Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extra $1,000 in your bank account at this time next year?
You can, with a little planning and some changes in your money habits, CNN Money says. If saving $1,000 seems impossible, break it down and think of it as socking away $84 each month for a year. It seems more doable now, right?
“There are opportunities in most people’s budgets and lifestyles to find that type of savings,” Dave Abate, a certified financial planner with Strategic Wealth Partners in Ohio, told CNN Money.
So quit dreaming about what you could do with an extra $1,000 and make that dream into a reality in the next 12 months by following these five simple money moves:
- Slash your bills: Review your monthly bills to see what exactly you’re being charged for. Kelsa Dickey, founder of financial coaching firm Fiscal Fitness, told CNN Money that many people are paying more for services, including phone, Internet, cable and utilities, than they really need. For example, if you’re not using anywhere near the data cap on your smartphone plan, you might want to think of downgrading to a lesser plan. If you’re only using your landline phone to call your cellphone when you misplace it, canceling your landline could save you big bucks and you probably won’t even notice it’s gone.
- Dine in, not out: This probably comes as no surprise to you, but eating out can be a big drain on your monthly budget. Cutting back on just a few restaurant dinners a month could help you reach your $84 a month savings goals, CNN Money said.
- Savvy shopping: “Taking small steps in your shopping habits like using coupons, buying generic and limiting impulse buys can add up to $84 a month, if not more,” CNN Money said. Money experts recommend writing a shopping list and sticking to it when you get to the store. It can also pay off to measure the cost of an item against what you earn. For example: “If you are buying $50 shoes and make $10 an hour, ask yourself if they are worth the five hours of work,” said Jean Wilczynsk, investment adviser at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Connecticut.
- Cash in on employee perks: You could be leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of potential benefits and discounts you could be eligible for through your employer. For instance, some companies subsidize cellphone bills and gym memberships.
- Check your insurance needs: Many Americans are overinsured. Afterall, “as your life circumstances change, so do your insurance needs,” CNN Money explains. Do your homework and talk with your insurance agent about your car insurance, life insurance and health insurance. You could save yourself some significant cash.
For more money-saving tips, check out “18 Ways to Save $100 This Week.”