So you want to save $1000…

You’re here reading this because you want to save $1000. Let me just start with telling you that I’ve been there — I distinctly remember the day I went and cashed in a few bonds I had because I had nothing to my name and wanted a little something for a down payment on a car. It was there, sitting in a car dealership, that I had that “AHA” moment (it was actually more of a ‘AHH’ I’m panicking moment, but nonetheless) and I sat there mulling things over – “how am I going to pay for something when I really need it? What happens when something really goes wrong? Are my kidneys even good enough to be worth something on the black market?”

Once I settled down from that, I made a plan — here’s a few real steps that I took (and that you can also take) that led me to save my first $1000 without having a six figure income or my parents paying my way.

  1. Make a high yield savings account

This is the quickest, most simple way I have ever made my money work for me. It doesn’t matter if you have $25 or $25,000, everyone can and should have a high yield savings account.

Many online banks are offering competitive rates somewhere around 1.85% interest with no minimum balance required. That’s right, all you have to do is put your money in there, and it makes you 1.85% annually. Just for reference – as of today, many brick and mortar banks have interest rates somewhere around 0.03%. If you have $1000 dollars in your high yield savings, you’ll see a return of around $18.50 per year vs. $0.30 CENTS for the entire year at a typical brick and mortar bank.

The biggest downsides to this type of account – you can expect that it will take a few days to have your money transferred since this is an online only bank, so have some money readily accessible for the day to day in your checking account.

  1. Don’t touch your savings account

I know this may seem obvious, but we’re saying it anyway – only touch your savings when it’s either for an emergency or something you’ve been saving for. Easier said than done, but with learning to budget with what you have readily accessible, you won’t need to touch your savings account, which leads us to the next point…

  1. What you can’t see, you can’t spend

Set up automatic deduction with your employer. Just get it done – go right into work tomorrow and set it up. Not having the money in your hands and just setting up that $25 dollars a pay check to automatically go into your high yield savings account is going to change the way you save money. If you don’t see it you don’t miss it, if you don’t miss it you don’t spend it. I know for some that are living paycheck to paycheck this may seem impossible, but once you’ve adjusted to this deduction, you’ll be thanking yourself because you’ll have a nice little nest egg to show for it.

  1. Save your tax return

I cannot stress this enough – do not, I repeat, DO NOT, make plans for your tax return money ahead of when you get it. Plan to save it. Just pretend it doesn’t exist and put it in your savings account. I can’t believe how many people I see who don’t have anything set aside, but have a weekend worth of partying planned for their income tax return. This will be your quickest way to saving $1000.

  1. When you put in the extra time – save the extra money

If you’re putting the OT or you’ve got your side hustle making you some extra money – save it. Take the extra and put that right in your savings account; it’s a surefire way to make sure that extra cash is going to good use for your future.

  1. Cut the coffee

I know – we can’t function either without that chemically induced happiness, but forming that habit of making it at home and taking it on the go will save you loads of money. Lets take an example: let’s say you spend $2.00 on a coffee 3 days a week, $6 x 52 weeks = $312 per year. That combined with your tax return and guess what? You just saved $1000.

  1. Pay in cash

Something I recently added into my lifestyle that has made a huge change in the way I spend money is taking out a certain amount in cash and allotting that to anything extra I want to buy for the week. So lets say you take out $100 dollars per week in cash, use that cash to pay for all your “fun” spending for the week (i.e. coffee, lunch date, shopping at the mall, etc). You’ll be shocked how much more you pay attention to it when you aren’t just swiping that plastic.

  1. Cut down the credit card

Speaking of plastic – put down the credit card. It’s so easy for credit card spending to get out of control in a hurry. If you’re spending more on your credit card in a month than you can pay off, then you should try going a few months without the credit card so you can gauge how much you really have available to spend per month. It will also give you an opportunity to pay down some of the credit card debt without adding anything to it.

  1. Cut the cord

Get rid of cable. We love our TV shows but with streaming platforms so readily available in the forms of things such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Primevideo, etc. there’s really no need to keep spending those hefty cable bills. Heck, some of the streaming services are even offering cable packages for somewhere around $35 a month so you can really have the best of all worlds.

  1. Bag it – don’t buy it

Make your own lunch for work. At one point or another I was spending $10 a day on food from my job’s cafeteria. At $10 a day x 52 weeks in a year = $2600 a year spent on lunches. Now I make my own and it costs approximately $3.00 a day for lunch, saving me about $1820 a year. Well, that’s a quick way to save $1000. The same logic can apply to going out to eat for any meal of the day — when you’re trying to save money, make meals at home.

With any new goal you are trying to achieve, you have to start somewhere. You can take some or all of these pieces and work them into your life in some capacity, but at the end of the day the key to saving money is changing the way you are currently doing things. Plant the seed — it starts small but with time and dedication you’ll watch your money grow.

What are some things that you guys have done to successfully save your first $1000?

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

If you liked what you’ve read please be sure hit the “like” button and share! If you want to receive the latest articles please be sure to subscribe.

To Debt or Not to Debt

Let’s talk about something that almost everyone has in common:

Debt.

Be it credit cards, auto loans, student loans, personal loans, or a home mortgage there is a good chance you are on the hook for one of these.

Let’s face it, our world runs on debt.

The United States, for example, holds the title of most indebted country in the world with a national debt of around 22 trillion dollars. TRILLION, with a T. Can you even fathom a trillion? A thousand billion, a hundred thousand million. You get the picture.

That works out to almost 180,000 dollars per citizen…man, woman, and child. That is just what the government alone owes.

If we look at how much us common folk are on the hook for it’s just as scary. We owe almost 15.5 trillion dollars in home mortgages, 1 trillion dollars in credit card debt, 1.3 trillion dollars in auto loan debt, and over 1.5 trillion in student loans! More than credit cards and auto loans combined!

So, what do all these MASSIVE numbers boil down to?

Well there is a good chance the Joneses in your neighborhood with that shiny new F-150 in the driveway of that 4-bedroom McMansion are in debt up to their eye balls, living paycheck to paycheck while trying to pay off their student loans they took out 20 years ago.

Why is everyone striving for this life style? Why is everyone striving to absolutely bury themselves in debt just to maintain an image?

I’ll tell you why…

Debt is easy and delayed gratification is hard.

Just sign on the dotted line and only 24 easy monthly payments of $25 gets you the latest shiny iPhone.

Just sign on the dotted line and only 72 easy monthly payments of $700 can get you that new Silverado.

Easy.

“Save $700 per month for 6 years. Are you insane? That is going to take forever.”

You want that shiny new car NOW! Not in 6 years! You earned it. Right?

“Bah! Who has $1000 on hand? That’s just crazy! All my friends have the new iPhone. I deserve to treat myself”

Our inability to wait and save for the things we want or realize there are things we want we really cannot afford is our downfall.

The credit system is setup to get you into that debt cycle and keep you there. You get a grade that literally tells these companies how much you love debt. A good credit score is something you “need” to get the things you want. You get a score on how good you are with debt just to take out more debt. Do you see how crazy this sounds?

Have you ever really thought about the loan terms you take on for your phone? Car? Education? Or home? I mean like really think about it. Why is it a 2, 5, 15, 30-year loan? You spend more money and the lenders MAKE more money.

Why does your phone provider offer financing your new phone for 24 months? Is it because in 2 years most folks are getting the itch to get that shiny new thing?

Why do most auto loans fall within the 5-7-year mark? Is it really to make your monthly payments smaller? Or is because in 5-7 years most people are looking for a new ride.

You are literally on a payment plan that once you finish you are ready to trade it in, throw it out, and get right back on the debt hamster wheel. It’s like they figured out the human psychology to keep folks in the game of debt!

So now that you are starting to see how debt runs our world what can we do to break the cycle? How can YOU get off that hamster wheel?

So what are your thoughts? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send us an email via our Contact Page.

If you liked what you’ve read please be sure hit the “like” button and share! If you want to receive the latest articles please be sure to subscribe.