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Being able to save $10,000 or more in a year sounds like a great but lofty goal, doesn’t it?
No, it doesn’t involve having to sell your possessions and couch-surf at friends’ houses. It’s possible to save $10,000 just by making adjustments in your everyday life, then all these modifications will add up to big savings.
The best part about the things I’m about to list in this article is that they only need a little effort on your part to accomplish.
Just remember that these adjustments may seem insignificant on their own, but combining them all together adds up.
Let’s start working towards $10,000 saved in a year now:
Note: Savings Potential amounts stated are for the year.
1. Money-Making Websites and Apps
The first thing you can do towards saving money is to set up several passive income apps to start working for you.
Many have signup bonuses to claim that are $5 or $10, then you can earn more money by simply sharing a link or email to your friends. Other than that, these apps work on their own.
Here are several of my favorites:
- ShopTracker – $3 to join, $36 a year
- Neilson Computer & Mobile Panel – $150 a year (more if loaded on more devices)
- SavvyConnect – $180 a year (more if loaded on more devices)
- Digital Reflection Panel – $50 sign up bonus (in first month) $120 a year
- Cross Media Panel – $2 sign up bonus per device, $144 a year
Frugal for Less lists many more passive income apps and websites to participate in.
Savings Potential: Over $1,500
2. Survey Sites
We all have moments in our lives where we have some spare time but are unable to do anything productive – stuck in traffic, waiting rooms, television commercials and the like.
Use this spare time to make some money by answering surveys. Some of the ones I use are:
- Survey Junkie – $5 to $18 an hour
- Vindale Research – $2 signup bonus, $10 – $12 an hour
- Ipsos I-Say – $6 – $12 an hour
- Pinecone Research – $12 – $18 an hour
- MySurvey – $2 sign up bonus, $3 – $10 an hour
You should also look at other survey sites to find ones that fit your demographics better for optimal earnings.
Savings Potential: $3,600
I know I repeat this a lot in my posts, but it actually works! Creating a budget creates an overall picture of where each hard-earned dollar is going.
It’s actually not hard to make a budget and many new apps and programs can do it automatically for you. Here’s some simple steps:
- Download a Budgeting App
- Link all your banks
- Go through the expenses and either cut back or eliminate them (more in #4)
- Dedicate any extra money towards your $10,000 savings goal
By seeing where all your money is going, and earmarking money for specific categories will drastically cut down on wasted dollars. There are plenty of budgeting methods to fit your style – pick one and stick to it.
Savings Potential: $1,200+ ($100 a month minimum)
4. Cut Back
As I mentioned in the previous section, you should go through all your expenses and cut them back or cut them out altogether.
I’ll give you several examples to get you started:
- Eat out less
- Cut back/eliminate Cable service
- Negotiate or find lower utilities and other bills
- Make more food from scratch instead of boxed/prepared meals
- Cancel subscriptions (magazines, boxes, gym, etc.)
- Use less (gas, electricity, water, etc.)
Check out more ways to cut back on your spending and increase your savings.
Who doesn’t shop? We all do! It’s a fact of life, we need food, clothes, things for work and our families. Start saving when you shop by using these ideas:
- Cashback Apps – Use cashback apps to make money
- Comparison Shop – Compare prices at different stores for the best savings
- Stick to a list – Shopping from a list cuts down on impulse buys
- Buy Generic – Buy store brand names even when you have a coupon
- Consignment Shop – Huge discounts can be found here
- Shop online – You’ll save more because there are no in-store distractions
This FFL search will provide you with more ideas for saving money while shopping.
Savings Potential: $1,200 on groceries alone
How about saving more at your bank? Sounds ironic but sometimes we don’t realize we’re not getting the best deal at our current bank.
There are a few ways to save with banking:
- Avoid fees – Avoid hidden fees, service fees and more.
- Open an Account – Some bank offer new account bonuses (like this $300 one from Chase Bank)
- Switch to Online Banking – Chime Bank offers no fees, cashback rewards, and about $500 a year in bonuses
- Find Higher Interest – Find a bank with a higher interest rate than your current one (like Citi’s 2.45% rate)
- Certificate of Deposit – Lock some money away in a COD and you’ll get a higher interest rate and cannot access it until it matures (this avoids temptation to use it).
It only takes a little time to discuss rates and fees with your current bank, or to shop around and apply online at a new one.
Savings Potential: $1,500+
7. Negotiate or Switch
Go through your current bills and services and see if there’s anything you can eliminate, negotiate for a lower price, or switch to a different cheaper service.
Here’s how to get started:
- Internet/Phone/Cable – See if you can live with a smaller package, call to negotiate your rate, or look for a cheaper service provider. Sometimes even the fact you’re thinking of switching will make your current provider work with you.
- Insurance – Read your policy and see if there are hidden fees or coverage you don’t really need, update your policy often with life changes (age discount, safe driving, etc.)
- Mortgage – You can try and negotiate with your lender to lower the interest or extend the years for a lower monthly payment. You can also refinance at a lower interest as well.
- Credit Cards – Consolidate your credit cards onto a zero interest card for lower monthly payments and faster payoff.
If you’re not sure how to negotiate, this handy book can help you out.
Don’t forget to check back often too. I recently switched my internet service to a faster, cheaper provider that recently expanded into my service area. I ended up getting a service that’s 4x faster at almost half the cost.
Savings Potential: $2,400+
8. Spending Freeze
Pick a time period and initiate a spending freeze for your household.
A spending freeze is simply a plan to only spend money on necessities like all the bills, a few basic groceries, medication and other needs while not spending any money on entertainment, eating out, shopping, and other unnecessary things.
The rules are quite simple:
- Decide the length – Will it be a week, 2 weeks, a month?
- Everyone agrees – Everyone must participate for it to be successful
- Decide together – Everyone decides what’s important and what can wait
- No cheating – Don’t cheat by stocking up ahead of time
During this spending freeze, use up the food in your fridge and pantry, look for free entertainment, and avoid temptations like the mall or coffeeshop.
It may be uncomfortable at first, but if you want to save $10,000, then some initiative is required. You may find that after the freeze is over that you don’t miss some of the things you gave up. Read this motivation to get you going.
Savings Potential: $1,000+
9. Sell Stuff
We all have stuff cluttering our place that can be sold for extra money instead of collecting dust. If we didn’t, then popular shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Hoarders would cease to exist.
There are several ways you can sell your stuff:
- Have a garage sale
- Use your local online buy/sell/trade site
- Download the Decluttr app
- On eBay
- On Craigslist
- In Consignment Shops
Having a cleaner, clutterless place is actually better for your health and think of all the time you’ll save by not having to hunt for buried items?
Get some great tips on having a successful garage sale in this Amazon book.
Savings Potential: $500+ at a garage sale alone
10. Have a Side Hustle
Use your spare time in the evenings and on weekends to run a side hustle for money.
There’s a wide variety of working options to choose from that can fit your lifestyle, your skills, and your personality. Some of these include:
- Freelance Gigs – Writing, Photography, computer work, graphics work, and more are available
- Micro-tasking – Amazon mTurk, GigWalk, and TaskRabbit are a few.
- Driving – Different driving gigs are available to choose from.
- Teach – Teach English, music, how-tos, and other lessons can be taught online
- Customer Support – Work your hours online over the phone or computer as a support agent
An easy search through Frugal for Less’s website can reveal many potential job hustles for you to check out.
Savings Potential: $600+ (One $50 blog post a week)
I’ve given you just ten areas to get started, but honestly, there are so many more ways to save money.
Please remember that the amounts I quoted are an approximate number and your numbers will be different. The actual amount saved will depend on your demographics, income, lifestyle, effort, and so much more.
The savings potentials I suggested here adds up to $13,500!
The simple truth is that the more work you put into it, the more you’ll save.