, drinks, new clothes etc.
- Grocery costs
- Add up the total spent on grocery store purchases.
- Unnecessary bills
- This are items like cable TV, streaming memberships etc.
Once you have gone through and written down all your purchases in these areas, it’s time to add them all up for the grand total.
Purchases Under $20
Pay attention to what items you are buying for under $20. If there are frequent trips to certain fast-food chains or gourmet coffee shops, a good idea would be to set a budget for the month, purchase that amount in gift cards and use the rest to build your emergency fund.
Purchases like clothes, hobbies, home decor, sporting goods. It’s up to you to decide what qualifies as a “fun” purchase. Be mindful of your spending in this area, decide if you can create a budget amount for your fun spending and then put the rest toward building your emergency fund.
A great rule when it comes to grocery expenses is to budget $125 per family member. So if you have a family of 5, this would give you $600 to put toward groceries each month. Need more help? See how our family of 5 spends $100 per week on groceries. If you can work to lower your grocery spending every month, you can begin to save more money almost instantly.
Grocery shopping and meal prep really not your thing? Check out $5 Meal Plan! Get affordable, customized meal plans and grocery lists made by a busy mama of 4! The $5 Meal Plan can take all of the guesswork out of grocery shopping while still helping you save money!
This is one major area most people start digging their heels in. People often argue that they need their cable TV, or streaming service. In reality, you need an emergency fund. My best recommendation is to go through your monthly bills and decide if there are ones you can cancel, sub or condense.
- Cancel – Can we cancel this and save money?
- Sub – Could we swap this for a different, more affordable, service? (From cable to Netflix).
- Condense – If you have multiple services that are similar, think about condensing down to one. (Netflix, Hulu, Disney +, Amazon….just Amazon instead).
Reduce your monthly bills
Reducing your monthly spending is one of the best ways to not only build an emergency fund but to free up additional money every single month. Reviewing your purchases is the first step, the second step is to reduce your monthly bills.
Find where you’re overpaying
A super simple way to find out if you are paying more than you should for certain bills is by downloading the Trim app. Trim reviews your spending to find recurring monthly payments. Then, they will check out other available options. For example, after downloading Trim, I was instantly informed that I could reduce my internet bill by $20 per month! Have Trim save you money.
Cut your phone bill in half
The average cell phone bill is currently hovering around $80 per month for one person. What if you could reduce that amount by $60? There is a new phone company called Ting that works with a wide variety of phones and the average cost for one person is only $25 per month! Create a customized phone plan with Ting.
Seriously. Cable. It’s expensive and soon to be a thing of the past. Have you ever considered switching to a digital antenna? Doing this could literally save you $1,000 a year! The best part is, there are certain companies like Mohu, that allow you to get the entire house set up with digital antennas, so you get TV in every room!
Save like it’s a bill payment
Another great way to start saving more money is to schedule savings just like you would schedule a bill. When you make your savings automatic, you don’t have to spend much brainpower thinking about it, because it’s automatically happening.
The Savings Builder account with CITBank has a great automatic transfer program! When you set up an automatic savings of only $100 per month, you can take advantage of their higher interest rate — that means they’ll actually pay you to save money! Open a Savings Builder online!
Side hustle some cash
It is easier than ever in this day and age to make extra cash whenever you need it. If you are determined to save $1,000 fast and/or pay off your debt, then sometimes a side hustle is the best way to get you there faster.
One amazing thing is that there are so many side hustles these days and you can do from home on your own schedule! That means if there is a day you can’t work, you just don’t. If you need to work around a full-time job’s schedule, you can!
Flexible side hustles:
- Start a blog – Blogging was a side hustle I started to help us pay off debt and it almost single-handedly did exactly that! Learn how to make money online.
- Airbnb – Did you know you can host your entire home on Airbnb or just a single room! Check the Airbnb calculator to see how much you could be making in your area.
- Sell on Amazon – Are you great at bargain shopping or using coupons? Then you will probably love this job. You can buy items at a discount and then sell them for more on Amazon. Learn more about how to create a successful AmazonFBA business.
- Uber – Honestly, Uber is probably one of the best ways to make extra money on your terms. You can get paid up to 5 times per day and are completely in charge of when you work and how often.
- Dog sit or dog walk – You can get paid to be a dog walker or a dog sitter and the best part, people come to you! No need to put up flyers or market yourself. With Rover, all you have to do is set up a profile and let local people in your area find you.
The benefits of an emergency fund
Before we dive into how to save $1,000 fast, how about a quick reminder as to how beneficial it is to have.
Here are some common emergencies that cost an average of $1,000:
- Fixing a car’s catalytic converter (one of the top 10 most common car repairs)
- Replacing a washing machine
- The dryer broke down
- Emergency Room visit
These reasons and so many more are why it is crucial for you to build an emergency fund and build it fast.
Depending on your current budgeting habits and earnings, how to save $1,000 fast will look a little different for everyone. However, if you follow the following steps you are guaranteed to find the extra money you need to start building a secure savings account.