You may have many reasons to save $10000 in a year. Perhaps you are trying to save for a house down payment, pay off credit card debt, get married or buy a car. Saving $10000 in a year may seem like a giant, impossible task, but if you break it down into smaller steps and make some sacrifices, it is a goal you can reach. It won’t be easy, but it can be accomplished with a solid budget and some lifestyle adjustments.
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Steps on How to Save $10000 a Year
If you don’t have an emergency fund of at least six months of expenses, fund that FIRST. Experts recommend saving three to six months of expenses, but after the economic challenges of the past two years, I would recommend six to twelve months. This fund should only be used when you have a true emergency, such as unemployment or unbudgeted expenses that you can’t fund otherwise. Unexpected medical bills or car repairs would fall in this category. You must replenish this account if you have to draw from it to have it available for emergencies in the future.
Break It Up
Set some savings goals and break the $10000 you want to save into bite-size amounts according to your pay periods. Here’s a breakdown of the math:
Hardly anyone gets paid daily, but it makes it easier to visualize the amount! $27.40 would be a nice lunch out in my part of the country. More on eating out later!
Get Serious About Budgeting to Eliminate Waste
It is hard to cut back if you don’t know what you are spending. Pull together a month’s worth of receipts, bank statements, and credit card bills to tally up what your expenses are and what your income is. If you can pull together six months of information, that is even better! If you don’t have a budget (and you should), why not try a 50/30/20 budget for a start.
Check your accounts for bills you may be able to re-negotiate or reduce. Compare the monthly costs of your cars, internet, utilities, and insurance. Can you reduce features to lower levels to save money for a year? Are there cheaper, newer deals with your existing providers? Or is it time to try a new company? Do you need a car in your area? Cars may be necessary for the suburbs but may be unnecessary in the city. If you sell it, you will gain the income from the sale and eliminate your car expenses! Don’t pay for something you can do yourself, like lawn care, maintenance, or cleaning.
A few years ago, our insurance agent ran our homeowners and auto policies through a company comparison filter and found out we could save $3000 annually by switching insurance companies due to our good credit and record. We had been with our old insurance company for almost 20 years. Even our agent was surprised!
When was the last time you compared different cell phone carriers? The days of free phones may be gone, but there are still ways to save on your cell phone bill. Would there be savings if you switched plans, dropped features, or used less expensive equipment? Would a different carrier offer you a similar service at a better cost? You might find lower phone costs with pay-as-you-go plans and budget carriers.
Do you have memberships you don’t use, like a monthly gym membership? Are there others you can live without until you hit your savings goals and then add them back to your budget? My family loves meal kits, and I love my monthly makeup subscription box, but they are the first purchases I cut when my expenses crept up. Together they were over $250 a month! Often, you can pause monthly subscriptions or skip months without canceling outright. Just be sure to add them to your budget when you start them up again.
Before buying a “want,” consider how long you will have to work to pay for it. Is it worth your time? To take that a step further, consider having a spending fast where you spend only on needs, not wants, for some time. It will help jumpstart your savings fund.
Coffee and Meals Out
Track all eating out expenses, especially small, daily ones like coffees. I really enjoy good coffee but realized I could make excellent coffee at home and bring it with me. A daily coffee at a midrange coffee shop in my area would be about $2.50 a day, or $75 a month if I bought one every day. Add in the occasional donut or breakfast sandwich, and I could easily spend over $100 a month. It adds up quickly!
Meals out should be a minimal part of your budget if you have committed to saving $10000 in a year. It is cheaper to cook at home! If you must eat out, I recommend setting a monthly eating out total, making it part of your budget, and sticking with it. It’s even better if you can skip it for a while and bank the savings. It’s a small, temporary sacrifice to make to reach your goal. If eating out is part of your social life, take this opportunity to introduce potluck dinners at home with friends. Bet everyone would enjoy the chance to bring their favorite dish and relax.
Cut Food Costs
Food prices have definitely been creeping up since 2020 due to supply chain issues and inflation. However, you can still save on groceries if you shop carefully and plan your meals around the weekly sales. Focusing on nutrition and cutting out junk food will help your bottom line and waistline. Meatless Mondays can help you save on the rising cost of meat. Other ways to save on groceries include shopping no-frills supermarkets, passing on name brands, and utilizing the savings apps your local stores may offer to maximize savings. Most savings apps feature specials that can only be found in the app and use clipless manufacturers’ coupons. The key to saving with them is only to buy what you will use. If you are going to throw it out, it doesn’t matter how inexpensive it was!
Do you love shopping and clothes? Shop your closet first! Many of us wear the same favorite items and have unworn purchases lurking in the closet. While digging deep into your closet, look for clothing you won’t wear or no longer love. Your mistake purchase could become someone’s favorite item if you sell it at a local consignment shop or on a site such as eBay and Poshmark. Money earned can go right in your $10000 savings account.
Reduce Entertainment Costs
We dumped our cable company a few years ago after a massive hike in cost and a cut in channels. We kept our internet only and added a streaming service, which was starting to get popular at the time. Although the price of our main service has gone up, and we added a few special channels, it is still less expensive than our cable was before.
We have some discounted subscriptions as a perk for being customers of our cell phone company. Often, we have used free channel trials to binge-watch the newest releases. Don’t forget to cancel the trials!
I am a big supporter of public libraries. Our local library has a wide variety of the newest DVD releases and offers free access to physical and online books, including bestsellers. It also provides free entertainment programs for adults and children and free or discounted museum passes. Most public libraries are part of networks that enable residents to borrow books and media their library doesn’t own.
Can’t cut any more out of your budget? Making more money is an excellent way to add to savings. Can you work any overtime at your job? Can you ask for a raise? Be prepared to make your case with documented successes, any continuing education, and salary comparisons for your field. If you receive a raise or a bonus, earmark it for your $10000 account.
How about growing your income with a part-time job or side hustle? Retailers and restaurants are short-staffed these days. There is also plenty of opportunity for driving and delivery jobs. Dog walking, babysitting, and errand runners are in demand too. The key is to make the extra job or side hustle something you enjoy. In some cases, people use their side gigs to develop and try new business ideas.
Save Before You Spend
Many of us save what is left over (if anything) at the end of the month. Put your savings first, and you won’t spend what you don’t see. Automate savings through your bank. Place unexpected extra income from raises, refunds, bonuses, tax refunds right in your savings account, so you aren’t tempted to spend them.
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- Please read the terms and conditions. Dividend Power is an affiliate of SaveBetter.com.
Final Thoughts on How to Save $10000 in a Year
I recommend you share your goals with your friends so they understand your lifestyle changes and are onboard with your plan for saving $10000 in a year. Remember to allow some budgeted fun, so you don’t feel denied by your cost-cutting. Reward yourself for victories. Pat yourself on the back, but don’t spend as a reward! Why not have a no-cost treat day? Get a new book from the library, take a hike, or visit with friends. Keep your goal in mind, and the year of saving will pass quickly.
Thanks for reading How to Save $10000 in a Year
You can also read 7 Tips to Save for a House Down Payment by Christine Seaver.
Author Biography: Christine Seaver is a freelance writer that writes about personal finance, budgeting, and debt. She works as a bookkeeper by day and a cookie baker at night. Hobbies include gardening and watching her chickens.
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